Momtrepreneurs Month: Scrubz
Years ago, when I lived in Manhattan, I purchased a natural skin scrub from a local vendor at a street festival that was like no other store-bought brand I’ve tried. It was a small jar, no packaging, handmade by the smiling woman who sold it to me. The body scrub was amazing and I scraped out every last bit from the jar and went on a hunt for another—or something equivalent.
I must say, in the eight years that have since passed, I have YET to find a body scrub similar….until now. When I first tried Scrubz, I knew it was drastically different than the others. It’s made with sugar and it’s not nearly as abrasive as the salt-based scrubs that can burn or irritate the skin.
After you scrub-a-dub-dub in gentle circular motions and rinse away the sugar, the remaining oils that are left on your skin makes it smooth as butter. (So soft, you can even shave after the sugar rinses away!) When my husband commented about how soft my shoulders were, I knew I was hooked. Hands down, the best body scrub I’ve ever tried. (And if you took a peek in my closet you’d see many misfit beauty products that fell short of their claims.)
Seriously, you’ll have the softest skin…ever.
I recently caught up with Roberta Perry, owner-developer of Scrubz, to learn more about how and why she decided to dive into the skin product market. Happy to learn she’s a local—living and working right here on Long Island.
I’m always fascinated by people who have a great idea, and take the steps to act on their dreams. Can you tell me a little about how you came up with idea of producing your own sugar-based skin softener?
Roberta: This is one of those businesses that literally started on the dining room table. I had tried about 25-30 different products over the course of about 5 years and knew that oil-based sugar scrubs offered the most benefits to my skin.
I became disenchanted with the lower priced products I had been using, either because they changed the formula or discontinued the scent I liked best or did not exfoliate enough, and the brands I liked best cost a small fortune. One day, while at a craft fair, I decided to buy some raw materials and just make my own. I had a fair amount of knowledge about natural oils, due to my having tried out so many samples, so I just started with those and kept on learning.
Because I was working already doing marketing and graphic design, I was not thinking about starting a new business, however, as soon as I gave some to my sister and a few friends, they all called and wanted more. My sister called all excited one day and said she had a perfect name, thus Scrubz was born. This was July of 2006.
We started really small, trying the eBay approach at first to limited avail. We were then invited to a few vendor night events and set up a table to sell and do demonstrations. The thing that really got us going was that 2 months after I started, I took a quick trip to Las Vegas, and I met the owner of Cactus Salons, a local salon group with multiple locations. The owner introduced me to his spa buyer.
Her input and feedback made me go back to the formula and tweak it just a bit more due to her comments. We created 3 signature scents for them, which launched our program of exclusive scents. We started doing demos in every salon and then grew from there.
Your family and friends–were they all supportive?
Roberta: My kids, siblings and parents were all incredibly supportive, offering help and feedback. My closest friends insisted on making the first purchases for themselves and also buying some extras to give as gifts. My hubby admittedly was a little nervous at first because of the time and money investment, but he came around quickly as he saw how things were going.
Did anyone call you a ‘dreamer’ and if so, how did you respond?
Roberta: Yes, lots, but I think it was more out of their own fears of the unknown. I have always been a dreamer, both in business and in life, and I hope I never stop. I believe that without dreams, where would we find our future goals? I told the more negative people that I would rather try something and fail than let the fear of not trying hold me back.
What were some of the biggest challenges at first in starting Scrubz?
Roberta: Finding the best and most effective way to spread the word, without breaking the bank, not just about our particular products, but about natural based skin care in general. It is still our greatest challenge.
Tell me about the beginning stages of building your business. Did you know right away you were really on to something with your formulation?
Roberta: When I first started making Scrubz, it was just for myself, my sister and a few friends, so there was no way I was putting all sorts of artificial preservatives, color or alcohol in. As I played around in the kitchen, it started to resemble a few of the store bought kind and so I knew it was good. It was not until I went back and tweaked the formula and started to whip the scents in, that I knew we hit gold.
What one of the biggest compliments you’ve received so far?
Roberta: Well, when you told me that it was the best scrub you had used in 10 years, that made me smile! Others have said:
“Since using Scrubz, I spend more time in the shower than a teenage boy” – Kim
“I wash my face with it and 2 minutes later, my skin feels like velvet. I keep asking my friends to feel how smooth my skin is now. Thank you!!” – Cathy
But the best overall compliment we get on a daily basis is that our products do what they say they do and do it so well.
Got any great skin-care tips to share?
Roberta: When I demo, I really like to offer good advice and a quick education about skin care along with the free hand scrub and I always stress the following best 4 things that you can do for your skin:
• Drink water, as we hydrate from the inside out.
• Wear UVA and UVB protecting sunscreen, even in winter, for protection from the sun’s harmful rays.
• Exfoliate to remove dead skin, open pores, increase circulation and stimulate muscle tone.
• Protect and moisturize skin.
Scrubz jars are packaged with a mixing scoop and ready for gift giving! www.scrubzbodyscrub.com or call 1.877. SCRUBZ 8