JAVA Awarded Digital Innovator Award
JAVA is very proud to announce that we were awarded the Digital Innovator Award from the North Kingstown Chamber of Commerce. An awards ceremony was held on October 26th at the Galilee Beach Club in Narragansett, RI, where we were recognized and presented a plaque. “I’m so humbled,” said Founder Stephanie Additon. “Being part of the cohort of winners this year and really amazing local businesses is just an honor.”
The North Kingstown Chamber recognizes local businesses every year for a variety of achievements. The Digital Innovator category, established in 2016, is awarded to “a business that conceptualized new innovative digital marketing and promotional strategies that helped their business excel in the past year.”
JAVA was recognized for our Covid-19 pivot from selling primarily in retail outlets, including cosmetic shops and spas, to focusing on e-commerce. This included a new digital advertising strategy.
The pandemic caused a significant change to Java Skin Care’s business. Many of the retail stores that carried our products were unable to operate during the height of the pandemic. Some eventually closed permanently. It has been a very hard thing to witness.
“Everything changed,” Stephanie said. “We were in stores and spas across the country, and 85 percent of them closed because spa treatments couldn’t happen anymore. We went digital and built up our online direct-to-consumer channels.”
Pre-pandemic, Java Skin Care’s sales were largely at brick-and-mortar retail locations. Once Covid hit, brick-and-mortar all but dried up. The transition from relying on retail to direct-to-consumer online sales was “scary and exciting.”
“We knew that we wanted to continue to make our products and we wanted to keep our business alive,” she said. “There was a lot of learning and talking with super-creative, thoughtful, and smart people to help us create a strategy to really build out our network in a way that could sustain us financially.”
As part of this new direct-to-consumer challenge, the JAVA team built out a studio to film content. We learned the ins and outs of filming video such as using the right lighting, background location, presenting our products, our appearance in front of the camera… We were able to create the space thanks to funding received from a Rhode Island Commerce Adaptation Grant.
JAVA began a weekly Facebook & Instagram Live series to help bolster online sales and to get our story out. Weekly editions are presented by founder Stephanie and JAVA formulator Emily O’Donnell. JAVA Live (every Wednesday at 4 PM EST) focuses not only on JAVA’s products, but on today’s healthy-clean-green skincare and ingredients movement as well as lifestyle trends. 24-hour Flash Sales are frequently added to the presentations. We also love to add a DIY to the mix: food and drink recipes, make your own skin care instructions – and more. The 15-minute broadcasts are created at our Palisade Mill location in Peace Dale, RI. The space is also available for rent to other local businesses looking to make similar videos.
“They really were able to elevate their social media presence,” said Kristin Urbach, executive director of the North Kingstown chamber. “Other small businesses have the opportunity to use their space to develop their product and utilize their media studio.”
As businesses reopen and the pandemic slowly starts to fade into history, we are all experiencing the effects of the many changes that have taken place in our lives over the past thirty plus months. JAVA will continue to innovate and adapt to the circumstances that we find ourselves in with the promise that our products will never be compromised. As a Company, we will continue to adjust our sales methods and outreach to make the most of the opportunities and challenges that come our way. Our products, however, will always be of the highest quality that you have come to know and love.
All the Best from JAVA Skin Care