When you can’t get an idea out of your head and spend every waking minute wondering if it could work, you start to consider the possibility!

Even though I already had two freelance-type businesses going, when Michelle, my late sister, suggested we start to sell the sugar scrub I was making for myself, I couldn’t get the idea out of my head.

The thought of it was constantly saying “hello”. I would be at a client or in the middle of a phone call and would think of selling scrub. I would be out for dinner with friends and would ask them what they thought about scrubs in general, sugar in particular.

Michelle even called me in the middle of a meeting to announce she had the perfect name, Scrubz Sugar Scrub. I had to agree with her. It was simple and definitely to the point.

I took what I learned from past businesses and applied it to Scrubz. But then we had a few happy accidents

My background in graphic design had me working on a label and setting up the website pretty quickly after we decided to make a go of it. I overdesigned the label and had the clunkiest website but it was something.

Early website design

So granted, I worked hard and put in lots of grunt work, time, hours, sweat, love, and tears. But, life has a funny way of putting things in our paths, and 3 major “accidents” are one of the reasons Scrubz had the chance to grow.

Accident number one was a product we had no intention of making. We sold at vendor fairs, holiday boutiques, and craft shows. At one craft show, I met a soap maker who had been selling for quite some time. She took a liking to Michelle and me. She heavily recommended we make a cream or lotion to compliment the scrub. I kept thinking of this as a hobby, so I did not intend to create other products besides the scrub.

She said that since we already had a good blend of oils, we just had to “add butter”. We took her advice and chose Shea. Balmz and Lipz were born. 

Another happy accident happened in Las Vegas on vacation. The hubby and I went to a casino near our hotel. It was early so it was pretty empty. I noticed a guy playing at the next table who looked familiar.

I realized he owned a chain of salons on Long Island and because he was the face of their ad campaign, I knew exactly what he looked like. I introduced myself and told him about Scrubz. He told me to call the spa buyer. I created 3 signature scents for them and I spent 2 years doing demos and selling at all of their 12 salons.

His buyer, Samantha, also gave me the best advice. She said, “I love the scents, the texture of the sugar, and the ingredient list, but make it a little less oily”. Those words changed our recipe just enough to make the difference.

The third accidental journey of growing ScrubzBody larger than I had imagined started with a fundraiser.

A little background: One of my previous ventures was an adult education startup that a former client had created. I did the graphic design work and some of the marketing. I had suggested we donate a few classes to those in need, but my partners did not want to donate classes until we had started making money. So, when I started ScrubzBody, giving back was part of our mission statement.

I had breast cancer survivor friends, so we hosted a fundraiser for Komen NYC, at my home, within 4 months of incorporation. My house was filled with vendors who paid a small fee and who were donating 10% of their earnings back. We raised $1400.

We created a lavender/pear scent called PinkNYC which donated net proceeds back to KomenNYC as well.

Now follow along here…

a) The charity scent/fundraising event was mentioned in a local newspaper.

b) The sister of the editor of that publication just happened to be a buyer for a local chain of natural markets.

c) She called me directly and invited me in.

When I started selling to the Wild by Nature chain, I did demos at the store like I was doing at the salon.

One of the employees had worked at Whole Foods before this job and suggested I call our local Whole Foods beauty care buyer. There was a budget for hyper-local products that did not need to go through the regional corporate buying office but could go store by store.

Nina, of the Jericho store, brought our product in. Then Mandy at Manhasset and Josie at Lake Grove. And so on and so on until we were in about 19 stores up the NE region. By then I had registered with the NE Corporate Offices, but it all started with the one.

And it all started from wanting to give back

We needed to move out of my garage/hallway/storage shed

I needed to move out of my house because the raw materials and made products were stacking up and my family was not happy with overflowing boxes all over the house. I’m being gentle with my words here…they were not. LOL

We found a small place that served as our manufacturing space and a shipping location. But suddenly local customers wanted to pick up their order rather than have us ship it so we created a retail shop. Michelle and I decorated the place to be more store-like and started our Make Your Own Scrubz Parties there.

After 3 years we grew out of that place and into our next store which was double in size.

The first landlord was most definitely not pleased when we moved, as she painted over that banner before the truck left the parking lot. LOL

After 3 more years in Bethpage, we had the chance to move to a brand new space in a hot, hip, and growing town, right next door, Farmingdale.

We jumped at the chance and built our dream store.

I am still amazed some days that all these years later, an idea that started at my kitchen table is now almost 18 years old.

We have shipped to all 50 states, Canada, The Netherlands, the UK, and even Sydney, Australia. 

We were on Bravo TV on the Sell it Like Serhant Show (they only gave him one season, but we were the finale!) I was on the Dr. Oz show for a steamed tea facial technique. ScrubzBody (or myself) has been written about in over 100 publications.

I guess when I think about it, I did want to make something or do something that would make people feel good, but I never thought I knew how. So when ScrubzBody “found me”, I just kept going and never looked back.

I loved being excited to go to work then and I still do.

Scrubz also gave me the amazing opportunity to do something with my late sister and even my parents who would help whenever they could. Whether it was labels on jars or schlepping sugar, they were there for us. We were a truly family business.

Wendy, my bestie since 1977 who is now my full-time VP/Manager since Michelle passed, would help out back in the day whenever we needed an extra set of hands.

I am not only an accidental entrepreneur but a lucky one as well.