Fearless Nomad : Heather Jabornik

We wanted to start making this space more of a collaborative area rather than just somewhere we share tips, advice and behind the scenes. Collaborating with people is always fun, and it’s so inspiring to hear how others have become successful in their endeavors.


I first noticed Heather over the last two months in this Facebook group called Being Boss where Heather had been sharing all of her behind the scenes and process for launching her product, Candy Ass. Candy Ass is a perfume she created for those that are sick of wearing predictable scents. Aka flowers. She wanted to create a scent that was unique like herself.  Candy Ass is for when” you’re feeling a little edgy, a little sexy, and a whole lot rock & roll”.  Heather did such a fantastic job and I was so excited to watch her process along the way. She would always ask the group for their opinion on packaging, photos, how to do certain things..everything! She managed to go from the initial idea to a finished launched product in just seven weeks! Also, her perfume was sold entirely ONLINE.

I followed her story because of how enthusiastic she was about every step of the way and how she was never afraid to ask for help or take bold risks. I ended up purchasing her product (which by the way is amazing!) because of how much I admired what she was doing, and also the marketing on her website was fantastic. CHECK IT OUT HERE.

I chose Heather for our first guest in this series because she kicks some serious ass, she is brave, fearless and not afraid to take a risk. Launching a perfume entirely online…How do you sell a perfume you can’t smell? Also she has purple hair and I used to have purple hair so I naturally admired that! READ HER ENTIRE STORY OF CANDY ASS HERE.

Read her whole interview below and get to know how she became a Fearless Nomad.

DESCRIBE ONE THING YOU HAVE LEARNED FROM STARTING YOUR OWN BUSINESS.

The most important things I’ve learned from leaping into this adventure with Hiya Tootsie! are to trust the process and myself, take my time to learn, find my rhythm, ask questions, only do the things I love doing, and figure out a way to revamp or just stop doing things that don’t rev me up.

Of these, I think learning what I love to do has been the most fun and important part of the whole piece. I learned over this past year that I absolutely L-O-V-E writing personal posts about my life (like how Hiya Tootsie! was LAUNCHED, a peek into MY WORK SPACE, my badass outdoor BOUDOIR SHOOT, and the behind the scenes MAKING OF CANDY ASS!) and including my own photographs. Those posts always take the longest to put together, but they’re ridiculously rewarding.

I also learned that I’m absolutely over the moon about launching a product that I made myself! I released a perfume called CANDY ASSa couple weeks ago that I originally made for myself just for fun and it has been the most fun I’ve had in my business by far this entire year!

WHAT IS YOUR MANTRA/MANIFESTO THAT YOU LIVE BY EACH DAY?

I live by my favorite Tom Waits lyric to remind me of exactly who I am. “She’s a swan and a pistol/ She’s whiskey in a teacup/ She’s a diamond that wants to stay coal.”

I’m all about juxtaposition and this lyric reminds me that I am 100% allowed to live into being a lovely, feminine, classy woman who’s also a brazen, badass, raw little powerhouse.

WHAT STRUGGLES DID YOU HAVE WITH SELLING A PERFUME ONLINE?

I had so much to learn! I totally still do. I’m a gigantic idea person. There really isn’t a whole lot that lights me up more than the idea of what could be. Up until a couple years ago, I really struggled with ever putting action behind my ideas. When I decided it might be cool to sell my own personal perfume, even though I did the whole thing in 7 weeks, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing and asked a ton of questions along the way and did mass amounts of research.
I think the unknown of a new project is the scariest part. But all you really have to do is give yourself permission to figure it out as you move forward. I’m really good at doing “pre-work” and not actually working, so launching CANDY ASS was a great lesson in how to just do the damn work and take action.

I still don’t know jack squat about marketing and I didn’t during the entire 7 weeks I was working on getting everything ready for the launch. But I practically had (and still do!) excitement shooting out of my ears so I just did what came naturally and ran my mouth about it on social media – a lot. Ha! The whole thing was just so fun and exciting to me and I wanted to share my joy with everyone. So much of the feedback I got after the launch from perfect strangers who turned into new friends was how awesome it was to experience the journey with me and watch the whole thing happen, which made me feel so good! It totally wasn’t my intention to “market” this way, but that’s what ended up happening.

My biggest challenge now will be how to get Candy Ass out there on a larger scale in order to make it lucrative for me and reach more women to bring some badassery into their lives. I love that something as simple and personal as scent has the ability to have such a marked impact on women. Whether it’s self-care/love/confidence or whatever drives a woman to buy a new fragrance for herself, I’m so honored to be part of her journey and life in this small, but deliciously scented way!

WHEN YOU FIRST CAME UP WITH THE IDEA FOR CANDY ASS, HOW DID YOU FIGURE OUT HOW TO TURN YOUR IDEA INTO AN ACTUAL PRODUCT? WAS THERE ANY GOAL SETTING, OR A SPECIFIC PROCESS THAT HELPED LEAD YOU TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?

Well, I already had the actual product because I created it back in August at my favorite boutique bath and fragrance bar where I grew up and went to school just for fun for myself! Every time I visit my parents and BFFs, I stop in to make myself a new perfume. It finally dawned on me mid October that when I was originally brainstorming ways to monetize Hiya Tootsie! back before it launched a year prior, perfume was one of my ideas. At the time, I thought it was this huge, lofty, maybe-one-day kind of idea. But after finding out that my shop on the East Coast sells their products whole sale, I threw a photo of my own bottle up on Facebook to ask if anyone would be interested in a chocolate, peppermint, cupcake perfume and got a mega, resounding YES from everyone. So I just went for it!

I’m usually huge into goals and intentions, but I really didn’t have any with Candy Ass. I just wanted to try it, have fun with it, and see what happened. I did make a giant master list of what needed to get done to pull this whole thing off and put the list in a timeline order, but other than that, the whole thing unfolded pretty naturally and intuitively.

My advice to anyone who wants to launch an idea, whether a physical product or not, is to just freaking do it. Think it through, do what works for you – if that’s a master list like me, great, if it’s a full-fledged business plan, great, if it’s neither of those things, great. Just go for it. You’ll figure it out along the way. It’s ok to not know how to do things and to ask for help. I asked for help the entire way and had amazing women rise up out of the kindness of their hearts to be a part of getting it off the ground. Know that trying something is the bravest thing you could ever do. So many people are so afraid to try because they struggle with a fear of failure. We’re all going to fail somewhere along the way – including in business. That’s ok. It’s part of the learning process. Just try! Have fun. Make sure you lean into doing the things that light you up!

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE WANTING TO START THIER OWN BUSINESS?

Embrace the process. I knew going into this adventure with Hiya Tootsie! that I would very likely not have anything sustainable going on until year three. That’s what everybody says. You’ve got to work your ass off without getting paid for the work for a couple years before you start seeing any kind of worthwhile return. Like I said earlier, I’m way more of an idea girl than a brass tacks realistic kind of broad, but when I heard this, I took it to heart. I think it’s completely possible to kill it your first year of business, but I also think it’s not realistic to expect it as some kind of birthright privilege.

My first year with Hiya Tootsie! has been all about learning. I learned my writing rhythm, I learned what I like doing and don’t like doing, I learned how to just freaking try, I learned that some days, I did absolutely zero work and couldn’t force myself to do it if I tried and that’s ok. I learned to be gentle with myself, have patience, and enter into various communities with other women and biz owners who I vibe with. Above all, I learned to do the work.

2016 will be my second year of business and I’m so excited for it! Now that I have the basics down, I feel so much freedom to do other things. I want to make 2016 about continuing to produce killer content, expanding my audience, networking with other amazing women, learning about marketing, promoting and selling Candy Ass, building my TEAM TOOTSIE ON PATREON, and planning for success.

By the time 2017 rolls around, I know I will have the new necessary tools in place to really start killing it financially. And you know what? Killing it to me looks like earning a sustainable income. Killing it looks like not stressing about if I’m going to be short for the month. Killing it looks like giving myself the freedom to splurge on Victoria’s Secret when I want to. Killing it looks like adding value to other women’s lives. Maybe when I’m further down the road, killing it will look like a big dollar amount, but for right now, I’m content with learning, embracing the process, and setting myself up for success as I define success.

WHERE IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE TO FIND INSPIRATION? 

I feel mega inspired every time I listen to Tom Waits. I’m also way into spoken word poetry and art. So as far as a physical location, it’s really wherever there’s a creative space that’s been set up. I’m super visual and am actually emotionally affected by my physical environment, so if I’m in a place that’s aesthetically pleasing, I’m a joy bomb.

If I had to choose a physical location, the Pacific Ocean is my jam. I just love being by the water. Laguna Beach in particular has so many beautiful little spots – and it’s an art town, so I love that!

I also really love the mountains. Mammoth and Big Bear are phenomenal. I have a fantasy about living in (or just vacationing in!) a log cabin where I can prance around in my various lingerie get ups, write poetry on my typewriter, sip Bailey’s, sing, laugh, shout, and create.

I get ridiculously inspired when I hear an interesting turn of phrase or metaphor. I have my degree in Professional Writing and have been a word nerd since I was a kid, so anything verbally interesting inspires the hell out of me!


OutdoorsLexi SmithComment