“There’s no perfect time to launch and, we’ve been planning for a long time, so we just adjusted our plans and did it.”

Tami C. Gaines – CEO & Founder, Alivio Products

Tami Gaines, CEO and founder of Alivio Products, discovered the importance of magnesium when she got pregnant with twins and spent five weeks on hospitalized bed rest and it has remained an important part of her life ever since. We talked with Tami about the strategies she is taking to launch her company of Magnesium-based products even in the face of a pandemic.

Tami Gaines

What is Alivio Products?

Alivio Products offers Magnesium-based balms, sprays and bath soaks.  We are one of the few companies in the world that is totally focused on developing transdermally-delivered (applied through the skin), Magnesium-based mind-body wellness products. The World Health Organization estimated that 75% of adults consume a diet that is deficient in Magnesium. Without Magnesium, your body cannot achieve optimal health.  Studies show that Magnesium is best absorbed through the skin, avoiding gut issues and increasing absorption. 

You had originally planned to launch this past March. Did you launch and how was it different from your original plans?

In the face of the escalating pandemic, we decided to pull back on the launch for a few weeks to reconsider our launch strategy.  We were originally focused on B2B sales in order to get retail distribution and were having in person meetings with buyers.  However, given the current state of affairs with retail, we decided to change our strategy to sell directly to the consumer.  We’re now focused on executing our online marketing strategy to drive sales.  That said, we’re also prepared to resume our B2B strategy when it makes sense.

Are you open for consumer business now? Can people buy from your site or through Amazon?

People can buy directly from our website at www.alivioproducts.com. Later this month, we’ll be adding our products to Amazon and Etsy.

How has the pandemic personally challenged you as a business person?

I will say that I’ve had to spend more time getting up-to-speed on online marketing. I’ve been attending lots of webinars and virtual courses to learn strategies that I want to apply to my business.  I’m a lifelong learner so it’s not new for me; however, I’ve had to ramp up my learning/understanding of the online marketplace so we can quickly execute with minimal mistakes.

How are you managing your relationship with your production, shipping, and other vendors?

We were already working with all of our vendors remotely before the pandemic.  We stay connected through weekly phone calls and email updates.

How are you managing the juggling of family and work?  

I’ve been working from home for almost 20 years, but the kids were in school during the day.  I had the place to myself! I’ve been extremely disciplined about keeping the same schedule as we had before the health crisis.  I get up around 6:30am, do my meditation and workout, have my protein shake and write my goals for the day.  I wake up my daughter around 8am. While she’s having breakfast, I take the dog for a walk.  We’re both at our desks by 9am – her doing homework and me doing my work.  We break for lunch and eat together and chat. Back to work after.  She stops around 3:30pm and entertains herself until I stop around 5:30pm. After that, we always do something together – cooking dinner, watching a movie, etc. I do think the key to the juggle is the schedule.   

Do you feel you are going through additional stress and how are you dealing with it if you are?

I don’t feel additional stress because I know that we’ll get through these trying times.  How we get through it will define us.  I meditate and connect with God and the Universe every morning before I get out of bed.  Writing in my journal is also very helpful – a listening ear that doesn’t judge! I’ve been getting outside and exercising as much as possible.  I’ve been taking more baths with my own products – Alivio Products DeStressology.  They are formulated to manage stress and the effects it has on your body.  

Do you have any thoughts for other entrepreneurs who are launching their products or services as the pandemic continues?

 I think the pandemic challenges entrepreneurs to think differently – to find the opportunities to meet unmet needs.  A true entrepreneur will recognize this time as one of hope, not despair.  It’s a time to reevaluate your strategy to determine how you have to act,  so don’t ever give up!

Copyright© 2020 Emelie Smith Calbick and Betty Wong

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