What were you doing at 10 or 11 years old? Having fun? Getting crafty? Launching a multi-million dollar business? Sisters Isabel and Caroline Bercaw were doing all three the summer of 2013 when they made a few hundred bath bombs to sell at a local art fair. They called their bath bombs Da Bomb Bath Fizzers and hid a little surprise inside each one. They were the hit of the art fair, selling out in hours. Fast forward four years and hundreds of thousands of hand-made bathbombs later, the girls have a successful multi-million dollar business on their hands. So successful in fact, that they recruited their parents to help. Mom, Kim Bercaw is CEO and dad, Ben Bercaw is CFO and COO. We had a chance to interview Isabel and Caroline and asked about their story, how they started their business and the future of Da Bomb Bath Fizzers.
Tell us your story. Why did you start Da Bomb Bath Fizzers?
ISABEL: It all started when we were 11 and 12 years old. We signed up to participate in a local art fair, and decided to make and sell bath bombs. We had always loved bath bombs, but felt disappointed when they were done fizzing because they would disappear and we would be left with nothing. So we decided to put a fun surprise in the middle of each of our bath bombs for a fun twist. We spent the whole summer making about 150 of them, and we were pretty shocked when we sold out on the first day of the fair.People loved them! Eventually a local salon owner approached us about selling our bath fizzers at his locations, and our business grew from there.
CAROLINE: We jokingly call this our “accidental business” because we didn’t set out to own a huge company. At the start, we only thought of Da Bomb as a hobby. But, as time went on, we were offered great opportunities and we kept saying yes. It was a definitely learn as you go situation as we didn’t know much about being entrepreneurs. Thankfully, our bath bombs really appealed to customers and the business has grown very quickly.
How did you come up with your business name?
CAROLINE: It came pretty easily and naturally. I think it took us about 5 minutes to come up with the Da Bomb name.
ISABEL: We have a lot of fun with our naming process for both the company and new products. There’s usually a lot of laughing and goofing off involved when we’re creating. I think our product has been well received because we don’t take ourselves too seriously.We also involve our family. Our little brother Harry was actually the genius behind our Ninja Bomb, Hero Bomb and our Sporty Bomb.
Tell us about Da Bomb Bath Fizzers. How do you cater to your customers?
ISABEL: We pride ourselves on offering a fun assortment of products that appeal to virtually everyone. Girls, boys, men and women. We have a large variety of bath bombs with different fragrances, themes and surprises.
CAROLINE: Plus, we’ve always been bath bomb lovers and users, so we know what customers love about them and what they don’t. As customers, we didn’t like it when a bath bomb would stain our tub, so we came up with a formula that doesn’t stain. We also make our bath bombs by hand in the USA, using just a few ingredients. If you’re also a fan and a customer, you’ll end up with superior products.
What makes you unique? What is your unique selling proposition (USP)?
ISABEL: There are a lot of products out there for use in the bath, but there was a gap in the market for fun. (Especially for people of all ages.) That’s where we come in!
CAROLINE: For starters, all our bath bombs have surprises inside. Whether you are an adult or a kid, everyone loves surprises! The name of each bomb coordinates with the fragrance, appearance and enclosed surprise. Ex: The Earth Bomb looks like the earth, smells like an ocean breeze and has a toy sea creature inside. Our Cake Bomb smells like almond buttercream, is topped with sprinkles and has a cake-themed surprise inside.
Where do you see you Da Bomb Bath Fizzers in the next 3-5 years?
CAROLINE: A big goal we have is to ship internationally.
ISABEL: World domination. (laughs)
CAROLINE: We have fantastic partnerships with our suppliers. We’re working hard to align with the right people to help us go international.
ISABEL: We just introduced 5 new fizzers! The Unicorn Bomb, Fairy Bomb, Dragon Bomb, Mystery Bomb and Tattoo Bomb. And our new Beauty Bomb is available exclusively at Ulta Beauty.
Any advice you would give to entrepreneurs and business owners?
ISABEL: Go for it! Think through your idea carefully, but don’t spend TOO much time thinking. Many people focus so much on the planning that action never happens. It also helps to remember that challenges and failures are normal. Learn something from mistakes, but don’t dwell on them.
CAROLINE: Your idea should somehow be better than anything in the market. Be a solution to a problem. Fill a hole. Also, when you hit a roadblock, pretty much anything you ever wanted to know you can find on the internet. If the internet can’t help, use your personal network. We have been extremely fortunate to have smart people in our business community give us advice. Never be afraid to ask for advice. People are usually willing to help!
What is your favorite business quote and why?
ISABEL: We live by the phrase, “Expect the unexpected.” Every day something happens we weren’t expecting. Sometimes good, sometimes not so good. We’ve learned that surprises are all part of the journey, so we don’t dwell on them too much. We accept them, deal with them (or celebrate them!), and move onward.
CAROLINE: “N-O are the first two letters of ‘Not yet.’” If you’re trying to achieve something and the answer is “No,” don’t give up. Keep working toward your goal. Sometimes it just takes longer than you planned.
What have been some of your achievements that you are most proud of? Why?
ISABEL: Something we’re both proud of is the launch of our first book! It’s called Fizz Boom Bath! and it’s set to be published summer of 2018. In it, we tell our story and we include 100 recipes for bath bombs and other bath and body items you can make yourself.
CAROLINE: One of our bath bombs is called the Earth Bomb. We donate money from the sale of each Earth Bomb to ocean cleanup efforts. We’ve donated tens of thousands of dollars to several different organizations thus far. We also donate bath bombs to organizations that support critically ill kids and teens.It feels really good to give back.
Anything else additional you want to tell our readers?
CAROLINE: People always say, “Wow- you’re so lucky! How did you become so successful?” The answer? HARD WORK. First of all, yes, we got lucky because we came up with a really good product. But when we decided our hobby was going to be our business, we gave it 110% every day, and we’re still doing that today.
ISABEL: You can have the most amazing idea in the world, but it won’t be successful unless you work every day to make it happen.