Skincare lovers, particularly in Dallas, have likely stumbled upon a Fitish Instagram post at some point in the past couple of years. Their page is filled with beautiful, dewy complexions and minimal, streamlined packaging. If the brand doesn’t ring a bell, the name Jenna Owens probably does. The longtime Kidd Kraddick Morning Show host-turned-CBD entrepreneur is very much the face of Fitish, and holds just as much of a presence behind the scenes of the Dallas-based company.
Fitish is the organic result of Owens’ love for wellness, as well as her refreshingly realistic take on the subject. When Kidd Kraddick callers would ask how the radio host stayed fit, she’d respond simply, “No, I’m fit-ish. I’m balanced-ish. I’m all of these ishes,” Owens recalls.
Inspired to help other working women transition easily from a workout to work or drinks, she launched Fitish’s first product, a CBD facial mist called “Tone Down,” which debuted alongside the “Dewing It” moisturizer, an addictive cream that once sold out for three full months.
Owens’ mission became clear. “It became important to me to start creating products that fit in — affordably — to the active person’s lifestyle,” she says.
Fitish has since added a variety of high quality CBD-infused beauty products, including a lip treatment (“Lip Game”), cooling eye cream (“Roll Model”), CBD sheet masks, a hair plumping serum, and — as of today — energy ampoules called “Peak Effect.” This year, Fitish plans to launch 13 new products, many of which are guided by feedback from the community Owens has organically cultivated online.
“I am such a firm believer in this space, and there are so many things I want to do. So let’s say we have five things in mind, but we keep getting requests for one. We’ll fulfill that,” Owens says. “What a cool world that we live in, that you can get real-time feedback from customers. That’s something we really plan on exploring in 2021.”
Founder Jenna Owens talks with PaperCity about her Fitish journey, the aha moments along the way, and her thoughts on transparency in the beauty industry.
Fitish originally started as a workout program. How did you branch into the CBD skincare world?
Jenna Owens: When I was on the radio, I knew I wanted to start a business. I wanted to parlay my love of wellness into something, but I wasn’t sure exactly what that was. It’s always important for me to convey that because I think a lot of people say, “Well, I want to make a change and feel more fulfilled, but I don’t know what to do.” And I always say, “You don’t have to know exactly what you want to do.” Sometimes you open a door and end up in a completely different place than you anticipated. That’s kind of how Fitish was for me.
I decided I wanted to do something in the wellness space because I was passionate about it. But I wanted to be realistic. I wanted this sort of balance, right? I started with merchandise, a blog, and these 30-minute workouts, but quickly realized I don’t necessarily like working out that much. Then one day, I was at a Dallas gym locker room and had this realization. There were all these products, but nothing for what women were really doing, which was just freshening up and going back to work or on to the next thing.
So, I started playing around with CBD topically, and with other cooling elements like peppermint, coffee, and of course caffeine to create this on-the-go spray. I get horrible rosacea. I shouldn’t even say it’s just when I exercise — like, it’s so bad. I look like a tomato. But the spray worked really well. It would tone my redness after 30 minutes, I could spray it over makeup to freshen up, and I just loved it.
The CBD industry is bit like the Wild West. Was it difficult to find a lab to formulate products?
I was lucky, because a lot of skincare manufacturers and labs are based in North Texas, so I was able to explore that here. But I mean, I got turned down by almost every lab I went to. I was beating down doors saying, “Hey, I want to make skincare.” “Okay, what’s in it?” “CBD.” “No, we don’t do that.” I had to be very persistent, which is old news when you’re an entrepreneur, but it’s true.
What skills do you think you’ve carried with you from your radio career into Fitish?
I would say it’s customer interaction. We live in a time where people care very deeply about who’s behind their product. Sure, we buy brands that we’ve been loyal to and you don’t necessarily know who runs it. It could be a very rich, male CEO that we don’t even know. But, I think that brands that are doing better these days are ones where you have these female founders and they’re taking you into the lab and pulling back the curtain. You get to see the process and the struggle. You get to see everything that goes into it, and it’s just that much more fascinating. I think you build more brand loyalty that way because people are invested in your journey.
I respond to almost every question that the brand gets. It’s super important that we respond within a day to every single issue. I think that kind of interaction is very important in keeping a customer around.
What have been your aha moments since launching Fitish?
We’ve had a few of those now, but I would say the biggest aha moment, and when I knew Fitish would become my primary focus, was when I got a message about two years ago from a woman whose mother was dealing with breast cancer. She had really horrible burns form the radiation she had recently gotten. I had only been selling the “Tone Down” spray for about six months, so I sent her a free bottle. I was honest and said, “I don’t know if this will work, but I’d love your feedback either way.” 48 hours later she sent me photos and those radiation burns just… they had almost completely dissipated. It was such an emotional message from her and her mother, and we’re still in touch. Her mom is doing great now, which is wonderful.
We’ve had a few of those types of stories since then, and [Fitish has] kind of taken this turn from being a fun side hustle to becoming this very fulfilling business. But it also makes me feel like, how do convince people that CBD skincare is amazing? How do we get regulation in this space and weed out people who don’t really have any CBD in their product? You can’t tell people it will heal you, but you just hope people tell their friends.
Botox, filler, and aesthetic procedures are so popular in Dallas. As a beauty entrepreneur, how do you feel about that topic?
I am very pro. I’ll be honest and say that I don’t get it all done all the time, but I have tried it, because I think that’s part of doing research. I’ve done weird lasers and the facial where they use your own blood. I’ve gotten Botox and filler. I’ve tried things. I am trying to move away from it a little now that I own a skincare business, because I want people to see my natural skin. But I am over the shaming of women with plastic surgery and injectables, because, who cares?
I believe in transparency. What frustrates me is when you own a skincare company and you get [Botox and filler] and you’re not honest about it, and you say your products do it. I just believe in being honest about it.