Like every good story, this one begins with a dog. About 8 years ago, my friend, Jazzy, called to inform me about a little pitbull that desperately needed a home. At the time, I was running an independent pet store and fostering dogs all the time. I immediately told her to bring the dog into my store. Next thing I knew, a little tan and white pitbull - with bulging eyes and missing fur and redness enveloping her skin - came strolling in. I thought she was simply perfect! I took her home that night and she jumped right into my bed. I instantly thought - "Is it too soon to tell her that I love her?" Mishka is her name and she became the love of my life.
Once I was able to process the overwhelming joy and love that Mishka brought into my life, my brain quickly directed its attention to addressing her severe skin issues. My first thought was to switch her to a raw-food diet and eliminate all the common protein allergies like chicken and beef. This did alleviate some of her issues but her skin was still itchy and red. I then tried various shampoos available for skin issues - yet none worked.
The local vet suggested putting her on steroids and medication, but I did not want to go that route so I started to research natural ways to help with environmental allergies. I quickly discovered how harsh the chemicals in dog shampoos and products truly were. The skin is the largest organ in the body the absorption of these chemicals is clearly not a recipe for success! This was the catalyst to launch my own product line to help Mishka.
After I had began production, I was doing a store training and someone asked why we didn't use an alternative to plastic bottles. "It's too expensive" was my response. I went home and thought that was a terrible answer. I contacted my business partner about it who happened to be a lawyer. After talking to him for 5 minutes, I realized it was easier to start a new company than to argue with a lawyer. I have been producing shampoo and doing other contract manufacturing in cosmetics for about 4 years at this point and started to think about other factors besides being plastic-free that would differentiate my product - apple cider vinegar was the main ingredient that I felt I missed. I convinced my old project manager to join me and with all my learning, acquired knowledge, and accumulated experience, we were able to bring Project Sudz to market!