#162 – How Crystal Etienne Built a 7-Figure Business with No Ad Spend

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Crystal Etienne founder of PantyProp, launched her first business when she was 6 years old selling fallen apples to keep the streets clean.

Today, she built a 7-figure fashion company in just 2 years based on a taboo topic: hygiene.

The majority-women owned, bootstrapped company, PantyProp has grown by 400% in just 10 months without any advertising spend and has crossed 7-figures in annual revenue, something only 3% of women-founded businesses achieve.

In this podcast episode, Crystal shares how she organically used SEO to build a 7 figure business without knowing what SEO was. She talks about the importance of understanding your ideal customer and how that will help you generate the right content to drive revenue.

Entrepreneurs try to create content that isn’t real to them, so it doesn’t resonate with the people they’re trying to bring in. - Crystal Etienne Click To Tweet

In This Episode of the Start Fierce Business Podcast:

  • Crystal shares how she built a 7 figure fashion business with no advertising spend.
  • We discuss how she used SEO to grow her business and how she didn’t even know what SEO was until afterward.
  • She talks about being her own ideal customer and how that helped her understand the type of content her customers are looking for.
  • She also shares her greatest business advice – learn how to say no.

Crystal’s Favorite Online App:

(Some of the links listed below are affiliate links, and I will receive compensation for you signing up for service using my links.)

Mentioned in this Episode:

Reach Out to Crystal:


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Welcome to the show. Crystal.

Hello. How you doing? I’m doing great. Thank you tell me about yourself outside of your business. I am a workaholic. And I am a mom literally do not go together very well.

So when did you know that you were an entrepreneur?

I’ve since I was younger, I’ve never wanted to work for anyone. Even though I have in my past life, I was a business financial operations. And I just no matter how much money I made, or whatever I did, I always just wanted to create a solution to help women always I’ve always been like that since a kid.

So tell me about your business and how you started. Yeah, so for me, it’s not it in my 20s plan. After I had my daughter, one day out of the blue, I would just need a call and I went to my gynecologist thing and what was wrong with me. But he said, That’s normal postpartum on that most women don’t realize that your bladder loosens after you know, having a baby. And then just watching my daughter, you know, actually was a competitive swimmer. Sometimes she would practice all year and then when it come time to compete, she would just cry because she had her period and other girls on the five would be like that. And I’ve just been completely uncomfortable every single time since I was 11 years old, from having my period. And that’s what gave me that aha moment for create something that was going to bridge that gap between health hygiene and comfort for within those times when we have those last few weeks. And so you were able to build a seven figure business out of this with no advertising. Tell us how you were able to do that. Absolutely. Basically, I’m a mom and I have empathy. So I have pure empathy for our customers. I am like my own customer. So everything I did was based towards of what I want to see for myself, or for my daughter. So I created a solution that, you know, that wouldn’t warrant us putting our bodies at risk of inserting foreign objects into our body. So I created swimwear, underwear, you know, sleep where all of the things that in my life or I saw that would you know, want or don’t, my daughter, I created something that would you would, you’d be able to just pop it on and go, that’s where the name came from, through. So how we grew was basically through SEO and like educating the customer on things that they would normally not want to just ask, you know, but you can add Google anything. So it was just simple things as through, you know, can I stop my period, things like that. So that was one way. Another thing was just like I said, with being empathetic and I understand the customer because I am my own customer and there’s a third way which is being readily available for that customer So combining all of those things especially on our small you know, bootstrap Blodgett, that was a way of how we grow, just trying to provide that customer to be able to sort of fence viral by word of mouth. So it was one mom tongue, another mom, another mom, telling another mom, there might have been a girl at swim practice that the other mom asked me did you get that from or things like that. And that’s how we grow even in the special needs community. You know, a lot of girls that are special needs, cannot wear tampons, and it was just one mom telling another mom.

So did you know about SEO before? Was it something that you learned when you were looking for a lien ways to grow your business?

No, it didn’t even know what it was. I didn’t do this for by information that I normally what that my daughter would normally sit on her phone and Google and look for those answers. And that’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to make it a safe environment where you were able to come and get real, you know, information.

You always hear people saying, like, create good content, create ate the content that your target audience wants to read. And they’ll come and you know, some of us are like, yeah, except sometimes they don’t come. But this has actually proven to be true in your case, because you truly understood your audience because you are making it for yourself and for your daughter. Yes. So I think what that what you’re saying is that, like I said, when I first started, I had no idea. I’ve read all the blogs and everything else that said, you know, just create great content and understand that, like I said, I didn’t even know what I was doing was SEO, I just wanted to write about the experiences that I had things that I learned and things of that nature. And that’s where the SEO kicked in. later on. I found there was SEO, what it was doing wrong, it was not No, I think in that sense, I think people try to create content that is not real to them. So it doesn’t resonate with the people that they are trying to bring in. I think me just not understanding was what worked in my favor. Yeah, just be able to find that information and provided and it was very passionate to me. And it was real. And I think that’s why it was able to work much better the content when you try to create, you know, fake content will just try to get someone there. It’s not real. And it’s not passion.

Yeah, I just finished reading this book. It’s called 10 times marketing by Garrett moon, I think is his name, the creator of the co founder of CO schedule, and it was an awesome book. And one of the things that they mention in getting 10 times marketing is to create content that nobody else can create. And I have a background in marketing. And I was just like, Oh, my God, what does that even mean? But one of the main things that he was talking about was like, just create content from your experience. Go talk about your journey, talk about your experience, and it will resonate with people. And it sounds like that’s exactly what you did. Absolutely. And as you said, he said, create content that no one else can, no one else can duplicate how you feel, and no one else can duplicate what you say as long as you’re true to what you feel and what you say. And that is the content I think that people keep missing the mark on they keep trying to create things that people want to hear instead of what they know and what’s passionate to them. What’s been your greatest challenge as a business owner so far I’m raising capital largely bootstrap besides that there really hasn’t been anything and we’ve grown so fast that it’s just been it’s just been wonderful like to actually see like a mom just be so happy that she’s able to provide her daughter you know a swimwear when she goes to camp for that she’s not sitting on the side crying or feeling awkward. It’s like one of the greatest feelings in the world.

What advice do you have for someone that’s just getting started in business to basically have your gaze cleared?

And to know how to say no, that’s one of the things that when you offer starting on, I’m sure you can, you know, relate to that to to learn how to say no, because there’s going to be so many things coming at you and you can’t you can’t do it all you have to learn how to say no to something.

Yeah, every time you say yes to something, you have to weigh what you’re saying no to because every yes means you have to say no to something else. It could be Yes, I’m going to take on this client but I’m saying no to building my business. And is it more important to make a few bucks here and probably be underpaid? Or is it more important to work on blog posts for your business that can make you 10 times the money that you were going to get for something that’s not even relevant to your business? I’m not talking about saying saying no to things that are relevant to your business it’s things that are going to sidetrack you yet and that’s where you have to master that no because it’s very hard to say no but you have to learn how to master it and to say no in the easiest possible way if you could have lunch with one business thought leader who would it be Oh terribly terribly and Oprah Winfrey are like if you can just combine those two people in one is like the perfect combination of the my favorite What’s your favorite business book on anything I don’t have not one particular favorite but a book that is related to a woman being successful and like her journey and things like that there’s no particular one book because to me most business book that will the fame well people read a business book to find out the secret as to why that person a successful but I don’t read it for that because it never tells you anyway. I’ve been reading them since I was like 11 years old. But it does I just say enjoy that success story.

What’s your favorite internet resource or app that just makes your life easier are flat where can listeners find you online? What’s your website where are you out on social media? Absolutely everything across the board on social media is at Danny prop. Very simple, very easy and our website is candy calm. He is he was PR op calm. Awesome will crystal thank you so much for sharing your story with us today.

Thank you. Thank you for having me.