Alright – so today we’ve got the honor of introducing you to Shyla Slavin. We think you’ll enjoy our conversation, we’ve shared it below.
Shyla, appreciate you joining us today. Let’s start with a story that highlights an important way in which your brand diverges from the industry standard.
Definitely! The biggest issue I personally see with the supplement industry is the lack of high-quality products. The FDA does not monitor the supplement market, so companies can make whatever claims they want without the need to stand behind them. For example, there are many companies that choose to produce probiotics with cheap ‘good’ bacteria strains that have not been included in research or studies and may not provide us with any benefits.
As someone who has tried different probiotics and supplements to try and prevent my recurring bacterial vaginosis, I struggled with the lack of transparency and lost trust in many supplement companies. This is something that I was looking to change with V-Luxe.
We put the quality of our products first. We want our probiotics to work for as many women as possible, with the understanding that this may not be the solution for 100% of our audience, and that’s okay.
We are proud to be the only probiotic company that includes all of these benefits within our probiotics:
1) We only use good bacteria strains that have been studied and shown to provide health benefits, specifically for women’s vaginal health.
2) We include prebiotics (food for the good bacteria) in our formula. This increases the chances of the good bacteria to successfully thrive in the body and provide us with health benefits.
3) We only use high-potency formulas (we offer two options: 15 Billion CFU and 50 Billion CFU). You won’t believe how many probiotics out there only contain 1 Billion CFU for the same price tag as our probiotics!
4) We offer a money-back-guarantee. Our customers can try the probiotics, and if they don’t see a difference they can simply contact us to get their money-back (you can read more about that on MyVluxe.com).
5) We use what we like to call “survival of the fittest” good bacteria strains. There’s a big issue with probiotics that are not shelf stable and cannot survive extreme heat, cold, and our stomach acid. A lot of the probiotics out there simply become useless after shipment, or after being consumed (they get destroyed by our stomach acid). The good bacteria strains that we use have been tested and shown to survive extreme weather (for shipping and storing purposes) and our low pH stomach acid (so they can get to the vagina safely!).
We do all of this while keeping our prices as low as possible and with a serving size of only 1 pill per day!
Shyla, before we move on to more of these sorts of questions, can you take some time to bring our readers up to speed on you and what you do?
My name is Shyla, I’m the founder and CEO of V-Luxe, a company that focuses on providing solutions for women’s health. V-Luxe’s main focus is to help women with recurring bacterial vaginosis (BV), yeast infections, and UTIs. I personally have suffered from recurring bacterial vaginosis, I used to get these infections every few weeks and the medication (antibiotics) that my doctors gave me simply did not provide a long-term solution and in some cases, even made things worse!
Having recurring BV also took a toll on my mental health and relationship, I call this the invisible symptoms of BV and other vaginal infections. The anxiety and shame that women are faced with, in addition to the physical symptoms, is extremely frustrating.
During my healing journey to find a solution for my recurring BV, I promised myself that if I found a solution that worked for me, I’d have to share it with other women. I discovered that an estimated number of 21 Million women in the USA suffer from BV every single year, and that traditional antibiotics don’t work for 50% of them!
I tried every pill and cream out there to try and resolve my recurring bacterial vaginosis, the more research I did, the more I had discovered about what could help us women heal. Taking daily probiotics seemed to be the most promising solution, the issue was that a lot of probiotics didn’t have the correct components to be the “perfect solution” for women’s health.
I decided that this is too big of an issue to not pay attention to, and since I’m an entrepreneur at heart and have started and ran successful businesses in the past, I knew this was my next mission. That’s when I created V-Luxe!
Our probiotics have been formulated with women’s health in mind. We use good bacteria strains that have been studied to help with recurring BV, yeast infections, and UTIs. Our customers are the heart of our business – our mission is to help our customers by educating them about women’s health, provide them with an excellent high-quality product, and be there for them if they just need someone to vent to.
We’re so proud of the business that we have created and we’re dedicated to continuing to help women with their healing journeys!
What else should we know about how you took your side hustle and scaled it up into what it is today?
Yes, definitely! I’m a huge believer in trying to go as far as possible without raising outside capital. My entrepreneurial journey started roughly 5 years ago. My boyfriend at the time (now my husband and business partner) brought me into the entrepreneurial world and showed me how amazing it is to fully own and operate your own business. Back then, we started working on a business together, and while we knew it was going to take time to build and grow, we were both extremely dedicated. This was an e-commerce business and we actually did receive a few offers from outside investors who wanted to be our partners. We decided that we did not want to bring in outside help if we could manage it, and our goal was to work for ourselves, so we declined the offers. At the time, I was working for a marketing agency, while my husband was 100% focused on that e-commerce business. I helped to grow that business at first working on nights and weekends. This extreme focus and dedication soon paid off and I was able to quit my full time job, allowing us both to now focus on growing our business together.
We used the same strategy when starting V-Luxe. We decided to not pursue any outside investors, and instead treat V-Luxe as the “side-hustle” while still running our other business. You don’t need a lot of money to start a new business, at least in my opinion, but you do want to make sure you have sufficient savings and decide on an amount that you would be okay with if it was lost. Whenever I meet aspiring entrepreneurs I urge them to try and stay 100% owners for as long as possible. (if possible!)
Do you sell on your site, or do you use a platform like Amazon, Etsy, Cratejoy, etc?
For V-Luxe, we do both, but our main goal is to bring customers to purchase from our website. I do think that Amazon and Etsy are amazing platforms though for the right items.
Amazon is a hard marketplace to get on because you have to go through their requirements just to get approved. You then live and die by your reviews, so you have to make sure your product is high-quality and helpful before you post it there. We didn’t start with selling on Amazon until we’ve had a few thousand sales on our website with essentially no complaints and raving reviews from our customers.
Etsy is also an amazing place to share products, we did try it for V-Luxe but it’s simply not the right item for that space. Etsy is better fit for handmade, craft items. The audience there may need hand holding and more patience than the audience on Amazon that simply wants their order delivered as quickly as possible.
I love selling on our website the most. When customers decide to purchase directly from us and when they place recurring orders, it shows that they trust V-Luxe and there is no better feeling and accomplishment than that! We then also are able to keep them engaged using our email campaigns and social media channels.