(EDITOR’S NOTE: The Knoxville Entrepreneur Center recently completed its “The Works 2020” start-up accelerator with seven participants. Over the next several weeks, we are spotlighting them in a series of articles. Today’s article features Jeremiah and Anna Barnett of Luxury LLC.)
Neither Jeremiah nor Anna Barnett is a native of East Tennessee. He moved here from California at 15 years of age, while she arrived in Knoxville in 2006.
Today, the couple operate a two-division virtual company named Luxury LLC that has already achieved an annual run rate of nearly $3 million in a little more than two years. The first part of the business was founded in March 2018 as a wholesaler that purchases popular beauty products and markets them to retailers. The newer division, founded last November, is a new brand creation with an initial product named Antifungal No.1. It is a 2.0-ounce cream.
“When I found the niche, she developed the product with our chemist,” Jeremiah says in describing the inaugural white label product that is a topical skin treatment with all-natural ingredients. There are eight or nine other products in development – two have release dates in October, and much of the intelligence that is helping them identify new opportunities comes from reading Amazon reviews
“Customers are telling us more about this product than we ever imagined,” Jeremiah says, adding, “As they talk to us, we are developing new products. The internet results in the buyer having all of the power.”
Both Barnetts have backgrounds in sales. Jeremiah served for about two years as Business Development Manager for Smart RIA after earlier stints as Territory Account Manager with Safe Money Group and Senior National Sales Executive with Answer Financial. Anna was born in Russia where she held several sales and marketing positions. After immigrating to the U.S., she was a Training and Development Leader at Answer Financial for 11 years.
In addition to her sales, marketing and training experience, Anna also brings to the new venture an entrepreneurial family history. She told us that her grandmother in Russia lived across the street from our equivalent of a farmers’ market where she developed a very successful onion and cucumber business. That was during the Communist era when traditional commerce was frowned upon.
“She was a very smart woman, and my father followed in her footsteps,” Anna said. “My family against all odds became very successful entrepreneurs.”
Today, Luxury LLC is truly a virtual business, established as such even before the COVID-19 pandemic sort of mandated that type of operation. The company’s six employees include buyers in Florida, the Relationship Manager with Amazon in the Philippines, an eCommerce Marketing Director in Indiana, and the Barnetts in Tennessee.
“We get the best talent we can regardless of where they are located,” Anna explains.