Meet the entrepreneur behind skincare startup “Verum Essentials”
Hollie Poole looks every inch the rock star with her spiked hair and black leather jacket. Three years ago she found a stronger calling – biology. Health issues led Hollie to start exercising, meditating, and paying attention to what she ate and put on her skin. So she put her biology degree to work.
“I was getting ready one day when I read the ingredients on my lotion container,” says Poole. “I recognized only a couple, so I looked up each ingredient and its purpose. I was appalled by what I found: teratogenic agents, carcinogens, endocrine disrupters and so many preservatives. It was then that I knew I was going to try to make a better product.”
She created products for friends and family, and got amazing feedback. Poole’s partner Mark suggested she start a business of her own. He started researching the startup process and came across the Pathway WBC website.
“He was floored. He ran upstairs to tell me we were going to a ‘Blue Sky’ class the very next day,” says Poole. “Meeting Leslie Hayes was the turning point for me. Here was a woman who wanted to hear what I had to say. She took me seriously, and it hit me that I’d found the place that would give me an opportunity.”
Poole joined the Embark Cohort, a seven-week course designed to help new entrepreneurs structure their business. Along with curriculum on business finance, the cohort uses LivePlan software to flesh out business models, pricing, projections, and more.
“It was freeing to know that we were all in the same position, and no one was judging. I had been so worried that I couldn’t do this; that I didn’t have the talent or the courage to start my own business,” says Poole. “In this group, we were bold for each other. Plus we had the Pathway staff to back us up.”
Poole has grown her company, Verum Essentials, by word-of-mouth and is currently looking to launch her website and marketing strategy.
She says the best part of being an entrepreneur is having the ability to create exactly what she’s envisioned. “Sometimes it’s tough. But most of the time, it’s pretty damn empowering.”