katahdin stories

Candid input from my CEO peers helped me navigate COVID's impact
Chris Hobson
Rare Beauty Brands
President & CEO
Member since
“You get the most honest feedback you are going to get from a group. They have no vested interest in your business. They just want to see you succeed.”
In April of 2020, in the midst of the COVID pandemic, I was facing an uncertain future. When the pandemic hit, my business, Rare Beauty Brands, was selling skincare products primarily through large retailers. The company’s orders had dropped by 80% overnight. I wondered how long this would go on and what I could do to make sure the company didn’t go under.

I mapped out a plan to help his business weather the storm. But in such an uncertain world, this was an uncertain plan and I didn’t feel ready to bring it to my management team or board until I had more confidence it was the best path.  

As I wrestled, I brought the plan to my CEO Collective to receive the direct feedback that I’d come to count on. My peers supported some of the decisions I’d made and challenged others, providing me with some constructive ideas to focus in the near term to reduce expenses and cash preservation and begin to make the transition to a more D2C and Amazon focused world.

With these actionable ideas from the group, I was able to confidently present a plan that was 80% complete to my board and management team. The plan allowed me to reduce my near term expenses while positioning the company to move more efficiently through the pandemic and thrive as people spent more time at home on themselves.  

The input of my group allowed me to confidently move quickly to reduce my risks and take full advantage of the ecommerce opportunity to expand. Their timely input gave me the motivation and inspiration I needed at a very tough time for our business.

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