Did you know that there are literally hundreds, thousands of toxic chemicals that you are being exposed to on a daily basis? I really hate being the bearer of bad news, but in everything from air fresheners to cosmetics to bath and body products to cleaning products, there are so many chemicals we are exposing ourselves to, often without even knowing it. Our cleaning products are some of the worst offenders. From phthalates to triclosans to parabens and sulfates to ammonia and… words of chemicals I literally cannot pronounce. When we are exposed to these chemicals, they cause everything from hormone disruption to respiratory issues. They’re irritating to the skin, and at worst, they are cancer-causing. So many of these ingredients are unregulated and are causing incredible harm to people. My guest today saw this serious issue and wanted to do something about it herself. My guest this week is Michelle Smith, the founder and CEO of MamaSuds–an all-natural, safe, non-toxic, environmentally-conscious household cleaning products brand. I discovered MamaSuds this year and have personally fallen in love with their products. I knew I had to have Michelle come on the show so I could hear her story of how she started this phenomenal company. Hey, P.S. you can use the code SBM15 for 15% off your purchase from Mama Suds.
WHAT IS THIS MADE OF?
Michelle started her career as a teacher, but realized as she began having children that she wanted to do something else with her life (through she didn’t immediately know what). She did know that, despite not being very artistic, she always loved making new things. Then, one day during her pregnancy with her second daughter, she noticed a small bottle of baby soap lying on its side on the dresser. It had leaked. She went to wipe it off, and to her astonishment, the dresser’s finish came off with it. This sparked the question in her head: “What in the world is this made out of?” It was that question that changed her whole life.
MORE THAN A HOBBY
Michelle began doing research and realized that this “soap” she was using on her family, was not really soap at all. After much searching, she finally found an actual soap that she could use on her family safely. This new Castile soap could be used for so many different purposes–from bath time, to washing the bathroom, to washing the floors and walls. Michelle decided to make her own. She and her husband loved the first batch, and just kept on making it. From there, she began making laundry detergents, skincare products, cleaners, and more. Her husband suggested she try selling her goods, and they set up a site–starting a small hobby that grew into a full-fledged business that allowed her to leave her full-time job as a teacher.
A BIG SCARE
Things took a terrifying turn when Michelle received a phone call informing her that her husband had collapsed. When she joined him at the hospital, they learned a large mass had been discovered in his brain. The timing was even more terrifying considering she had just left her full-time teaching job. Amazingly, everything turned out wonderfully. The mass turned out not to be cancerous, and they count themselves to be extremely lucky. However, it was a huge wake-up call that she needed to make this business profitable so if anything ever did happen, they would be okay. Their health became their top priority, and her passion for her business was turned up a notch. She began networking, emailing, and teaching herself how to do everything necessary to run a business–turning it into the successful, sustainable company it is today.
About Michelle Smith, Founder & CEO of MamaSuds:
Researching and learning is at the core of Michelle’s soul and after learning about the ingredients in products she used on her family and home, Michelle taught herself how to make liquid soap. This new addiction turned into formulating a laundry soap that would clean her daughter’s cloth diapers. Friends, family, and co-workers enjoyed her soaps so much her husband built her a website and kept encouraging her to make it a business. Officially opening in January 2012, Michelle spent the next year and a half working full time as a teacher and making/selling her products in her spare time. After a life-altering health scare with her husband, who had a large brain tumor removed in August 2013, Michelle decided to stay home with her family and concentrate on MamaSuds; something that made her happy and fulfilled. This is when MamaSuds really started gaining traction. Michelle created lines of products that had simple ingredients that were safe and made from scratch in small batches. Today MamaSuds has been sold to customers in all 50 states, and over 9 countries.
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