Several years ago when Nature’s Complement was just beginning to become a real thing, I had an overwhelming amount of support. Many who knew me, and my skin issues, were more than supportive in my endeavor to create quality products for others, on an official basis finally. The support came in many ways including
those who bought my early products to help me grow, those who helped me get into a few local stores, and those who offered much needed moral support. I was at the time surprised that everyone kept telling me “you’ll be rich”. I did not at the time understand how personal care products can be associated with one becoming well off financially.
The idea of becoming rich as a result of producing skin creams was not my motivation. No, my goal was to provide healthy products that are free of toxic cancer causing ingredients and free of other questionable side effects.
In today’s world you don’t get rich by being honest, which over the years I realized is exactly why the other manufacturer’s are rich. I had a realization of why everyone I knew told me I’d be rich, and that is the concept that skin creams = profits. (By the way, sorry to have disappointed you all.) This is apparently such a common connection, that everyone thinks that anyone who creates a quality product will all of a sudden be rich. The real world simply doesn’t work that way.
I’m Not Rich
Yes, I make products from quality ingredients, and I don’t use chemicals/preservatives. This means that my brand of products doesn’t always behave as expected. This is a price we pay. No toxic chemicals = products that don’t behave as we’re used to. They still perform of course, but it takes some getting used to how they perform, and sometimes how to use them, because it’s not like the commercials. And there is special handling, such as refrigeration. Natural products not only take a little extra work, but also understanding. And while I price my products as low as possible, organic raw oils… umm…. yeah, not cheap.
Why Other Manufacturer’s Are Rich
The people who work for the other manufacturer’s are most definitely not rich; many of them are in third world countries working for pennies. Perhaps the label designers are not rich either, they get to design a label once, and their services are no longer needed. The raw ingredient producers are likely not rich, some raw materials such as specialty oils are time and energy intensive, and cost a lot to produce. And organic usually even more so.
So who is rich? The people who design the commercials to sell a product based on lies? Maybe. The advertisers? Doubt it. The owners of companies like Proctor and Gamble? Bingo! Yeah, they’re rich. Heck, they have so much money to throw away they pay to produce commercials to tell society how to behave, rather than to make their formulas healthy.
Many manufacturer’s use tactics in advertising that have nothing to do with reality. A skin care cream can cost $10 to produce, yet they will sell it for $400 while making wild claims that fermenting a certain ingredient for four months gives it magical properties. But don’t worry, it only takes a year of using the product for you to notice a difference. You can do the math: thousands of consumers purchasing a product that results in a $390 profit will make anyone rich. At least anyone willing to sell their soul while not only lying to their customers but potentially harming them with the cheap raw ingredients and even cheaper chemicals, pretending the product to be something it’s not. It’s almost always a gimmick, no matter what they tell you.
When I first started manufacturing my own products, I had to quickly learn some realities of being a producer. Raw materials cost money, shipping them costs money, turning them into a final product costs money. Advertising them costs A LOT of money. Selling them costs money. Everything related to the production of soap and other personal care products, costs money. But how much money will vary. I learned that as a small business, I pay higher premiums for raw materials because I have no need to order 10,000 jars. My order of 1,000 jars barely offers a price break. Everyone seems to like this 10,000 magic number. But as a small business, I have neither space nor funds to purchase 10,000 each of everything used in all our products. But large manufacturer’s can and do. So their price break is significant. So their mark ups are actually a profit, unlike small businesses were a mark up is essential for the purpose of being able to continue. But large businesses are already established, are in countless stores, and simply have to keep the advertising going to keep people interested. They also don’t care if they are lying in their advertising, they can afford to pay lawyers to manage that. So their products do not actually have to do what they promise, which means they can use low quality cheap ingredients, and sell the final product at a remarkable mark up. The only way I could do that as a small business is if I stopped using quality raw ingredients, and added toxic chemicals to preserve them. Which I’m not willing to do. So perhaps that translates to I’m not willing to get rich (at least not by that method).
Actually, I Work For Free
I’ve learned a lot in starting a small business from scratch. One of the most important things I learned is that it costs a lot of money just to run a business. But in order to make money, I need products to sell. But people won’t buy products if they are too expensive, so one has to find a balance.
To keep prices low, one must keep overhead low. Not an easy task. An ad free website costs money, domain name costs money, SSL certificates cost money, and each feature I want to add to my website (or have no choice but to add) costs money. Then there is website maintenance. That’s just the website stuff. Then there’s merchant fees, most people use credit cards (though a few people still write old fashioned checks), we’re working on adding cryptocurrency payments, but all these transactions (except checks) cost money on my end. Then there’s containers, which are sold separately from lids, and the raw ingredients of course, and pH meters, and temperature sensors, and extra refrigeration capacity, and, and, and… Someone has to do the accounting, and the taxes, and someone has to file claims with USPS when packages get damaged, and someone has to actually make the products, and they have to be labeled and such. Then the actual packaging and shipping has to occur. Don’t forget the rent, the power bill, the equipment that breaks and needs repair, the batches that don’t pass quality control and can’t be sold. The list goes on and on. So in order to keep overhead costs low, we do as much of this on our own as we can, but some things are beyond us, and we must hire help. Then there is product research, testing, quality, and then there’s inventory, and that list goes on and on too. Oh, and let’s not forget COVID. Wow, did that change things drastically. Finding new suppliers, new applications to submit, new producers to research, longer shipping times, less product availability, and that list too goes on and on.
By no means am I complaining. I enjoy my portion of the work (especially the research). But I essentially work for free.
Why Even Bother?
The fact of the matter remains, large manufacturer’s don’t give a hoot about you, or your kids, or parents, or even about me, at all. AT ALL. They only care about being rich, so they will NEVER produce quality products that do not include toxic chemicals like phenoxyethanol or sodium benzoate. Because doing so is actually difficult work, requiring real biology and chemistry knowledge and experience, and the final product (or even many of the raw materials) can’t sit on a shelf for two years and still be considered fresh. So that’s where I come in. It’s why I started the business (not because I was told I’d be rich). I use only my brand products for myself and family, and I have many loyal customers who see the big picture and not only trust Nature’s Complement in providing toxic free products, but know the long term harmful effects of using products whose ingredients you can’t pronounce. Even when I had a time where it felt like I was getting no sleep at all, I still pushed on because people should be able to have access to products that are toxic free. Access to products that use high quality ingredients. To products that are not harmful.
I Will Never Be Rich
Well, maybe financially. But inside my soul, I know I’m doing right by humans, by providing all natural products that are safe for every day use. And that’s all the richness I need (other than what I need to pay the electric bill and eat that is).
I want to thank everyone right now who has supported me along the way, and to those of you who have reached out and said you only use our products, thank you too for being a loyal customer. We will keep going for as long as we can despite challenges such as COVID. And I hope you continue to support us.
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