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1. What problem is your business solving and/or how is your business making life better for its customers? What is your product?

PurePitz is an all-natural certified organic deodorant that neutralizes body odor. As our bodies age, our body pH changes, and so does our body odor. For example, when women go through menopause, there is an endocrine shift, a decline, and a fluctuation. Most of my background is in skincare, and I see the same trend in skincare. Women who are in perimenopause or going into menopause actually get acne again. It is a whole-body endocrine shift that’s very normal for so many people. Some can fly through it, but others do not. Each person has their own blueprint.

My skincare clients began asking me if I could make something that could neutralize body odor without using toxic ingredients.

Traditionally, deodorants are aluminum-based, but aluminum is a known neurotoxin that has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease and certain kinds of cancers. Armpits are highly lymphatic areas. Aluminum creates disturbances and blocks sweat glands, which is unhealthy. When we perspire, we want to neutralize odor, but not block the sweat.

Sourcing sustainable ingredients was key. My criterion was to make a deodorant with only wildcrafted or organic ingredients. “Clean and green” was important to my consumers and me. I wanted to create an all-around conscious product from certified organic ingredients, inside and out, right down to the BPA-free packaging. That’s how I ended up developing PurePitz from a time-honored recipe. It’s a feel-good product that’s simple, safe, and effective.

 

2. What obstacles have you faced in your business/endeavor?

Whenever I create something, I look around to see what everybody is doing, and then I do the opposite. I kept seeing these big containers of deodorant on the shelves and thought to myself, “How long will it take someone to go through that?” It could be a year or even longer. That’s when I decided to formulate a concentrate and keep it small—small enough to travel with or throw in your gym bag. And because it’s a concentrate, you only need a little dab. People didn’t understand that in the beginning. Just a few swipes will do. Now we’re nine years in the making, and people get why it’s so small and why it’s expensive (it’s only about $3 a month).

A stick of PurePitz lasts about four to six months, and I am an avid exerciser. And I have heard the same thing from people all over—that it lasts so long. The size is deceiving, and it’s one of the biggest hurdles.

 

3. What insights have your setbacks taught you?

When I partnered with Whole Foods, I started doing mass distribution in about 80 stores. I ended up becoming one of the top ten Whole Foods vendors in the country and was featured in magazines like “Well and Good” and “Prevention.” Amazon also inquired about Pure Pitz, but on that scale, it changed the nature of the product and that small, organic local vendor feel. As a lone sole proprietor, I was constantly dealing with people losing orders, and Whole Foods requested a lot of free samples. It was a difficult decision, but I pulled out of Whole Foods and went totally online with my website and on Amazon. Amazon is hard for me because you aren’t allowed to communicate with your clients or consumers—and I’m all about the opposite. I want to be able to talk to my consumers about what they like and what they don’t like.

 

4. What have you learned about managing people and tools to engage your team?

It’s just me. I run this business by myself. I did have an assistant and a graphic designer and such, but we all had other businesses, too. It’s been hard to devote the time that I would like to spend. I just started outsourcing different people who are good with copy and social media. I can’t be good at everything, nor do I want to be. I need to stay with my passion, and that’s creating a product and the education behind it. That’s where I keep myself strong. It is hard to manage my time. My other work is very physical and mental.

 

5. What tools have you used to grow professionally?

I use Instagram often because of its visual platform and storytelling feature. Sharing a story is an easy way to get something out there, and it’s something we can all do. Social media has been helpful, but it’s not a solution. There’s a fine line with it. And you constantly have to be ahead of the curve. I’m not sure what the best tools are, but I do have a steady base that found me in Whole Foods.

 

6. Have you ever used a career or life coach?

I have, and it was incredibly beneficial. I was 28 years old and met this woman, Michealita Quinn; she was fabulous. She taught me so much about how to create a business, how to take charge, and how to represent myself. She was caring and non-judgmental. Today there is so much pressure to produce, but you need to be careful because it can be really easy to lose sight of what you are doing and why you are doing it. You have to know your passion and stay with it.

 

7. How do communication and technological innovations affect your business and the success of your product?

I don’t quite know yet what the best avenue is, Facebook, TikTok, or Snapchat. People have different experiences with all of them. I am still navigating through which avenue is the best to find my customers. I do know that SEO isn’t the right path. I wasted a lot of money there, and it told me very little about my business.

I am still trying to determine what is driving traffic to my website. I just hired a social media team to engage in the areas where I am not as strong.

 

8. What are some business successes you’ve had that make you proud?

I find immense success in creating a product that is obtained from nature. We’re using nature’s bounty. I am also proud of my dedication to the practice of meditation because it really helps to inspire and enhance everything that I do. And it supports my creativity.

 

9. What are your biggest sources of inspiration?

Nature—it’s ever present. It is always evolving and inspires me to continue my product development, research, and formulas. Meditation has also been an incredible source of inspiration for me. Once you’re still, you can really begin to unlock your code for greatness. Everyone has that stillness and yearning within them. It’s all about being able to access it. You need to be able to cleanse your negative thinking and gain clarity.

Being still lets you restore your self-concept and discover your true nature. It’s something I teach—living a luminous life. Being able to liberate myself from the self-doubt that is just part of being an entrepreneur was everything. It’s an opportunity to grow beyond that and connect to something bigger. It sounds cliché—harnessing and enlivening the body, mind, and spirit. But it’s all about amplifying the call that excites your spirit—what takes residence in your soul.

I think I became a creator of beauty. At first, I was doing external work on people with skin and body care. Then my practice evolved and turned inward to focus on insight and balance.

 

10. What are some of your current challenges?

It’s figuring out marketing and social media since I only have one product. But many people have one product and find great success. Funding is also tricky.

 

11. What was the best and worst piece of advice you have received as you were starting your business?

The worst piece of advice was not even to try to do it. But I was like, “Watch me.” And then, I became a top ten vendor at Whole Foods. The best advice I received was to stay with my passion. I am passionate about this product and proud that I created something natural and healthy. So, the best advice: Never give up.

Date of Conversation: January 21, 2020