By: Rashida Ashley
Photography: Antwon Maxwell
Building a multi-million dollar brand is both a dream and a goal many hope to achieve. For Samia Gore, hope turned into action. Gore’s brand Body Complete Rx has reached incredible heights, particularly after the launch of its TRIM line products to 700 Vitamin Shoppe locations, making this company the first Black female-owned wellness brand to launch in the retailer’s weight management category.
Body Complete Rx is the first lifestyle and wellness brand of plant-based and vegan supplements formulated by Gore, a black female nutritionist, to break significant ground in the highly competitive, male-dominated industry. The launch of products such as the Vitamin C serum, collagen-boosting powder, men’s multivitamins, and superfood bars has impacted Gore’s brand to gross over $10 million in sales in under four years.
To have such an impressive impact in the health industry begs the question as to why this CEO was so determined to make Body Complete Rx happen. In this chat, we learn what inspired her to work towards the success of her brand, the lessons learned along the way, and any tips Gore has for the entrepreneurs out there who are just starting out.
What did life look like for you prior to your weight loss journey and what motivated you to embark on it?
I’m 40 years old today. I’ve been on a few weight loss journeys over a lifetime because of my fluctuating weight. In the beginning, I never learned how to live a healthy lifestyle. I would go on crash diets and go on a cycle of losing and gaining weight. Before I started my brand Body Complete Rx, life looked like a “yo, yo” of weight loss ups and downs. This is why I embarked on my journey to start my brand, and just curate a healthy lifestyle. So, my lifestyle is totally different than what it had been before.
What was the point in your weight loss journey that made you want to help other women who were going through the same struggles that you were facing? How does that period of time influence where you are now?
I noticed that a lot of women were like me. A lot of women were having trouble with controlling their appetite. I had the same issues when it came to just really managing my weight, especially when I started my brand at 35 years old. Our metabolism is slower for women in my age range, so when I started using my own products, people saw that it worked for me. They began to use it as well and saw that it worked for them too. I think that the most encouraging factor for people who decided to try our brand and our product was the actual results and using a product that was really working for them versus going through a number of products that really didn’t work, like I had. Most products are not plant-based or are too stimulating or whatever the case may be. To be able to discover and develop a product for our consumers that is plant-based and to help them reach their goals has been really great.
Becoming an entrepreneur was something that you had to learn on your own. What are some key mistakes you’ve made as you built your brand while using social media?
I don’t know if this was to my detriment or to my benefit, but I will say one of the things that I didn’t do before, and have been doing as of late, is really putting myself in my brand. Originally, when I started my brand it was a community that followed me for one purpose. I grew my brand outside of myself as opposed to making it more personal about my journey and goals. However, things have been different in 2021. I’m more present in my brand. People can see me, read more about me on our website, and reach out to me on my own personal social media – which is something in the past that I hadn’t done. I think being more present does benefit the consumers. They want to know who you are and see the person behind the brands that they love. So, I get it. And I think sharing my personal life with our consumers has contributed to our brand growth.
What are some tips you’d give to someone who is still working in a day job?
Don’t quit your day job. I worked my day job for over a year and was making my annual salary on a monthly basis in my business before I left my day job. I was able to really grow my business comfortably because I knew that I still had my day job. I knew that at the minimum my lights were going to stay on, my mortgage was going to be paid, and I was going to have a car to drive around in while I was building this brand. If anything was to fold I would always have the comfort of having that day job. People think that when they start a business, they have to quit their day job. To that, I say the contrary. If you can balance having a day job and working your side hustle at night, which is what I did for over a year, then I encourage and recommend it so you can grow your business with an open mind and know that the business you’re growing is not going to take out your personal finances or assets.
What were some of the ways you found support as you built your brand and how do you navigate utilizing the support given while at the same time maintaining your own power and self-reliance?
I’ve received support from a lot of places, from strangers, through social media, friends, and family along my journey. As the brand has grown exponentially, I think that a lot of my friends and family see what I’m doing and what my goals are. I really have a clear understanding that this is not just about a supplement. I’m literally growing a brand that’s changing lives, which is something that is so dear and near to me and super impactful. So, all the support I have received has fostered the person I am today; knowing who I am, standing strong within my brand and knowing that it’s really doing a good thing here.
Looking back on when you first embarked on your journey as an entrepreneur, what is the first thing you would say to your past self if you were your own mentor and what is the primary resource you’d recommend to yourself that would’ve better assisted you in starting your business?
I would say to myself, keep going. People who follow my personal page understand that I’m very strong on my faith and belief, so I put that in everything. I would tell myself, keep going, and no matter what, God has got you. A lot of times I look back on building a business and realize that I’ve missed a lot of its great successes. I would tell myself to stop and smell the roses. I built a multi-million dollar brand by myself, with no money, no investors, bootstrapped it this far, and it’s only been this year that I’ve stopped to congratulate myself. In the past, I would beat myself up. So, I would say to entrepreneurs, my younger self, or my younger entrepreneurs, â€˜keep going.’ You know, God’s got you, don’t stop. Things may not be perfect in the beginning, but you’ll get there. Even today there are certain things and elements in my brand that still need to get done. I just finished a full rebranding in December. I’m already looking at my packaging like there’s still a little bit more I want to do to it, so it’s always an ever-changing process being an entrepreneur. There’s always going to be something. So, I would say to myself, stop, appreciate where you’ve been, embrace your future, and look to where you want to go because it’s coming.