We had the good fortune of connecting with Gabrielle Robinson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gabrielle, we’d love to start by asking you about lessons learned. Is there a lesson you can share with us?
Appeal to your audience, not yourself. Every day I have to tell myself this just because I am so used to seeing things on my social media accounts that appeal more to me and I am always like “That’s cute, I can use this for inspo”, but then I have to stop myself and realize that this business isn’t for me, its for my audience. I have a unisex brand where any and everyone can use. I want my brand/feed to be as neutral as possible. I have always wanted to include everyone in something that I’ve created. I think it is important to be able to think of a way to solve a problem that many people may have. My products are for people who have dark lips caused by smoking, aging and over time there lips get darker, and even individuals with hyperpigmented lips. I do not fall under any of these categories and that’s okay. This gives me a chance to get outside of my comfort zone and learn something new. I am loving this journey and wouldn’t want it any other way.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
My business is called Smokers Balm. I sell lip lightening balms and exfoliating lip scrubs to individuals with dark lips caused by smoking, aging, and hyperpigmentation. My products help bring back the natural complexion, reduce wrinkles, and protect from harmful lighting. It all started when my mom told me about her high school experience where her lips had an allergic reaction to a mood changing lip stick.That product made her lips darker and she could never find a remedy or product to fix the fact that her lips became dark. I took it upon myself to figure out how to find a way to get her lips back. That’s where I got in contact with a chemist to create a product. I had my mom try the lip balm out and after a few days, she saw results. She was so happy and I was amazed. It was like magic. I had to let other people, with similar experiences, try it out. I am most proud of making people feel comfortable and happy. That has always been my goal. Knowing that certain bacteria on the lips are harmful, I wanted my products to eliminate that and continue to protect. I have come to find out that many people focus on their face, but not their lips. I believe that your lips are just as important as your face. You do not even have to have dark lips to use Smokers Balm products. I want to reach as many people as I possibly can. This journey was NOT easy. I am a complete introvert and shy. I always despised getting up in front of class and presenting. I would be so nervous. I overcame these challenges by doing it. I would think, “If I don’t do it now, when will it be done? When will someone see me and what I have to offer?” I want people to know that this is more than a business to me. I want to make a difference and make people feel good. I want people to realize that “The Lips Don’t Lie!” Take care of your health inside and out.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Well, I am from Atlanta. There is always something going on. Honestly, I am a home body. Like I mentioned before, I have always been an introvert. I do not get out a lot. So people from Atlanta reading this, do not judge me, lol.
Sunday- BRUNCH! I love brunch. Honestly I just love breakfast in the afternoon. I would go to Corner Cafe in Buckhead. They have the best chicken and waffles. Then we could walk around the city just to see what is going on at that time. I would be interested in a nice picnic later that day in Piedmont park. Maybe even go for a little scooter ride on the Beltline.
Monday- I have never done it, but I would love to do a sip and paint course. This seems so much fun to just get with your friends and have a nice little time out sipping some wine and painting. It is therapeutic.
Tuesday- What do people do on a Tuesday? Haha, it may just be a time to stay at home and chill. Maybe watch a movie and relax. Have a little spa at home day.
Wednesday- On Wednesdays we go skating! I love going skating. It is so much fun. On Wednesday, skating rentals are like $3. You can’t beat that. I go to this place called Starlite. Literally used to go there every Saturday when I was little.
Thursday-Can we do karaoke? I love to sing. I never said I was good, but I love to have a good time. I have never been to one in Atlanta, but I would definitely try it out. I would probably invite some more friends just so that my best friend can meet more people. I feel it would be more fun as well.
Friday- Free for all. Anything can happen. No work the next day. Everything is open. We could go to a nice bar in Midtown and just have a good time. Go out dancing.
Saturday- Alpharetta to the Avalon. I love it here. It is far from where I live, but I always love going there. We could get a bite to eat at Cafe Intermezzo (My favorite place to dine). There are some stores to shop from and beautiful homes to see.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to first thank my dad who has been an entrepreneur his whole life. He introduced me to this world and I am forever grateful. He pushes me to better myself and acknowledges my worth. I also want to thank my mom for giving me advice and encouraging me to move forward in my career path. She has always been my motivation. I really want to make my parents proud with my success with my business. I want to thank my bestest friend, Louis, who I’ve known for almost 7 years. He pushes me to go harder and helps me understand that working smarter and not harder is what true accomplishment is. I always ask him questions on how I should approach different things with my business. I want to thank each and every person who has supported my brand no matter when they started. I never saw myself as an entrepreneur and it amazes me that people believe in my business and love what I put out there. I have always wanted to help others and to get to see that with the customers really makes me happy and I don’t think they understand. Without them, Smokers Balm would not have been possible.