Meet The Disruptors: Andrea Lisbona Of Touchland On The Five Things You Need To Shake Up Your Industry

An Interview With Fotis Georgiadis

Focus — Don’t lose sight of what you’re trying to accomplish — always keep your eye on the prize, no matter the obstacles that come your way and can distract you.

As a part of our series about business leaders who are shaking things up in their industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Andrea Lisbona.

Andrea Lisbona is a millennial entrepreneur and Barcelona native, set out to disrupt the stale hand sanitizer industry with her innovative brand, Touchland, aimed at elevating everyday experiences, which has been in the works for more than a decade. Inspired by great innovators and the marriage of 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 now come in fourteen reformulated and elevated amazing scents.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?

I come from an entrepreneurial background, so naturally I always knew this career path would be for me. I came to the US in college and saw how many people use hand sanitizers, but at the same time, the experience was awful! The goopy, sticky formulas smell terrible (like cheap vodka or tequila) and dry out your skin — I kept thinking, “how is something that people use every day such a bad experience?” I quickly realized the hand sanitizer market was ripe for disruption; this is a category that had consistently grown for 20+ years with zero innovation or creativity. There was a clear opportunity to elevate this everyday experience from a necessary evil to a pleasurable ritual.

Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?

Touchland is the first hand sanitizer that gives you a beauty experience. The packaging was very strategically designed to be both functional and visually appealing, the formula is a skin-moisturizing spray (not a goopy gel) with zero stickiness, and the products come in a variety of elevated scents such as Pure Lavender, Blue Sandalwood, Beach Coco and more. This year, we also introduced the Glow Mist Rosewater Hand Sanitizer, the first skincare-infused hand sanitizer to nourish and renew the appearance of your hands.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

One of my funniest mistakes happened while presenting on national television in Barcelona for international handwashing day on May 5th, 2014. I was presenting our dispenser and demonstrating how it works. I had to remove the cartridge and ended up putting it in the wrong way. When it came time to present nothing actually dispensed, so to make it look like I didn’t mess up, I had to pretend to rub the product into my hands. Ever since then I always ensure that that anything I’m using is working and I know how to use it before a presentation.

We all need a little help along the journey. Who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?

I really look up to Steve Jobs and Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel as innovators who managed to marry great design with functionality. Both superb visionaries challenged the norm and created brands that have grown and sustained a reputation that continues to flourish in their absence. I strive to create a brand with brilliance that can excel into a trailblazer.

In today’s parlance, being disruptive is usually a positive adjective. But is disrupting always good? When do we say the converse, that a system or structure has ‘withstood the test of time’? Can you articulate to our readers when disrupting an industry is positive, and when disrupting an industry is ‘not so positive’? Can you share some examples of what you mean?

Disrupting an industry is always a positive attribute once you are making a positive impact in society. A positive disruptor will always change the way we think of things, uprooting traditions and paving the way for reinvention. If you are causing harm or adding to the issues already at hand, this can lead to a negative disruption. If you innovating in a category where you are not needed or if your consumers are uninterested, then you need to find another option that will work. It takes years to dedicate time and patience to research to truly understands the wants and needs of an industry to truly disrupt it.

Can you share five of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Please give a story or example for each.

  1. Perseverance — no matter what, you are going to go through lots of challenges on your journey. Having been in entrepreneurial family and going from having everything to losing everything when I was young is what keeps me on track and helps motivate me.
  2. Passion — when I first pitched my idea to the general director of my business school, who happened to be the first woman to be leading that institution, she wrote a blog post afterwards saying “Andrea had fire in her eyes.” It’s important to make sure that whatever you end up persuing in life you do it with drive, and you do it with immense passion — you’ll end up with success.
  3. Adaptability — If it’s one thing I learned is that there are going to be unexpected circumstances. You have to be flexible, sometimes thinking quickly on your feet, to navigate through changes, ebbs and flows. Keep in mind that there is always more than one way to reach your destination.
  4. Focus — Don’t lose sight of what you’re trying to accomplish — always keep your eye on the prize, no matter the obstacles that come your way and can distract you.
  5. Instinct — trusting your gut to follow your dreams against what other’s say. Believe in your dream and follow that instinct to make it into a reality.

We are sure you aren’t done. How are you going to shake things up next?

We are continuing to expand our portfolio of Power Mist scent options, which our audience is always excited for. On social media, the top question is always “what scent is next?” After the success of our first collaboration with Disney, we are lining up some really fun and exciting new collabs later this year and early next year. We are also currently looking at other categories for innovation. Touchland is not slowing down anytime soon!

Do you have a book, podcast, or talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us? Can you explain why it was so resonant with you?

One of the books that I’ve read that’s really resonated with me is Principles by Ray Dalio. I really liked learning his principals on what and how to become the next Steve Jobs of finance. As an inspiration of mine, it’s great to learn how others are also looking towards him for guidance on how to become the next big thing.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Always remember the bigger picture. When it comes to launching a brand, or anything you set your mind to, there will be so many ups and downs along the way. You will face many challenges, but it’s important to come back and remind yourself of why you started in the first place.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I would love to spark a movement where we’re able to transfer everything we’ve learned and share that with other aspiring founders without asking for anything in return. Being a founder is an invaluable lesson, so I’d love for us to come together and teach them how to survive financially, offering pro-bono entrepreneurship master classes. How rewarding would it be investing in others without asking for their investment in return.

How can our readers follow you online?

Follow me at @andrealisbona on Instagram and TikTok!

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

Meet The Disruptors: Andrea Lisbona Of Touchland On The Five Things You Need To Shake Up Your… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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