Tuesday, March 17, 2015

INSPIRATIONAL WOMEN : CAITLIN GRUSSING


Photo credit:Wayne Jex
I know it's been a while since I've featured an inspiring woman (I'm surrounded by them all the time!), but better late than never. This time I got to chat with Caitlin who lives in very serene surroundings in Arkansas. She is the owner of Caitlin's Super Natural, a truly natural deodorant that's made of 100% botanical ingredients, is vegan & cruelty-free, organic, aromatherapeutic, environmentally sustainable, and it really works! Caitlin's Super Natural is a small company based in an off-the-grid, solar powered establishment overlooking a beautiful mountain valley. Just recently Whole Foods in Little Rock (AR) started selling her product which is a huge accomplishment. Congratulations are in order!

How did you get started with Caitlin's Super Natural?

I actually started making natural deodorant for myself. I think that’s one reason why I’ve been able to make a product that really works: I use it, so it has to be effective, or I won’t like it anymore! One day my husband and I were talking about my deodorant and how well it worked – we were actually in an airport on our way to China – and that’s when we realized that this would be a great product to sell. I had wanted to start a business for years but hadn’t found an idea that I could go forward with. I felt like this deodorant was unique, effective, and healthy, so I knew I could feel good about selling this product.

Where did the idea come from?

Just like so many people, I wanted to use a truly natural deodorant -- one that was aluminum free, of course, but also free of any other harsh ingredients. I tend to think that the best health insurance is being careful about what we put in and on our bodies. For years, I had been reading ingredients lists of deodorants carefully and trying those that looked good, and I just couldn’t find a healthy deodorant that really worked. So, I decided to make my own!
What was the most defining moment in your career to date?

It took me a few years to develop the natural deodorant that I’m currently selling. I did lots of research regarding ingredients and my husband and I tried many variations in order to fine-tune the product. Then I sent the best ones to lots of friends and family around the country so that they could them try out and send me feedback. I’m so grateful to all of them for their help! I was so amazed that after all of that testing, we had one clear winner: everyone who had a preference liked the same variety the best. I couldn’t have asked for better results; because everyone liked the same one, it made it clear that this deodorant really does work.

What inspires you?

I am totally inspired every time someone emails me or leaves a review saying how much they like this natural deodorant. The thing about making deodorant is that it really has to work, because if it doesn’t, it is very obvious, even after just one day! So I get really inspired every time someone says that they like this product; all of the positive feedback makes me really happy to be providing a product that people like!

What are your favorite things to do in your free-time?

I spend a lot of my time volunteering for a non-profit meditation retreat center, and go to retreats and weekly meditations there as well. Other than that, I love going for walks in the woods, gardening, just relaxing and looking out over the Ozark Mountain valleys, watching movies, reading, and cooking good meals to enjoy with my husband. And, sometimes we go rafting or kayaking on the Buffalo River!
A view from the deck where the products are made / Caitlin at Whole Foods Little Rock, Arkansas.
Where would you like to travel and why?

I love swimming, looking out over the ocean, and relaxing on warm, sandy beaches. The next time I get to pick a vacation just to relax, anywhere there is a beach is at the top of my list!

Where do you see yourself and Caitlin’s Super Natural in 5 years?

I’m always saying that I’m living a dream come true. I really wouldn’t mind if nothing in my life changed in 5 years. Of course there are some things about my circumstances that I could perceive as not quite perfect, but as a whole, I’m really, really happy. I live in a beautiful place, have an amazing husband, and have the opportunity to mail natural deodorant that really works to people around the world. And on top of all that, I live adjacent to a meditation retreat center where I get to volunteer. It’s all so amazing and I feel really fortunate; I wish everyone could feel this way!

If there’s anything I’d want to change, it would be to develop into a kinder, more warm-hearted person. I’m always trying my best to be self-less, but I still have room for improvement! So, if anything, in 5 years, I hope to have more and more positive, helpful characteristics.
Cave Temple at the retreat center-a unique meditation space.

What advice would you give to other women who are thinking about starting their own business?

Keep your dreams alive, but be prudent. To be honest, starting a business is a lot more work than I thought it would be! At the same time, it’s really rewarding to have an outlet for creativity and to be constantly expanding skill-sets. So, if you have a good idea for a business and you’re really enthused about seeing an idea come to life, then definitely go for it! But know that there’s a lot of work in store. All of that work can be well worth it, though. 

Accept every challenge as an opportunity to learn something new and expand your abilities. If you don’t have all the answers, ask the right people good questions, and if you still don’t have all the answers, then be patient and keep your mind open and ready to receive the guidance when it comes. Be true to yourself. Be kind to everyone you connect with: all of your customers, suppliers, employees, and everyone you contact. If you can do all that, then all of your efforts will be so worthwhile!

1 comment:

  1. She is indeed inspiring. Thanks for sharing this!

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