Meet Andrea Lisbona, the Founder and CEO of Touchland, a vegan and cruelty-free hand sanitizer that is paving through the industry!
In 2014 in Barcelona, Andrea decided to revolutionize the commoditized industry of hand sanitizers. She decided to take hand hygiene to a whole new level with a visionary team that had a sixth-sense for what was needed. In 2017, they decided to set up operations in the United States since this market represents 30% of the hand sanitizing global demand. They also partnered with Zobele Holding S.p.A., a multinational manufacturing company as a strategic partner for their growth.
Inspired by innovators such as Steve Jobs & Emily Weiss who married great function with great design, Andrea developed Touchland, a revolutionary brand of hand sanitizers that combine sleek, functional packaging with non-sticky, moisturizing, luxurious-feeling formulas that come in eight amazing scents.
Touchland has exceeded 2 million dollars in sales and have launched with brands like Ulta, Urban Outfitters, Revolve, Bloomingdales, and Amazon (thanks to their successful social media and digital marketing strategies) and is currently executing the next phase of their business: the launch of a B2B product for high-traffic locations, retail distribution and more.
Our Interview with Andrea Lisbona, the Founder and CEO of Touchland
What lead you to founding Touchland?
While hand sanitizers have played a key role in staying healthy on the go for decades, this industry hadn’t seen advancements in innovation for 20 years, only offering harsh, sticky formulas with a strong alcohol fragrance, leaving the skin dry. We wanted to disrupt that and create a solution to make people’s lives happier and healthier! With that in mind, when I was 24 years old, I began distributing hand sanitizer solutions from various brands to understand the market better. I learned the problems and the opportunities so I could ultimately improve everything from the inside.
Why are you passionate about Touchland? And what should people know about the company?
It really comes down to making people’s lives happier and healthier. There’s nothing better than seeing the authentic passion of our customers about the product. I also love seeing how everyone incorporates the products into their lives on social media, it’s so great to connect with the people who love the brand.
In addition to being passionate about making great products, we’re also passionate about giving back! We dedicate 5% of our profits through our touchlives initiative to send our sanitizing hygiene solutions to developing countries where there’s water scarcity (most recently, we have donated our hand sanitizers to frontline workers during the COVID-19 outbreak).
Tell us about your product development, and how you developed your scents.
Our consumer product, the Power Mist, comes in an Instagram-friendly spray package that leaves your hands soft, moisturized, and smelling great (there are eight fragrances to choose from, with more on the way!). We also have a commercial B2B unit, the KUB Hand Sanitizer Dispenser, which marries the best in technology with our award-winning formula.
With our first round of scents, we wanted to provide something for everyone; fragrance is such a personal experience, so what one person is obsessed with, another person will not like at all. We tried to provide a balance of fruity, herbal, and fresh scents. We also have a neutral option for those who prefer fragrance free.
Touchland has launched with a number of large brands – Amazon, Bloomingdales, Urban Outfitters, and Amazon. For entrepreneurs looking to get their product in front of larger retailers like this, what advice would you offer them?
You need to be extremely prepared. You need to not only understand everything about your own business, but also the marketplace in general. Retailers also need to feel confident that your product will sell in their stores or on their website, so you need to come prepared to show how you will drive that sell through in a meaningful way.
With everything going on in the world right now with COVID and the popularity of hand sanitizer, how has Touchland dealt with the massive increase in product demand?
At the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak in January, we had a very small component of our manufacturing in China. Rather than risk getting behind during a shutdown, we moved all of our manufacturing to North America so we could more closely oversee the process from start to finish. Once demand kicked in here, we worked closely with our manufacturing partner to ramp up production, increasing both the shifts of production as well as the number of shipments we received. After selling out in March and amassing a list of more than 34,000 orders, we are now back in stock!
What does your day-to-day look like, and what you love most about what you do?
No two days look the same for me. As an entrepreneur, your days already vary so much… but as the CEO of a hand sanitizer brand during the COVID-19 outbreak, the days are even more unpredictable! What I’ve noticed is that the highs and lows of owning and operating a business have come at a much more rapid pace. In the very same day, we might be dealing with a new supply chain concern that could endanger our business, then be celebrating an exciting moment like Kris Jenner posting about our brand on Instagram. You never know what is going to happen, and I love that!
What does success mean to you?
For me, success is making a positive impact on peoples’ lives. Similar to how Apple changed our lives forever with their products, it is the biggest honor to provide a solution that helps people to go through life healthy and happy. Success is the feeling I get every time I see a stranger in an airport, at a restaurant, or in the gym using Touchland. Success is not money or notoriety, it is the feeling of being part of people’s lives in a meaningful way.
How do you practice self-care?
First and foremost, spending quality time with my husband and our Schnauzers Chippy and Coco. We live in Miami, so on the weekends, we try to get on to the water as much as possible and enjoy the beautiful weather. When I need to unwind and take a break from the stresses of work, I’ll put on one of my favorite shows like Friends, Suits, or Money Heist on Netflix.
If you could go back and give yourself three pieces of advice when you first started Touchland – what would you tell yourself?
The first advice would be to follow your instinct! Anytime I’ve had a bad feeling about something or someone, I end up realizing my instinct was right (sometimes sooner, sometimes later).
My second piece of advice would be to not listen to people that do not share your vision.
Finally, find partners and team members that feel like family. In the end, it makes all the difference to work with people that truly respect and trust like family.
What single word or saying do you identify most with?
Passion. It’s the number one feeling that I exude when talking about Touchland. Touchland has been the biggest project of my life and my passion for it is undeniable.
I love the quote: “Do it with passion or not at all”. If you will do something, make sure to have a strong reason why you are passionate about it.
What’s next for you and Touchland?
We have a new product launching over the summer, and brand new scents coming later in the year. We also have plans for new beauty products in the works, so there’s a lot of exciting developments coming that I can’t wait to share!
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