When Katerina Larden Yoffe and her husband and business partner, Nisso—the duo owns Hey Honey, a “keep it simple,” minimal-step skin care line that utilizes bee propolis and honey in all its formulas—traveled from their home in Colorado to New York in the spring to attend the CEW awards, they had no idea what was in store.
As Yoffe recalls, while sitting at the awards luncheon, when it was time for the CEW & QVC Quest for Beauty award to be announced (the annual honor is given to a brand deemed as the next “ big thing ” in beauty, one with a story that QVC thinks will “resonate with their customers,” and the winner is featured on-air), she couldn’t help but think, “Wow, whoever wins this doesn't have a lot of time to get everything ready for the show!”
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As luck would have it, Hey Honey was called to the stage. “I was totally shocked,” Yoffe says. “I let all the worrying about getting the pieces together go to the wayside and enjoyed the rush. I enjoyed all the congratulations. Then Monday hit…”
Image/Hey Honey Skincare
Back in Colorado and with only two months before she was scheduled to appear on QVC for the first time, Yoffe was put to the task. “First, you have to decide exactly what product you want to go on QVC with. [The brand was tapped for two SKUs for its debut.] That's really hard. We have so much pride in all of our products and we think they’re all so great—they’re honestly like our children. That was definitely a process and we kept going back and forth with our decision.”
While Yoffe says the QVC buyer offered input, they eventually settled on going with the product they knew would be a hit because “customers purchase it by the dozen and no one ever returns it”—the Good Morning Honey Silk Facial Serum ($45), which has racked up more than 200,000 positive reviews online.
“Then we took a bit of a gamble and went with a newer product from the line. It’s very different and has a new technology that’s very unique. It caters to all skin types. I knew we couldn’t just say, ‘This cream is amazing! Believe me!’ You have to be able to back it up and solid technology helps you do that, especially on TV.”
Once the selection process was solidified, Yoffe had to fine-tune her core messaging. “It sounds so easy, but we could go on and on forever about the brand and its story and the products. Just talking about what the honey does is a full day! But you only have 10 minutes. You have a set limit. It’s difficult to figure out the most important points to cover in that time and, more importantly, it’s important to make sure your message is not going to be boring to the viewer.”
Of course, she wasn’t on her own. One flight to QVC headquarters in West Chester, PA, for a full day of training, and many nerves and practice later, it was time for the big show.
“The training process is serious. There’s a whole bunch of things you can and cannot say and there’s certain points you are encouraged to emphasize. QVC is very strict with that. You have to have the information and the clinicals to back up what you say, and you can’t give the ‘hard sell.’ Luckily, we have a tendency to underemphasize what our products can do, but having the information to back everything up is non-negotiable for being on-air.”
While Yoffe says the actual live segment was “all a blur,” she was incredibly pleased with the entire experience, the amount of product sold and—above all else—the buzz being on QVC gave the brand. She’ll appear back on-air in January.
“Next time I won’t stress so much about what to wear!” she jokes. “Plus, I know everything about the brand; I know what to say. The hardest part is just knowing what camera to look at.”