Be frugal. Use your friends and family as a resource – if you have a friend who is a web designer, beg them to make you a free website. Same goes for photographers, designers, public relations, retail, etc. Utilize their friends on social networks as well. The more money you spend, the harder it will be for your business to survive.
Bridget Hilton is the 26-year old founder of Jack’s Soap. Founded in 2011 with the goal of saving lives through soap, Jack’s gives one bar away every time one is sold. Five thousand children under the age of 5 die per day because of diseases that can be prevented by simply washing their hands. Jack’s is hoping to become one solution to this huge problem.
Bridget has worked in a very different industry than skin care for the last 7 years, marketing major label musicians to the masses for record labels such as Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group. Prior to that, she worked in marketing for Palace Sports & Entertainment, home of the Detroit Pistons and 3 concert venues. She has always had a passion for entrepreneurship, creating multiple websites, doing consulting for small businesses and starting a clothing company on the side.
Bridget grew up in Flint, MI and moved to Los Angeles in 2007. She attended UCLA and is a frequent guest speaker at USC Marshall School of Business, UCLA and UCLA Extension. In her spare time, she enjoys camping, playing the guitar and watching stand-up comedy.
What are you working on right now?
Jack’s Soap is my new company. We sell high-quality organic soap here in the U.S. For every bar sold, we give one away to a child in need in a developing country. Our organic soap is made in the U.S. and the soap we give away is made in the country where we are making the donation. Right now I am working with local soap makers in Ethiopia, as we try to support the local economy wherever we go. Our goal is to educate children on the process and importance of hand washing and provide a sustainable way to save lives. It has been a great learning experience.
Where did the idea for Jack’s come from?
I’ve always wanted to start my own company. When TOMS shoes started to blow up, I realized I not only wanted to start a company, but also help people while I’m at it. The one for one business model makes so much sense and Blake Mycoskie really inspired me. My good friend and business partner, Ben Richardson, and I made lists of everything we use on a daily basis that we might take for granted and that could help others in developing countries. Soap was on both of our lists. After doing research on each idea, we realized it was an obvious choice for a start-up –there is a HUGE opportunity to really make a difference!
What does your typical day look like?
Well, I work a lot! There is no typical day. I spend a great deal of time on my computer and phone, but I also like doing random and inspiring activities like taking a flying lesson or taking a road trip to weird places in the desert. I spend a lot of time with my friends exploring California, eating new things and seeing new musicians play. Life is short and I try to enjoy it as much as I can.
How do you bring ideas to life?
The key is to just start and keep going. Sounds easier than it is. I have had many ideas for businesses in the past, but I always thought “I’ll just go out tonight, I’ll get around to working on this later.” Get your idea started, research, put the work in and you will be rewarded. Also, not being scared of failure is a huge asset to have. Who cares if you fail? At least you tried and you’ll be better for it afterward.
3 trends that excite you?
- The one for one movement
- Young entrepreneurs disrupting old ideas
- The advancement of social media
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
I’ve been very fortunate to always work in a career that I’ve loved, which is the music business. Marketing musicians and helping people with Jack’s are 2 jobs I really can’t complain about!
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I would have started my business earlier.
What is the one thing you did/do as an entrepreneur that you would do over and over again and recommend everybody else do?
Be frugal. Use your friends and family as resources. If you have a friend who is a web designer, beg him or her to make you a free website. Same goes for photographers, designers, public relations, retail, etc. Utilize your friends’ friends on social networks, as well. The more money you spend, the harder it will be for your business to survive.
Tell us a secret…
My energy is fueled by Arnold Palmers (iced tea and lemonade) – ha! Not a very exciting secret, sorry!
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Buy one, give one bicycles. Random, but think of how many people you could help who have no transportation.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I try to read a book per week, so it’s hard to narrow it down to just one. When the Four Hour Work Week was released, it really fueled the fire to start my own company rather than just think about it. Tim Ferriss is one of my heroes and favorite authors.
If you weren’t working on Jack’s, what would you be doing?
I would be trying to figure out how to become a food critic. I think that may be one of the coolest jobs on the planet. Eating and getting paid for it?! In reality, I love what I am doing in both entrepreneurship and music. It’s important to do what you love.
Three people we should follow on Twitter, and why?
Aziz Ansari because he is hilarious.
When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?
I laugh all the time. I work from home and am alone most of the day. Whenever I read my Facebook or Twitter feeds, I crack up over my friends comments. My neighbors probably think I’m crazy.
Who would you love to see interviewed on IdeaMensch?
Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS.
What’s next for Jack’s?
Expanding our product line to liquid soap and getting into national retail so we can reach more people. We have a lot up our sleeve – stay tuned!
Where is your favorite place to live and why?
Los Angeles. It has allowed me to experience so many different types of people and has really made me grow as a person. It’s an inspiring and beautiful city. Plus, I love the outdoors and you can go from the beach to the mountains to snow to desert all in one day if you want to!