THE JOURNEY TO T•L PART 3
Hello I'm Tova Langhans, the "T" in T•LANGHANS Artisanal Spa Products. So we've done part 1& 2 of the Journey to T•LANGHANS and today is Part 3. It's the summer of 2011 and it's also what I call the Summer of Farmer's Markets. While I was at OSEB in the spring, I had narrowed down the kind of soap I was going to make. During my market research I could see that a lot of soap makers were doing a blended soap and calling it Castile and an authentic Castile should only be made from olive oil and that is what I decided I was going to make. So I started to do farmer's markets to see if the essential oil blends that I like, do other people like it? In the meantime, I'm also working closely with my neighbour Joe to develop my brand, I've come up with the matchbox style packaging foe my soap, Joe has created a prototype and has also found the right suppliers to make that packaging a reality. And we also found out that Joe has the skill for making branded soap molds. Pretty talented guy huh? So I now have Tova branded soap, I've got my Tova Naturals packaging, I've done my photography with my good friend John Emrys whom I've worked with in the past during my modeling years and my website is built and ready to go and it's now the spring of 2012 and I'm ready to do my first big show which is the Toronto Yoga Conference. It was a really, really good show, a great place to soft launch the brand.I was speaking to a demographic of people who really understood what it was I was doing. They understood the importance of only using olive oil in my soap formula, only using essential oils to scent it. They loved the packaging, the marketing, everything about the company was well received. Little did I know, there was a couple of very important people who came by my booth. Two days after the show I got a phone call from Roots! Yes, Roots! It turns out that Don Green and his wife Denyse, Don is the co-founder of Roots, they came by and checked out my little company and were very impressed with what they saw. They took my business card and gave it to their head buyer, Rima, and told her to call me. It was amazing, I was on cloud 9 when I got that phone call. So I met with Rima, she saw my product for herself and she was very impressed and they were pretty set to place an order with me for the upcoming holiday season. A couple days later I got another phone call and this time it was from Tova... Tova Borgnine, ya that Borgnine! It turns out that Tova Borgnine has a beauty company in America, in L.A. and she has trademarked the name Tova. And she called to let me know that I had to cease & desist using my name. Wow, that was pretty devastating, it was like asking me to rename my child! I was a little nervous to phone Roots and tell them what had happened, but Rima was amazing, she was so supportive. She just started brainstorming with me - What's the name of your daughter? What's the name of your dog? WE didn't go with any of those but I knew that when my branding was done they were still going to order. I must admit that if I hadn't had that interest from Roots I might have just thrown in the towel because you literally have to start over! New packaging, new molds, new everything! From the response I had at the yoga show and from Roots, I knew I had something good and I just had to move forward. So the brainstorming began of different names; True Castile, Total Castile, looking at Sanskrit names but nothing felt right. Tova Naturals was built around me and using some random name just didn't feel right. That was when Joe suggested T.L and I was like " T.L what does that even mean? No one's going to get it." And then he put that little interpunct in there and I knew I had my brand. So we started moving forward, rebuilding the new brand, but I also had 300lbs of Tova branded soap to deal with and that's when I decided to make Lemonade out of the Lemon's I had been dealt. I found a cause called the Canadian Centre for Abuse Awareness, The CCAA, where they help women, children and men that have been victims of domestic abuse. I was able to deliver my 300lbs of soap to their headquarters and gift something nice to people who have had a lot of adversity in their lives and it felt really, really good and I've been wanting to do something like that ever since and now I think I've come up with something that will allow me to do this on an ongoing basis and it's called T•L•C. T•LANGHANS•CARES. What it's going to be is a subscription box filled with my products that's going to be delivered 4 times a year and a portion of those proceeds are going to go to a cause. The first one is going to be SickKids which is a cause very dear to my heart. You'll find out later what that's all about in a future video. After that the T•L•C Members are going to decide what cause we will champion next each season. So you see, it was important to tell you about the journey that I've been on that brought me here. From following my first passion as a child, which lead me to meeting some really important people, to being knocked down and having to start over and finding the silver lining in having to regroup and rename, it's lent it's self to creating a beautiful cause that I'm really, really excited about. I hope you'll share this and let everyone know about T•L•C. T•L•C is going to give back to some pretty incredible causes and I can't wait to get started. So stay tuned for more information about T•L•C and T•LANGHANS and about Tova!