OY-L graduates from Bounce Incubator; launching apothecary in Hudson

Andrea Pierce-Naymon, founder of OY-L Skincare, started making all-natural skincare products in her kids’ former playroom. After 5 1/2 years in the Bounce Incubator, she’s moving her business to Hudson where she’ll have more space to make her products, as well as a storefront inspired by Rose Apothecary from the TV show, Schitt’s Creek. 

Pierce-Naymon’s journey to becoming an entrepreneur began when she learned about the potentially harmful chemicals that are found in everyday beauty products. She wondered if these chemicals were the cause of her teenage daughter’s illness, a condition broadly known as dysautonomia, which affects the autonomic nervous system.

“There are over 300 FDA-approved chemicals that are actually banned in Europe, but used as fragrance in many popular skincare and beauty products in the U.S.,” she said. “Chemicals such as parabens are linked to breast cancer.”

She began experimenting with developing her own products using natural ingredients, such as essential oils, pink Himalayan salt, manuka honey and other plant-based ingredients known for their restorative, anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties, mostly giving them to friends and family.

One of the recipients of these gifts was her sister-in-law, who was amazed that after using the OY-L Skincare products, her eczema disappeared. These results impressed her sister-in-law’s dermatologist as well as her husband, Pierce-Naymon’s brother, who decided to invest in his sister’s skincare line.

While attending a clean beauty event at Mustard Seed Market, Pierce-Naymon met a chemist who was working at Bounce and asked him to evaluate her products. He encouraged her to become part of the entrepreneurial community at Bounce, where she fell in love with the space and moved her beauty lab to the eighth floor.

“Through Bounce’s Incubator program, I’ve had access to so many resources for small businesses, including Tim Turrittin, a business consultant from One Domino, who has been the best mentor and cheerleader,” she said. “I’ve also had access to a physician and cosmetic chemist who helped ensure my products are FDA compliant.”

In addition, she’s benefited from the help of Heather Kramer, owner of HJK Digital, who reviewed her website and digital marketing presence to help drive online sales.

Pierce-Naymon’s big break came when she attended the Indie Beauty Expo in New York in 2016, where she met buyers from Saks Fifth Avenue. This led to her being an online retailer for Saks, drop shipping orders for her skincare products that come in to Saks’ Apothecary Shop.

Pierce-Naymon’s background includes being a retail clothing buyer for Kilgore Trout in Cleveland, which sells her products as do other boutiques located in the Cleveland area and scattered around the country. The upcoming store in Hudson will introduce her to a new customer base in northeast Ohio.

“We’ve had a bigger presence nationally than we’ve had locally, with most sales coming from New York, Texas and California. We’ve also received a lot of national media coverage in publications such as Allure, Elle and Cosmopolitan,” she said.  

While leaving Bounce will be bittersweet, she’s excited to have more space for her beauty lab, which will be separated from the retail store with windows so customers can see the products being made. The store will be called Orange Rose Apothecary, named for her most popular product scent. She’ll also curate other natural and eco-conscious products that support OY-L Skincare’s mission.

The storefront will open on Oct. 2 in Hudson’s Evaporator Works, although the lab is moving this month. She currently has two employees and will be hiring an operations manager for retail.

“One of the challenges I’ve had as an entrepreneur is being able to keep good people since I’m not able to offer benefits,” she said. “It’s sad to see people leave, but I’m always happy when my employees get a great new opportunity.”

She also recommends entrepreneurs manage their growth by taking it slow to keep expenses in check.

“Cash flow is slow at the beginning and you have to have capital to keep going. At Bounce, the rent is low, which is great, especially when you are first starting out,” she said. “Although I never thought I’d open my own store, I feel comfortable doing this. It will be sad to leave, but I’m excited to be able to meet customers and talk about my products. There’s nothing else like this in Hudson.”

To learn more about OY-L Skincare, visit oy-l.com.

To learn more about our incubator program, visit www.bouncehub.org/incubator. 

About the author:
Jill Wodtley, APR, is a freelance writer and owner of Fine Point Public Relations and Advertising. An accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America, she develops and implements marketing communications, public relations and advertising initiatives for a variety of clients, ranging from health care and social service agencies to industrial/manufacturing firms.