Amazon Helped me Climb Out of Corporate Culture and Become an Entrepreneur

Amazon Helped me Climb Out of Corporate Culture and Become an Entrepreneur
November 28 11:03 2016 Print This Article

Becoming an entrepreneur has been a real dream come true for me.  In the 7 years prior to that which I spent with my head buried in corporate culture, I simply had no idea what I was missing. I always had an interest in marketing and enjoyed the challenge of developing creative solutions that would connect brands with new customers. During my time with Starbucks, I went from serving coffee to customers in the morning to becoming a brand manager. It was my responsibility to relaunch the Tazo and Seattle’s Best Coffee brands and collaborate with business unit partners and deliver solutions that met all stakeholder needs. While I enjoyed every second of it, the most enjoyable moments were the ones when I handed a customer their coffee and saw them smile. Being able to catch a quick two-minute conversation with them and knowing that I gave them a delicious piping hot latte to start their day was priceless. As I climbed the ladder of success the distance between my work and the customer kept growing bigger and bigger. Along with that came more “crunch time” responsibilities and deadlines that would keep me in the office much later than I had wanted to be.
In 2012 I was determined to explore other opportunities and I said good bye to my career at Starbucks. With no job offer in hand or even a clear idea of what I was going to do, I set out to find my next opportunity. As the dust began to settle, my vision of what I wanted began to crystalize. I needed an opportunity that would allow me to be in control of my own time and even more importantly, that would put me directly in touch with the customer. However, all the friends I spoke with were also in some form of corporate business and after many days, weeks and months I still had no business to start, product to sell or service to offer. I knew I had the fundamentals of building and marketing a business, but without finding a pain point to solve all of that was useless.

Sometimes the solutions you’ve been looking for are in your own backyard and for me that’s exactly what it was. While I was in high school I was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis which is an autoimmune disease that requires me to take consistent medication, which I’ve done on a daily basis ever since. One night before I went to bed and I routinely took my pills I realized, I wish I had a nice quality case to carry my pills in to help brighten this dreaded part of each day. My dad had given me a pill holder that I treasured for many years. Despite the stress of being sick, the pill holder, so durable and well made, gave me much needed inspiration. BAM- it hit me like a bolt of lightning! I knew how uncomfortable it was to carry around my medication and how embarrassing it was to carry those poor quality pill holders, but I had no choice. If I could create a stylish, discreet and most of all secure pill holder, I knew that was a pain point I could jump on. After my excitement calmed down a bit the reality set in and I knew that if I googled “pill holders” or “stylish pill cases” there were probably hundreds of people already selling these products, so I put the idea out of my mind and went to sleep.

The next morning, I decided to search online just to see what would come up and to my amazement no matter what phrase I googled, there was nothing!

Now I was absolutely convinced and determined to change the way people with chronic illnesses carry around their pills as they go about their day and that’s when Cielo Pill Holders was born. In March of 2013 I decided to test the market and see if people would really pay for a better quality and stylish pill holder. With less than $1000.00 I created a design and logo and ordered 200 beautiful pill cases. To my surprise more and more orders were coming in and I realized that this was going to be an absolute game changer. But how would I be able to reach the thousands and millions of pill takers?!

That’s when I turned to Amazon’s FBA (fulfillment by Amazon) program and within a matter of days’ orders kept growing and growing. Every day we saw thousands of people searching Amazon for “pill holders” “stylish pill cases” “quality pill holders” and since nobody else had created a solution, we had totally captured the market. Amazon handled every single aspect of the logistics for me and I spent all my time completely focused on perfecting the product. I named the company Cielo Pill Holders because Cielo means sky, and to me that reflected the ability to make anything possible. My goal was always to make sure that each person’s medicine fits seamlessly into their life and remove the stress and discomfort that millions of people experience who take medicine on a constant basis. What I didn’t realize at the time was how apprapo it was. I look back and realize that Amazon has totally made the sky the limit for my business. We now have our core functional stainless steel holders as well as our wider holders for people with diabetes taking glucose and our extra small holders for nitro glycerin pills for those who are at risk of a heart attack, and we’re about to launch our new slick and stylish Days of the Week pill case.

The greatest part of Cielo Pill Holders are the messages that are piling in. Every day someone sends me an email or leaves me a message describing how uncomfortable it was to have to carry around their pills. Cielo Pill Holders has helped people who were so stressed and embarrassed about the need to carry their assortment of pills because of their chronic illnesses and are now excited because they have an opportunity to carry around their beautiful and stylish pill holders. Because of Amazon’s seamless system, I’ve been able to fulfill my dream as an entrepreneur with complete control of my time and the pleasure of bringing excitement to millions of customers. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world! 

chris-boerner-pictureChristine Boerner is the founder and owner of Cielo, a collection of thoughtfully designed pill holders that offers a stylish, durable and portable way to carry pills. Her vision was born out of the desire to help people like herself who suffer from chronic illness lead their lives exactly how they want to – even if pills are a part of it. For Christine, taking pills has been a part of her daily routine for the past twenty-one years.At age 14, she was diagnosed with an autoimmune condition called Myasthenia Gravis that causes muscle weakness and fatigue. Without medication, Christine had trouble chewing, swallowing and even smiling. Pills soon became an integral part of her daily life, yet she recognized the burden of carrying and taking pills on the go. To help brighten this dreaded part of each day, her dad gave her a pill holder that she treasured for many years. Despite the stress of being sick, the pill holder, so durable and well made, served as an inspiration. It made Chris feel stronger and allowed her to dream of a world of possibilities unhindered by illness. With this in mind, she created Cielo for all those who have pills as a part of their day to inspire them to dream big and keep hope strong. Cielo offers a stylish and reliable way to carry pills that make a statement wherever you go. Each pill holder is meticulously designed and crafted with premium metals and finishes to deliver a stunningly beautiful product. The pill holders are made in the U.S. and are available in a several unique collections with varying sizes, designs and colors to reflect her customers’ needs and complement their personal style. Christine is committed to making a positive impact in the lives of her customers and the millions of others who suffer from chronic illnesses.