[quote style=”boxed”]Make decisions quickly and adjust as you go. Even mistakes should be made quickly.[/quote]
Keeki Pure & Simple is the creation of Natalie Bauss, a mom of two, who lives on an organic farm in West Michigan. Bauss, a California native with 20 years of experience as an esthetician and a background in sales and marketing, had been checking out reference works from the library and conducting exhaustive research in her quest to make wholesome products for her own friends and family. “I started out creating recipes in my kitchen from things we’d grown on the farm, just experimenting,” she says. As a mother of a now 14 year old daughter she became amazed at what she had discovered about the cosmetic industry. She began to understand that her maternal instincts could not let her daughter or her daughter’s friends go anywhere near certain products, even if they were being sold in some of the biggest retail stores in America. As research and experience turned into a lifelong obsession, which is now culminating into one of the most ecofriendly, and sound product lines in the market today. Natalie hopes to take her message to women and teens everywhere.
What started as a kitchen experiment for her own kids and their friends, has grown into an international brand in just two short years! With the sky as the limit Keeki Pure and Simple is here to start a trend which is aimed at the sound mind, body, and soul of every woman on this planet. Now, Bauss and the Keeki Team provide safe products for girls and women all over the world.
What are you working on right now?
A new line of anti-aging facial products.
Where did the idea for Keeki Pure and Simple come from?
In 2008 my daughter wanted to start experimenting with cosmetics & especially nail polish. Knowing how toxic the conventional products on the market were, I started looking for a healthier alternative. After much research & shopping around I simply could not find anything. I was living on an organic farm making my own butter and many other things so it did not seem out of the ordinary to make products like body lotion and lip balms. For Kiana’s birthday parties we would make lip balms with the kids and lotion as well. Everyone loved the process. At that point I decided to dig deeper into the cosmetic development process and found a chemist that would work with me on the nail polish.
How do you make money?
By selling our finished product in the grocery and health food chains.
What does your typical day look like?
Starting at 5:30am I roll over and check my email and appointments for the day. I force myself to put my iphone down and meditate for at least 15 minutes, then I get out of bed. I make green smoothies for everyone & proceed to 20 minutes of yoga. I take my kids to school. I get to the office before anyone else does so I can have some quiet time before things get crazy. I run through my list of “to do’s, prioritize & write out my goals. Once all the things are done that I don’t love I get into the production lab and start creating. This is where I come to life. This is my favorite part of having this business. I get to create things that I want for myself. It’s really invigorating & exciting to me. After a few hours I take the dog for a walk and get some fresh air. This helps clear my thoughts so I can go at it for a few more hours. I try to leave the office by 6:00 when we are not working on a deadline. Then I love to get home to cook a great healthy dinner for my family, help the kids with homework and hear about all the high’s & low’s of the day. Sometimes I go back to work after they go to bed.
How do you bring ideas to life?
That is easy for me. I research the industry trends, and listen to my friends and customers. Also, I think about what is important to me with respect to a specific product and then make the idea come to life. If someone is requesting a product with anti-aging benefits but wants to be protected from the sun then I go out and research like crazy, have intense discussions with my chemist and start creating. While simultaneously working with my graphic artist to create a new label and find packaging; it somehow all comes together within a few months. It’s a lot of work and can be very grueling at times but at the end of the day it’s very rewarding when the finished product is ready for the store shelves.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
Anti-aging. I like this because living on an organic farm you really do eat healthy and appreciate a better way of life. I have the same philosophy when it comes to skin & body care. You should be able to eat what you put on your body. There are always new discoveries about anti-oxidants or an extract from a berry for instance, that have incredible benefits for the skin and body. I thrive on new information and experimenting with ingredients until it really works. I’m always putting together ingredients and trying them on friends and myself until they’re perfected. Then it’s sent off to the focus groups for the final results.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
Working at McDonalds when I was 15. Always keep working.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
To be honest I am not sure I would do anything different. I feel that I have learned so much a long the way and every part of it has been a learning process. I like where I am.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Make decisions quickly and adjust as you go. Even mistakes should be made quickly.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
There have been many, where do I begin. If you are not failing you are not learning. Early on, I had some issues with trust and lost some opportunities. I now trust and verify before moving.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Create a celebrity cookbook for charity.
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and how would you go about it?
We are trying to change it now; I want the cosmetics industry to be more responsible with their ingredients. I will shame them into it if need be.
Tell us something about you that very few people know?
My pinkies are bent inwards.
What are your three favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them?
1) www.ted.com it’s fantastic to see so much information in less than 15 minutes;
2) Google is something I can’t do without and needs to be mentioned
3) Various chemistry forums.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
“A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle, it’s the most centering book I’ve ever read.
Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?
1) Seth Godin for marketing acumen
2) Sir Richard Branson for his interesting outlooks on life
3) Cindy Ratzlaff, also marketing
When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?
I completely lost it this morning making breakfast with my family laughing at the cat going bananas.
Who is your hero, and why?
Sir Richard Branson, for his bold approach to life.
How do you take advantage of your strengths? How do you compensate for your weaknesses?
I focus on my strengths… they are what got me here… I ignore or delegate my weaknesses.
What’s the secret to happiness?
Be happy today, meditate, be with people you love and NEVER attach happiness to something, someone or some goal… it has to be now.
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Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.