Founded in 2013, Lovacado started as a family ritual turned leap of faith.
From Grandmother’s kitchen to carefully perfected recipes, these all-natural wellness and beauty products were designed to nourish you from the outside in, using an organic approach that matches your healthy lifestyle.
Our philosophy is going back to basics. We know that every inch of your body absorbs what you put on it, which is why we use the most nutritious ingredients from our Earth and ensure every Lovacado creation is made free of toxins, synthetic ingredients, parabens, artificial coloring, and additives. Also, our products are never tested on animals, vegan, and Non-GMO.
We had the chance to get into the gritty details about Lovacado with CEO & Founder Claudia Murillo.
How have your priorities changed from when you first started?
When I started Lovacado, it was a passion project. I had a full-time job, which I did on the weekends or in my spare time. I wasn’t dedicating my time to the business, and I didn’t have a growth strategy or plan. However, I had big dreams and ideas but zero execution or time to even think about executing a plan. This went on for many years until I realized that I couldn’t give up on my big dreams or expectations for Lovacado. The only way to move the company forward was to quit my full-time job and put all my effort into building a successful company. Since that day, my priorities have changed dramatically. I constantly think about the big picture, organize pop-up events, work on strategy, and plan inventory and production cycles.
Knowing what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently when starting?
When I first started, my two Angel investors provided funds to attend two major International Beauty shows. One in Las Vegas and another in New York City. Those two shows took a lot of preparation, but, above all, they were costly, especially for a startup company nobody had heard about in the industry and was only offering two products. Those two events taught me that I should’ve spent those funds creating a solid eCommerce platform and spending on online ads and a solid online marketing strategy. I honestly think I would’ve grown exponentially if I had focused on eCommerce sales from the beginning instead of looking for retail growth. In hindsight, you learn from your mistakes and make changes, but some mistakes/business lessons are costly.
How did you decide where to establish your company?
I live in Toronto, Canada, and when I launched Lovacado in 2013, it seemed logical to start. However, over the years, I’ve questioned the decision, and that’s why now I’m in Houston, Texas launching the brand and working on brand awareness. The USA has 330 Million people (consumers), according to the 2020 U.S Census, and in Canada, we only have 37 million.
What makes an effective leader?
Must be humble to learn from others and mistakes. Work constantly on emotional intelligence and self-awareness to understand other people’s points of view/advice/opinions. Be a good listener and very flexible because in the entrepreneur road, you encounter many obstacles, and you must be flexible to change direction, adjust, delegate, and lead without much notice.
What do you consider non-negotiable in your business?
Integrity and loyalty. I work very hard to sell products that I know are made with good, high-quality ingredients. My oils come directly from farms, not from third-party vendors where oils are mixed, refined (bleached), or expelled using high temperatures to maximize profits and give products a 5-year shelf life. These methods alter the quality of oils, and my sources only use the cold-pressed method to extract the oil from avocados and the paradise nut. The Paradise Nut Facial oil, launched this year, was personally tested by me and others for over a year before I actually began to sell it. In the testing period, I also looked into the clinical research provided by the Swiss company that took the nuts from Colombia and studied its benefits in depth. Now, I’m one of the first companies to get my hands on such an amazing raw ingredient to resell to the general public. So, integrity and loyalty come hand in hand in my world. To this day, I’m still buying my avocado oil from the same farm in Mexico since 2014. Loyalty and Integrity to my vendors, customers, and third-party vendors who help run my operations are key and non-negotiable.
Can we expect to see Lovacado on store shelves soon?
I’m working on getting some shelf space in key salons and spas in Houston. However, I want to focus on selling online instead of taking over retail space for the moment. In early 2015 Lovacado was selling in almost 35 health food stores, small boutiques, and nail salons. However, I was doing this through a vendor. It was an awful experience, so I decided against having the product in these establishments and only kept two places, a destination spa and a nail spa. I find that only establishments that use the product in their services and are intimate with the product will naturally tend to sell the product. I don’t want to sell my product in a place where I’ll have to wait for someone to pick it out of the blue on their way out. I want to know that a stylist, an aesthetician, back bar personnel, or the masseuse at a spa love the product and want their customers to buy it because they know the product is awesome. Because they know that it’s a quality product and that it will help them in many ways.
What is the dream retailer you’d love to see your products in?
Retail business for a small business such as Lovacado is a challenge. It requires a lot of work and staff because Lovacado is an unknown brand, so we need to have product demonstrations, ambassadors. We need to provide free samples, testers, and some places even want the brand to pay for advertising on their platforms. So I’m not rushing to develop a retail following right now. I’m talking to a few key salons, destination spas, and specialty skin boutiques where I see the potential for growth in the long term. This time around, I’m taking my time in doing things right and with the right establishments. First, I want to start on online sales and get brand awareness at a few key retail spaces in Texas, Florida, and New York.