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How to Successfully Run a For-Good, For-Profit Brand Featuring Suz Hernandez, MamaP

Founder and CEO at MamaP

In this episode of the Gooder Podcast, host Diana Fryc sits down with Suz Hernandez, the Founder and CEO of MamaP, to discuss ways to successfully run an eco-friendly brand. Suz explains the reasons why MamaP exists as a for-good, for-profit brand, the challenges and lessons they’ve learned, and how they’re growing and creating change.

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Key Takeaways

    • Suz Hernandez talks about MamaP, why it exists, and where the idea came from

    • Suz talks about their disposable products and how to discard them

    • Suz explains how she knew that she was headed in the right direction

    • How Suz became a socialpreneur

    • Challenges MamaP has faced that changed its trajectory

    • How Suz has leveraged past experiences to overcome some of the challenges they’ve faced as a brand

    • Suz’s proudest milestone in the company

    • Suz’s advice to other leaders

    • A surprising fact about plastic toothbrushes

    • Women leaders Suz admires

Quotes

Chapters

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Transcript

Intro 0:05

Welcome to the Gooder Podcast where we talk with powerhouse women in CPG about their journeys to success. This episode is sponsored by Retail Voodoo, a brand development firm guiding mission-driven consumer brands to attract new and passionate consumer base crushed their categories through growth and innovation and magnify their social and environmental impact. If your brand is in need of brand positioning, package design or marketing activation, we are here to help. You can find more information at www.retail-voodoo.com.

Diana Fryc 0:43

Hi, Diana Fryc here, I am the host of the Gooder Podcast where I get to talk with the powerhouse women in the food, beverage and wellness categories about their journeys to success and their insights on the industry. This episode is brought to you by Retail Voodoo. Retail Voodoo is a brand development firm. Our clients include Starbucks, Kind, Rei, PepsiCo, Heike and many other market leaders. We provide strategic brand and design services for our food wellness, beverage, and fitness industries. If your goal is to increase market share, drive growth, or disrupt the marketplace with new and innovative ideas, give us a call and let’s talk or you can check us out on retail-voodoo.com. Well, today we get to meet Suz Hernandez founder and CEO of MamaP, an online platform and CPG brand that sells affordable and eco-friendly Health Beauty and home goods. Leveraging her experiences and Nike Executive Suz started this business focused on sustainability. She provides advice to other business owners about leadership, people management and culture as well as doing something impactful that is meaningful. Suz uses her passionate 15 years of product retail and brand experience with Nike p&g and BCBG Max Aria, I always say that wrong apologies to the brand. To drive a vision of blending consumer products with purpose sustainability and design. MamaP is a triple bottom line company, which means the focus is on people, planet and then profits. Now before we start our conversation, I would like to just give a big thank you to Carol Smith, Director of Brand management at GoGo Squeez for making this introduction. Those of you not familiar with GoGo Squeeze it is the original applesauce in a pouch that has expanded their pouch offerings into a number of family-friendly and healthy squeezable snap offerings. Yeah, we’re fans, you can tell. So head on over to Gogosqueez.com to learn more about what Carol and her team are up to now. And now we get to welcome Suz. Suz, how are you today?

Suz Hernandez 3:01

Yeah, hey, I’m doing well. Thank you for inviting me here today.

Diana Fryc 3:06

Of course. Where are you located?

Suz Hernandez 3:08

I am based in Jersey City. It’s right outside of Manhattan, just right across the Hudson.

Diana Fryc 3:13

Just wave every morning. Well, hey, when Carol told me about what you were up to, I was really excited. I hadn’t heard about MamaP yet. So for all of us that are listening, and this is probably my favorite part of the interview. Tell us a little bit about MamaP and why it exists.

Suz Hernandez 3:35

Yeah, so MamaP, we are in the business of adding purpose to people’s everyday lives. And we do that by helping plastic from everyday personal care and homeless central products. And we help people live healthy and balanced lives care for the environment and give back to communities. And we give back to the communities by donating 5% of our sales to different nonprofits based on different costs. We have six different causes. And they range from ocean conservation or blue collection gives back to ocean conservation all the way down to LGBTQ plus equality, which is rainbow. And the inception of that is I really believe that brands can do good in the world. And then we can also help people do good. And that’s why our motto is to do good, live better every day.

Diana Fryc 4:22

I love it. So tell us a little bit about where did this idea come from?

Suz Hernandez 4:27

Yeah, so I mean, it’s been a bit of a journey. So, I was living in Portland, Oregon. I was working at Nike at the time. And, it’s a really wonderful environment to be connected to nature. I mean, you’re a school teacher and so and moving. I grew up in Los Angeles, I have always had this connection to the ocean to the earth and to Mother Earth, but really in Portland, Oregon, and even at Nike, they would have like six different types of recycling on the floor, did not put trash cans at desks, and there’ll be one trash can for the entire floor. And so living in Portland, Oregon, and being around that type of environment, I’m like, this makes sense, like, and I got used to it. So fast forward to, a few years working in Nike and Portland, I’m in New York City. So in the thick of it, like in the thick of midtown, and I was evolving myself and I was finding purpose in my life. And I was reconnecting to my roots of nature and respecting the environment. And I was having a really hard time, being environmentally friendly, or really being focused on that while living in New York City. And I thought to myself, I’m having this challenge of finding products that don’t have plastic that are gentle on the environment. Who else is having problems? I would turn to Amazon. And not to knock Amazon this was five years ago, so Right. But I was finding sustainable products, and they were kind of like low quality. They were lasted packaging, and then we shipped me in plastic packaging. And why? Why is it happening? I’m trying to do good, and I want to do good. And I want to make that change. But why is it so hard? And that was really the pivotal point for me. And I’m like, I’m having this problem in New York City, one of the largest cities in the world. How are people in Montana or arcades, how are they able to also reach their goals and also find purpose in their life? And that was really the inception. And I thought, well, let me start with one product, one product and easy product, a toothbrush, right? How many plastic toothbrushes do we have?

Diana Fryc 6:47

Right here, those of you that are watching, if you’re not watching on YouTube, I got a sample of the toothbrushes right here.

Suz Hernandez 6:56

Yeah, and so I thought I’m like, let me start there, you’re supposed to replace your toothbrush every two, three or four months. So just a little like plug there, please replace your toothbrush every three to four months. But I thought, like, that really adds up to a lot in a year and in some lifetime. So why don’t I start with there. The bamboo toothbrushes on the market at the time were really basic, they didn’t feel good, they kind of hurt your mouth, because they were really like, if you’ve ever seen the bamboo toothbrushes with a really long heads and use, like a sharp piece of wood in your mouth. So our toothbrushes, I thought, like let me think of a better way to make an easier transition for people. And so are yours are like round, they have soft edges, the head is a little smaller. And it really helps to make that transition from a plastic toothbrush to a natural toothbrush. That’s 95% compostable. The old doesn’t that last 5% We can’t get away with yet. So we still have to honor our own health as well. And so anyway, so that’s where we started. Now, when I was thinking of the name for the company, I reflected back to at the time it was, 10 years ago, I was on a consulting trip in Peru. I was actually, and I was consulting for bamboo exporter, as well. So go figure full circle. And so I’m on this trip, and it’s with my MBA class and we’re on a bus, we have a tour guide and the tour guide before he left us. He goes you know, before I leave you today, I want to leave you all with one thing. Here in Peru, we believe that if we take care of Pachamama with Mother Earth, in turn, she’ll take care of us. And that really stuck with me through all these years. And so I thought, what better name would be to honor Mother Earth? Or what will be good name for our company? And I thought, well, I don’t want to appropriate Pachamama because, like, that’s actually the sacred ground. People around the world, it’s part of who they are on the weekends. Also, it was part of their religion. And so I thought, if Pachamama, if she were reincarnated to today, she’d be like, you know what, just call me MamaP. And so I really stuck with that name for our company so that we can always focus on Mother Earth as well. And know that if we take care of her in turn, she’ll take care of us.

Diana Fryc 9:40

Now you sent me these really amazing toothbrushes right, I’ve got a package here that will be used. These are compostable. How do you recommend people dispose of these when they’re done with them then?

Suz Hernandez 9:57

Yeah, so there are a few different ways on Um, you can probably find online, I always recommend, just break the head off, and you can just kind of just snap it off with your thumb. I recommend that way so that we don’t have tiny plastics ending up in our landfills or in creams. Some people recommend to pull out each of the bristles individually with tweezers, and then you can compost ahead, but I don’t know tiny plastics. I’m like, let’s not create more tiny plastics in our environment.

Diana Fryc 10:27

Yeah, we haven’t quite figured that out yet. Yeah, it will get there because there’s a lot of really amazing people that are working on it, but it is there. And then before we go on a couple of other questions, just going to show you a couple of other things or those people that are here. Couple of other things that Suz sent me one, here is a conditioner bar and a shampoo bar, which you guys have seen this concept around. So that’s kind of cool. And I like that this packaging you’re using looks like wax paper on the inside, and you’re using unbleached paper for your package. For your package board. It’s very cool. And then my favorite, anybody that’s been excuse me, you guys can hear that I’m still struggling with my coal from a few weeks ago, a lot of brands are trying to come up with a really solid solution for this. This was my favorite thing that came out of Suz. I know that toothbrushes are the OG of the product line. But for me, this is the thing I’m most excited to try to thank you for sending me this. These are laundry detergent sheets, and love, love, love. So how did you get to the laundry sheets? So these are kind of disconnected. But I’m sure that there’s a rationale between the toothbrush and that shampoo and conditioner. And then now we’ve got this laundry detergent. Can you talk to those a little bit?

Suz Hernandez 11:54

So we launched new products last June. So we’re rounding out one year of introducing and testing new products on the marketplace. The first is that they love our toothbrushes, some people have electric toothbrushes, and they were asking, can you like give us something else to buy, we want to be part of your community, we want to buy your products because of the causes and the colors, you really mean to people. And so that got us thinking okay, what other products could be complimentary, have vegan compostable dental floss now and refillable containers, but we also looked beyond into other categories. I am a nerd at heart, and I’m proud of that I research. And I go down that rabbit hole and I research so much and learn about so many things. For the first few years in college, I was a biology psychology major. And so for me, it’s kind of that like, methodological like framework of researching, learning, testing, and just understanding like chemical compounds organic materials, and also with my passion in the environment. How does this affect the environment? I see. And I can tell you I’m never satisfied. Whenever I tried some products on the market, I’m like, oh, I can be better, I can be done better. And there’s always that thought in my head. And so as we looked at other categories, I was personally becoming, and I have been using other products, other brands products, and I’m like they’re good, but I would like it to be even better quality, or look really nice, because, you know, we spend so much time in our homes like, bring happiness and bring joy to us as well. And that so we started with personal care. So Konjac sponges, if you haven’t heard of these Konjac sponges, they’re made from the Konjac root in Asia. And they feel spongy, when they dry, it becomes hard, but they’re wonderful to use on your skin as a daily exfoliator. And you use it with your cleanser. And so I started down the road of the personal care section and then I discovered shampoo and conditioner bars. There are a lot on the market right now. But in my opinion, I felt that and again thinking of like the transition from traditional products that we might get in plastic into eco-friendly or sustainable innovation, I felt like there was too much of a change. And in my opinion, a lot of the shampoo and conditioner bars now on the market, they still use a lot of the chemicals that you’ll find in the bottles and they strip your hair, strip your hair completely the shampoo and then the conditioner tries to add back moisture or add back something.

Diana Fryc 14:49

Or some protectant or something.

Suz Hernandez 14:51

Yeah, and then I was testing some different materials from factories and like the fragrance was bake. And I’m like, this is not good for my body? And how can we stand behind that? So I found this amazing maker in Portugal, and we partner with her. And so we researched around the world how different cultures cared for their hair from India, or you bet the medicine that those are the bars that you have. And they use this powder called Shikakai powder, and it comes from tree bark. And it has this amazing quality to help regenerate hair growth and stimulate hair growth, help with any dandruff issues. And so we actually use nature and look to nature to embed materials back into our products. Because let’s look back to our ancestors and generations before us of how people have lived and how they’ve cared for their bodies. And let’s kind of go back to look forward. So, that’s one example or in our oil detox bar. In Morocco, they use Rasul clay. And Rasul clay is really great for pulling out excess oil, but it won’t strip your hair, interesting material. So it finds oils, and then it will wash away, but it doesn’t strip your hair. And then the conditioner bars actually end up like a mask. And so we just have a different philosophy and how we look at challenges in the market, and then how we find solutions. And I partner with different makers around the world. Or here in New York, we’re launching solid facial cleanser soon. And yeah, for that, we’re looking to Korea, how people in Korea use traditional Chinese medicinal herbs for their skin. So we just have a different philosophy of how we approach products and how we bring that to market. So that’s how we kind of ended up with shampoo and conditioner bars. And then laundry detergent sheets, I mean, really same story in the east and East Asia, they’ve been using these for like decades, and it’s nothing really new, the only differences, we’ve changed the formula to ensure that it’s okay for the environment and for the ocean. So going down to the actual chemical compound and formula, but also checking it against the US EPA, which is, it’s not as strict, but also looking at Canada’s equivalent of the EPA and Europe’s equivalent of the EPA, and just making sure that we’re checking all those boxes. So I can talk about product and innovation all day. But I don’t want to import again, I’m a nerd, I’m a nerd at heart. and I’m proud of it.

Diana Fryc 17:41

Oh my gosh, I’m just laughing. It’s okay. The last person that I interviewed Tara from Bulletproof 360, if you’re familiar with them, she is a marketer, she comes up from the bio place. And then Jenna Arkin, who is Chief Innovation Officer over at ECOS working on a lot of the same things that you are working on, also comes from the bio background, but she leads marketing, it’s very interesting. I’m finding, I don’t know if it’s just the path that I’m going on, in that I’m happening to meet all of these people who are marketers, and entrepreneurs that have kind of a STEM background, or if this is just indicative of this category and the women that happen to be leading change in this space. So very, very interesting.

Suz Hernandez 18:38

Yeah, I honestly think it’s a lot of women who are in this space. But there are men and non-binary and all the other. I’ve experienced a lot of women who want to care for the environment, I found that men typically go more towards the tech route. It’s just an interesting trend. And I’m sure…

Diana Fryc 19:05

Yeah, well, for sure. I think we’ve got the swing and difference of mentality between Millennials and Gen Z such a stark contrast on how business can be and what needs to happen. And I think it’s going to be really powerful combination. Those of us that are Gen Xers over here raising my hand we’re very much aligned with the Gen Z ers probably because our kids on the younger Millennials and Gen Z are so we probably have more of a the mentality is very similar, but it’s really super fun to watch the change happen.

Suz Hernandez 19:45

I saw this funny TikTok video so I am I am all about TikTok. And how, like Millennials and Gen Z like there’s been a really big spotlight on those generations. Gen X has kind of been a little silent. Maker of this video, the artist of this video said actually, it’s the Gen Xers who are raising the Gen Z activist.

Diana Fryc 20:09

That’s right. That’s right, sister. Yes.

Suz Hernandez 20:16

It’s so true. I love it to me.

Diana Fryc 20:17

Yes, we are the quiet generation. We’re the first latchkey generation. Our generation was the first generation that saw women as from us, me, I’m dropping things on the floor here, women, in general, go back to the workforce, like it was Gen is Gen X, when all the moms started going back to work, or not started going back to work, but actually really going to work and having professional careers and not limiting ourselves. There was a lot of change that happened in the 70s and 80s. Including, this seems so weird, because it seems like should be ancient history. But when I was born, my mother could not get a credit card or a home loan without my dad’s permission. Yeah, this in my lifetime that that happened. So a lot happened when I was a kid. And we saw a wholesale change in the way culture happened. And so it was our moms going to work that we’re saying we’re going to change things that kind of went okay, we need to raise a generation that continues that methodology. But we’re such a small cohort comparatively that we don’t carry the physical muscle. But this will be some more geeking out if you go and look at spending habits, Gen X spends more per person than any other cohort individual, including baby boomers, we spend more per person for anything more per unit. And just simply we’re the biggest consumer group. It’s very interesting to be so small, and command that much per unit and have people going, but there’s 5 million people and I’m like, no, you want us because we’ll be loyal, we’ll be loyal and we’ll spend a lot of money with you. And you don’t have to work that hard. Just make sure that we’re happy. We’re not to fix. Anyways, I digress. That’s what we do all the time. It’s like how do we talk to these different generations in ways that makes sure that they get it. So when we’re working with you? It’s working with brands like yours, we’re giving them the information that they need. But I digress. Now I want to go back to all this work that you’ve been doing. How did you know you were headed in the right direction? Was there a moment? Was there a conversation? Was there a sales threshold that happened to you were like, oh, my gosh, this is it? This is what I’m supposed to be doing?

Suz Hernandez 21:07

Yeah. So it’s funny when I first started out, and I started telling people that, hey, I’m going to make bamboo toothbrushes because you know what, like, no one’s doing it that great. And I know we can do better. And again, with a cause to back I’m like, again, like I want something to have more purpose than just fine transaction. So I had so many people tell me, don’t do it. Don’t do it.

Diana Fryc 23:19

Because it’s so scary. And it’s unknown.

Suz Hernandez 23:22

No one cares about a toothbrush. No one cares about toothbrushes. Like just don’t do it. And I know, thank you for your opinion. So it’s really funny. So but then as I started putting, tell people the story, actually, story first, and not even the product. People are saying, hey, what are you making? And I’m like, oh, it’s going to be a bamboo toothbrush. They’re like, okay, cool. Hey, when you do that, can you let me know? I’ll buy? Oh, okay. It wasn’t well thought through like the sales part of it. I just thought product. But what really stuck with me, my first year, and this is before I had wholesale accounts, this is like 2018 when I was hurting, like, I don’t really know where I’m going to sell this or how this will go. I went to a market in New York City called the Grand Bazaar. It’s kind of like a flea market slash like food market. Really cool. It was like outdoors. And I would go there every Sunday. And I became known as a bamboo toothbrush lady. I kid you not, there like bamboo toothbrush, lady like goes Junko check her out. And people from all around the world would come to this market every Sunday, because it’s a big tourist attraction all over the country all over the city. And the more I talk to people, the more that I learned that people really cared, and people were really interested in this. And I discovered that and this may not be as profound but at the time, it was very profound to me because this was also a very different time with a very different president at the time. It was very conflicting. But I discovered people inherently want to do good. But they’re not sure how. When I talked to people from all around the world, country city, and I talked to them about the concept of the company, and then the product, people were like, I want to buy some, like, I need to buy 20 of them to ship to friends and family. And I want to take them back to France with me and back. And people started buying a lot at a time because they just wanted to give people a piece of what this is for them as a person, but also inspire other people to do good. And I would have people come back who were based in New York, and sometimes like, it’d be like a month later, and they come back to the market and find me, and they would go, I just wanted to tell you that it means so much to me. Every morning, I brush my teeth, and I think about the ocean, because that’s the cause that I chose. And it’s changed how I approach my day. And I think of what can I do today to support the ocean? And or I would hear the same about mental health, they started coming back to tell me their stories of what this meant to them. And that’s when I knew, okay, I’m on to something. Now what?

Diana Fryc 26:14

Yeah, that’s really cool. And I’m curious, you have this drive to do more like to save the planet, and I’m just going to do use really high-level language. Is there something? Is it just that you love the planet so much that has you want to be more of this socialpreneur? Or is where does the socialprenuerness come from? I guess is the question.

Suz Hernandez 26:47

Yeah, I think just inherently like I believe, I’m with people like that people inherently want to do good, I always see the good in people, I see that we need change. And I go more towards the glasses half full as a solution. And that inspiring people will actually set off like a chain reaction that they’ll inspire people, and those people will inspire people. And that’s just kind of how I am as a person. And I just think that I kind of go back to my values, I believe that companies can be a force of good, and that we can still be profitable, we can still run as a company, we just have to do things differently. And people who are part of the community, they’ll come join us, that’s okay.

Diana Fryc 27:37

Yeah. Oh, I love that. Now, tell us a little bit about this is always a tricky one. Like, I like asking it, because I think there’s some good learning here. Is there a moment where something went wrong. And there was like a lost opportunity, or maybe a poor choice. And that moment changed the way you lead now or change the trajectory of your business?

Suz Hernandez 28:08

I mean, I think, so that there are a lot of, we’re still growing, we’re still small. And we’re growing, and we’re having different phases. And so there will always learning moments. I think that the hardest part has been the pandemic, 2019, we were a holiday, we had placements and magazines, and we were as great publicity, we were in a lot of specialty stores. And we were just really building up to it. And the pandemic just flat-lined our business for six months. Six months. And at that time, like our customers, like, I developed relationship relationships with our early customers, and they were like, we can’t pay you and I’m like, You know what, it’s okay. Like, if we go down, like, let’s just like, go down together. I think like that was the hardest because there was so much uncertainty at the time. And we had gone we had grown and then everything just came down. And we essentially started from not zero because people knew about us, but just the momentum stopped. Now looking for that and this is part of my, the business side of me and the analytical side. Looking at our business, we still had some accounts that kept ordering. And like, that’s interesting. And they were food cooperatives.

Diana Fryc 29:36

Oh, like PCC out here in Seattle area.

Suz Hernandez 29:43

Yeah, exactly. And so because they were essential businesses, they were still. And that’s when the business side of me goes okay, we’re going to survive this. However long it is because this is June July, there’s still so much uncertainty. We need to focus on essential businesses because this is guaranteed we know they will stay open, right? And we know customers once we’re on shelves, we know that they’ll choose us and work side by side with competitors, we know that they’ll more likely choose our brand. So we started pivoting and I pivoted to just food coops, usually using NCG, National Cooperative Grocers. And I just went after them, I set up like, in a past life, I helped run sales teams. So I set up a performance marketing campaign and just found emails and I would just pitch them time and time and we started getting momentum that way. And what that led us to was getting into Unify. Yeah, one of the largest natural wares in the US. Yeah, we got him through there up next program, which are brands that they identify as disruptors in their category. And that’s kind of how we went from, what are we going to do, we may not even get paid ever again. And that’s fine. And we’re just going to keep those relationships with people to finding businesses that could sustain growing with us or us growing with them. And that’s still our number one channel. And that’s still most important channels right now.

Diana Fryc 31:24

Yeah. Well, that was one of the questions that I was going to ask you this particular category, personal care and home care is growing like bonkers, right? COVID set off cleaning Bonanza in the US, like we’ve not really seen before ever. And I was wondering, what of your Nike and P&G experience were you able to leverage during this last period of time, but it sounds like working with sales teams, and just putting your sales hat on was the big, that was the big one for you.

Suz Hernandez 32:00

Yeah. And I think, also leveraging consumer insights. So I’m always I’m a trend forecaster at heart as well. That’s where my early fashion days come from. And so just seeing things on the horizon and getting a pulse on like, what are people thinking right now? They may not necessarily be thinking, but we’ll probably be thinking in the next year, I’m looking at the marketplaces like, where would we have the bet better, best success, maybe not better? West Coast like the coasts really are strong right now versus utility. So let’s focus there. And so just having a methodology and process down to how will we grow our business with our limited resources? And how can we be the most efficient with our time, because time is the most precious part of it? And also just our company, like, we don’t want people to like work all day, like, work 24 hours. Because we also believe in having healthy and balanced consumers lives, that also matters for us as a team. And so just making sure that we can balance and stay balanced and grounded as a team. So as we grow, so yeah, so it’s kind of just taking different cross-functional teams that I’ve worked on in the past and just applying it to MamaP. Now, I’d say this year, starting in January, February, we started building out our analytics. Historically, we hadn’t really had that. And so now we’re actually making different informed decisions, not only on gut but also with data.

Diana Fryc 33:41

Sure. That’s cool. That’s great. Now, when you’re thinking back to kind of this journey over the past several years, what’s the milestone or a moment that you right now just are really proud of? I know, there’s probably a few, but I wonder if there’s like one that is the crown?

Suz Hernandez 34:04

Yeah, I mean, there have been so many. But I think right now, the biggest for us has been getting into distributors. And it’s not I mean, like that’s just more from like, a business standpoint, because, as you probably know, or anyone who’s in the industry knows, and that’s an opening point for your business to continue growing. We were in no, we’re also in Keiki. Now, we’re adding new distribution centers, like every few months. We’re adding new products into distribution. And so for me, like that’s so exciting, and we have wonderful marketing things as well. We were on Good Morning America last year and we’re getting placement, but for me, just from just a business standpoint, and also just thinking long term as our brand grows. That’s what I’m really proud of and then we keep going. And then our accounts, they say they want more products from us.

Diana Fryc 35:05

That’s cool. How many products? How many SKUs do you have right now would you say? Or products? I should say?

Suz Hernandez 35:10

Yeah, so products. I don’t know off the top of my head. I’d have to count all of them. But we do have some, we have products and oral care products and personal care and hair care. Well, we will be launching some skincare. So solid facial cleansers, and then home care. Right now we only have laundry detergent sheets, but we are growing over the next six months. More products.

Diana Fryc 35:41

I love it. And so tell me a little bit now I know that you like to kind of interact with other entrepreneurs and leaders in this space. What kind of advice do you find yourself giving people who are either wanting to follow behind you? Or maybe in adjacent categories? What are you sharing with them?

Suz Hernandez 36:04

Yeah, so I speak with a lot of women entrepreneurs, and I found that the number one piece of advice I tend to give women really comes down to just do it, just go for it. Just go. I’ve had a lot of mentors in my past both men and women. And I’ve always, I think look at me 10 years ago, I probably would be the one who I’m like, I’m not perfect yet. I’m going to wait. And my male mentors have been like, no, just go for it. Just go for it. You’re good, you’re good. And so I find myself helping coach other women, either peer coaching or just like advice. And I’m like, sounds like you have a great idea. Just go for it and just learn, test and learn. And if you need to pivot, pivot, and just keep going and just be confident you got it. That’s really the biggest, biggest thing. And even there are some cases where I’ve spoken to other people, and they’ve given me advice. And I found I’ve been like, oh, I don’t think we’re ready to pitch to that type of account yet. And my advice would come back and they’re like, just go for it. Just do it. What do you have to lose? And I’m like, you know what, you are so right. Just go for it. Just go. Just try.

Diana Fryc 37:28

I love it. Yeah, I think I’ve heard that from a few other guests women who’ve been running their businesses for a while a Junea Rocha for at Brazi Bites. And then Miyoko both have said, women we’re so hard on ourselves, that we want perfection before we’re ready to kind of stick our neck out for lack of a better description. And I think you are absolutely right. I think just try it. So if it doesn’t work, guess what? Try it again. I’m read recently, I don’t remember who is the founder of Dyson. I don’t remember his name. But I literally read an article this week. And I think before he was able to get his first vacuum cleaner in the market, I think he had close to 1300 failures before the product was viable for market. Yeah. And he was taking the product out there before it was commercially viable. Like if you look at what the path was, it was like, he got it to here and he tried it that didn’t work. He got it to here and tried it then that didn’t work. And I would say then, to add to what you said is just try it. And then after that, and keep going even if it doesn’t work, like because you have to go through the evolution to get to the final.

Suz Hernandez 38:56

Yeah, absolutely. And even when you think it’s the final, like, probably in a year, you’ll probably do a product, you won’t stop. So you might as well just start get early feedback. And then update.

Diana Fryc 39:11

Absolutely. Oh my gosh, Suz, I’m enjoying our conversation. Our time is almost up. I have a couple of questions. I like to ask everybody. So I’m going to go ahead and start with them. The first one is, do you have like a happy hour fact something about personal care, or personal care product waste, either a fact or something that you’re hearing from consumers right now that’s really important to them?

Suz Hernandez 39:37

I mean, I think for me, the fact that in the US alone, there are around a billion plastic toothbrushes sent to the landfill every year. And that’s just one product, right. I mean, think of all the types of plastic that you might be using in your day-to-day something you can’t get around. But I think for me that that’s the heart heading number just to start getting people to start thinking about, if I can make one change in my life, what could it be? It could be, I don’t know, your water bottle. It could be whatever that is. That’s what I kind of go-to when people start asking me like, what’s the fun fact? I’m like, may not be fun, but it’s a fact.

Diana Fryc 40:24

This one yes. And that you can buy bamboo compostable, are these recyclable and compostable? Do you recommend throwing them in the compost only because of how they’re used?

Suz Hernandez 40:37

Yeah, I would compost. Just break the head off. And then you can go, throw that away and compost. Yeah. So it was the packaging.

Diana Fryc 40:47

Yeah, really easy solution, for those of you that are just listening for fun, but those of you retailers that are out there that are looking for a really amazing solution, you check out MamaP, as an add that to your product mix. I think that could be very interesting for your customers. So, I’m sorry, anything else?

Suz Hernandez 41:13

I was going to add. So our packaging, we also have the illustrations included on the front of the packaging. And the insight there is that, and this comes from the days at the market when I would speak to people, but sometimes just point and show people because English was not. They didn’t speak it. But we incorporate illustration and a lot of visuals on the packaging, for the reason that if someone can’t read English or may not understand that, at least some connection and storytelling on the package is the toothbrush that you had. We have well, and we have dolphins are the bees. One has bees, but it’s a way for us to transcend borders have this written language, but also a visual language.

Diana Fryc 42:05

Yeah, that’s very cool. I like that each product has a different type of thing that is being donated to mental health and ocean calm versus conservation.

Suz Hernandez 42:19

Justice reform, LGBTQ plus equality. Yeah.

Diana Fryc 42:24

Love it. Love it. Love it. Thank you. Okay, any other women leaders or rising stars out there in our industry or not that you would like to elevate or just simply admire for the work they’re doing right now?

Suz Hernandez 42:37

Yeah. So I mean, I’m going to go back to a lot of the women that I deal with in our business, a lot of the entrepreneurs of the low waist shops, package-free shops. There are so many women who are leading the charge there, like Aniko in Florida with Songs Market, or Marilla up in Maine with We Feel Good or Katarina in San Diego. And I just think that there are so many amazing women that I can’t list them all. But it’s so amazing to see this community that we’re all building together to make change in the world. And it’s amazing and you may not hear their names every day. You don’t live in their area. But I think there are a lot of women who are doing amazing things in this space and who are also building community and educating the community as well.

Diana Fryc 43:35

Love that. Thank you for sharing those. The work that’s being done across the country, that’s pretty great. Lots of people it takes a village, takes a village. Well, we have been talking with Suz Hernandez, founder and CEO of MamaP. Suz, where can people learn more about you and your company?

Suz Hernandez 44:02

Yeah, you can go to mamap.life, either on our website, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook.

Diana Fryc 44:13

Well, I want to thank you so much for your time today. So happy that we got to spend this time together, we had to reschedule because I got sick. Anyway, so I’m glad that we were able to make it out. And I’m excited to see what you’re doing, and what the future looks like for you and the work that you’re doing. I also want to thank our listeners. Thank you guys all for joining us today. If you liked this episode, please share it with a friend. Otherwise have a great rest of your day and we’ll catch you next time on the Gooder Podcast.

Suz Hernandez 44:48

Thank you. Bye.

Outro 44:56

We hope you enjoyed this episode. And if you haven’t already be sure to click subscribe and share with your network. Until next time, be well and do gooder.

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For Diana, a fierce determination to pursue what’s right is rooted in her DNA. The daughter of parents who endured unimaginable hardship before emigrating from Eastern Europe to the U.S., she is built for a higher purpose. Starting with an experience working with Jane Goodall to source sustainably made paper, she went on to a career helping Corporate America normalize the use of environmentally responsible products and materials before coming to Retail Voodoo.

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