LITTIL is a line of quality lighting products founded by Maricia Magana, a social media influencer that has a background in celebrity social media. LITTIL produces amazing phone clip and standing ring lights that help make selfies better. These LED lights are high powered with adjustable control of the brightness level that enhances the quality of your selfies, videos, zoom or group shots. Celebrities like Jessica Alba, Kyle Richards, Teresa Guidice, Ali Webb and many more are fans of this brand.
Was it a lightbulb moment or gradual process of LITTIL?
The lightbulb moment for me was my time spent working with celebrities and influencers in my former career who were always looking for the perfect lighting when taking photos. There weren’t any portable options or smaller options available.
As influencers emerged, the need to always look your best became an increasing issue, as did the “selfie.” That’s where LITTIL, the portable selfie light that attaches to your phone, came into play.
How did you get your first three customers?
Influencers who loved taking selfies were our first customers. Our initial sales were made on Amazon.
How did you validate the idea?
We had a select group of 10 influencers come in and test over 50 different portable selfie lights and from there, they helped us narrow it down on their favorite ones.
Did you have any experience/expertise in the area?
I have expertise in working with celebrities and influencers. I first worked in promotions for them, a big part of that being pictures with fans. Right before starting LITTIL, I was in charge of Influencer Marketing at a big beauty company. All the influencers I worked with and collaborated with were in need of perfect lighting.
Have you raised any money? How much?
We are self funded but we did have a few people reach out to invest or buy once we hit a million in sales. Although we are still self funded, we are open to raising funding in the future.
What regulatory approvals did you have to go through?
Our products do use some batteries that need special approval. Our excellent product sourcer has helped us with that. Our brand is also trademarked.
Who is your target demographic?
When we started our company our focus product was the LITTIL Selfie Mini. At this time we did have a younger female demographic.
However, when the pandemic hit, our customer demographic changed to the ages 25-45. As people began working from home our lights became essential.
Our LITTIL Selfie One clip on ring light became very popular. This ring light clips perfectly on your laptop, home computer and iPad and gives business women that perfect glow.
How did you fund the idea initially?
My husband helped me fund this business.
Any tips for finding first employees?
The one mistake I made was not hiring experts for some of the core positions. The wrong hires can be costly. For important positions such as product sourcing, accounting etc., make sure you hire experts. For the creative side, I looked for those that are passionate about beauty and understood we are a growing company so that means wearing many hats. We have been fortunate to have some amazing women on our team.
Did you run any companies prior?
I’ve had several companies in the past over the years. In my early 20’s I had a female street team that I started with my sister, then we opened a clothing boutique in Beverly Hills. Most recently I helped my husband run his Advertising Agency.
What motivated you to start your own business?
It’s definitely in my blood, my mom has always been self-employed and I have always created opportunities when needing work.
It also helps that both my husband and I are CEOs so we understand the lifestyle.
What were your family and friend’s first thoughts on your company?
They were some of our first customers. I use my selfie light that clips on my phone for everything: all family & friends events, weddings and now taking photos of my baby girl.
What motivates you when things go wrong? What is the end goal?
My daughter is my motivation. Everything I do is for her and her future. My mother served as a perfect example of a great role model and I want to do the same for my daughter. She should know anything is possible.
Do you have any advice for someone just starting out?
Go for it! We always think of reasons why we CAN’T, but the world has changed. With platforms like Amazon and Etsy you can sell one item to start.
What has driven the most sales?
Amazon and Instagram have been big platforms for us. Now we are starting to really move into TikTok.
What is stopping you being 3x the size you are now?
Money and Time. You need it to scale and grow. It takes patience to build a business.
How do you protect yourself from competition?
We offer a higher quality product. We make sure to always have upgraded features so that we are a step ahead of the competition. We also offer resources to business owners to level up their business.
Do you have any trademarks/IP/patents?
Yes, we are Trademarked and have filed for different niches as well. We plan to expand.
What are the top 3-5 apps your business could not run without? Why are they essential?
Shopify, Amazon, Klaviyo. We are an Amazon first brand. We are looking at seller central 24/7. Shopify is what our store is run on and Klaviyo is the email marketing platform we use.
What are your favourite books?
“You are a Badass,” “The Magic,” and all the top marketing books.
What are your favourite podcasts:
“Masters of Scale” and “How I Built This”
What are the next products you’re working on?
We have 6 new products just in time for the holiday season. They are all complimentary to our current products
Are there any releases you can tell us about?
I am really excited about our product called “The Road Trip.” It’s a selfie stick/tripod. I have been using it for everything; Facetime, watching videos and taking conference calls.
Where do you see the company in 5 years?
I would like to be educating female small business owners on the tools to help get you started in conferences and workshops.
What is current revenue? If you don’t mind sharing...
Over 1 million dollars.
Would you ever sell?
We shall see.