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The Remarkable Path From Freelance Designer to Successful Skincare Entrepreneur

Life is a funny thing.

For many of us, we start out by doing one thing. Then we try another and another, until we eventually figure out the thing we really want to do. The thing that fuels our passion & brings us joy.

Looking back it all makes sense–all of those twists & turns, those dead-ends…those failures. Every experience we have is a part of our life’s journey. Every skill we develop & lesson we learn along the way is a building block for future success.

An Unexpected Beginning

Roberta Perry was not always the founder & CEO of ScrubzBody™, the massively successful line of sugar scrubs, lotions, oils, creams & more.

She didn’t always own a store in Bethpage, NY, to showcase her products, spotlight other artisanal makers (including Handcrafted HoneyBee) & host Make Your Own Scrubz™ parties.

She didn’t set out to be featured in nearly 100 articles & interviews, spanning print media, blogs, podcasts, radio & television. (“Hello, Dr. Oz!”)

With the benefit of hindsight, the trajectory of her life seems inevitable. But it didn’t look that way to Roberta when she began.

“My life before ScrubzBody™ was a mix of graphic design jobs, telecom sales, and raising my 3 kids, all from home,” Roberta recalls.

 Roberta Perry

Over the course of several years, Roberta earned what she calls her ‘Business Skills MBA’ in the school of real-life by taking chances, making mistakes & learning as she went.

“A client invited me to become the marketing director of an adult education school in Dallas,” she says. “It was a startup and it failed miserably! But, I learned a lot about what to do and what not to do in business.”

A degree in design. Experience in sales & marketing. Time spent on a failed startup. It doesn’t seem to fit.

But it all came into focus when Roberta found a way that she could help others…and care for herself too.

Finding Direction

Speaking of her life before launching ScrubzBody™, Roberta says, “I was busy taking care of all that and forgot myself in the mix. Finally, at 43, I decided it was time to take care of myself, too and found that I really liked the way body scrubs felt.”

Roberta loved scrubs, but she didn’t exactly love what the market had to offer. “I decided to make my own, based on all the things I loved, eliminating the things I didn’t,” she says. “I hit the kitchen and the botanical oils. When I gave some to my friends, mom and sister as gifts, they kept wanting more and more.”

Scrubz

With her background in design, Roberta was easily able to create labels, brochures & ads. With the computer skills she learned from previous jobs, she was able to develop her website. With her experience in sales & marketing, she quickly cultivated strong local support & wholesale accounts. 

And those accounts rapidly grew from small salons to Whole Foods & other big names. ScrubzBody™ moved to a small production space to meet the increased demand. The tremendous interest in hosted parties, combined with Roberta’s gift for nourishing customer relationships, soon led her to open a retail boutique right in the heart of Bethpage, NY.

"Thinking Differently"

“I never dreamed it would be ‘a real business.’ The coolest thing was the feedback,” says Roberta. And that feedback helped her to dream big. “The more I heard from others that it was the best body scrub they ever used, the more I started thinking differently.”

Scrubz

Now, Roberta is dreaming even bigger, expanding her vision from the growth of her own business towards the growth & dreams of other makers. Her boutique carries products by several independent makers, including our own natural probiotic deodorant.

Roberta shares, “I absolutely think it is the coolest thing to personally know and stand behind the makers of the products I am selling. I love supporting small business in general and this just keeps it real.”

She is also helping other small businesses find recognition & respect for their brands with her new book, THE POWER OF FREE PUBLICITY: Using HARO & Other Services to Build Relationships & Get Press Without a PR Firm.

“Getting writers and reporters to find you can be a full time job,” Roberta explains. “HARO is a service that helps match writers with experts in their field. I have been very lucky to have been picked up over 80 times.”

Roberta is sharing what she knows so that others can benefit. Her book is expected to be available late Summer/early Fall of 2016.

The story of ScrubzBody™ is far from over. In fact, it’s only just beginning.

“We are gaining a bigger and bigger following and I love watching that happen,” Roberta says, describing that incredible feeling of everything coming into focus. “We are helping people smile about their skin again.”


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