Today we’d like to introduce you to Jaime Schmidt.
Hi Jaime, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I’m the founder of Schmidt’s Naturals, a now global brand of natural personal care products that I started in my kitchen in Portland, Oregon, in 2010. Surrounded by a community of artists and makers, I was inspired to explore my creative side and uncover my own passions. I was also pregnant with my son at the time, and I wanted to use products with clean formulas on my skin—so I set out to DIY my own! I started selling my products at the local farmers market for fun and quickly recognized the huge business potential in what I was doing.
In 2017, my company was acquired by CPG giant Unilever, which positioned the brand for continued, sustainable growth and ultimately allowed me to step away from day-to-day operations to focus on supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs. I’m now dedicating my time and resources to helping emerging founders pursue their own dreams, and released my first book, Supermaker: Crafting Business on Your Own Terms, written to guide entrepreneurs in their journey from maker to Supermaker.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Whether personal struggles or operational setbacks, there have been no shortage of obstacles in building my business and professional career. But nothing worthwhile ever comes without challenges. Here are five of the lessons I learned while building Schmidt’s Naturals:
Messy accounting – Early on, I mixed business & personal expenses. It was a nightmare to reconcile later. What I learned: Create structure, and know your financial model like the back of your hand. Leave no room for confusion.
Underestimating yourself – With my first TV appearance, I didn’t expect to get slammed with thousands of orders. It took weeks and recruiting everyone I knew to help catch up. What I learned: Exposure brings demand—plan accordingly! And do all you can to make sure those customers stick with you.
Insufficient financing plan – I built my business without VC money. But a major growth spurt brought a frantic rush to find funding and we had to take out emergency lines of credit. What I learned: Build investor relationships and explore funding options, even if you don’t think you’ll need them.
Personal sacrifices – We give up so much as entrepreneurs—time with family, fancy dinners out, weekend getaways. What I learned: Stick it out and remember you’re making an investment in yourself. Rewards will come with putting in the hard work now.
Rushing to the next big win – I’d move at lightning speed from one goal to the next without always properly celebrating the milestones or acknowledging how far we’d come as a team. What I learned: Entrepreneurship is a journey, not a destination.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
Schmidt’s Deodorant, my breakout product, was made with effective natural ingredients and priced for accessibility. By listening and incorporating my customers’ feedback from the farmer’s markets, I saw an even larger opportunity within the industry to bring naturals to the mainstream. With the goal of getting the highest quality product to the most people, I threw myself into learning the business, building a brand and continuing to cultivate an active community of customers. With little resources, I bootstrapped my way to a profitable business, selling in 30,000 retail doors, including Target, Costco, Walmart, CVS and Whole Foods.
I’m also the co-founder of Color Capital, an investment fund that specializes in consumer products, Web 3.0, marketplaces, and social commerce. Additionally, I’ll be starring in Season One of the new Going Public series, the first show that will enable viewers to invest in companies on screen to help entrepreneurs take their brands to a global audience. I’m also creating opportunities and building community in Web 3.0 with my recent initiative Crypto Packaged Goods and another project announcing soon that will welcome more underrepresented people into the crypto space.
Who else deserves credit in your story?
All of the employees and partners who have ever worked with me, for jumping in with enthusiasm, powering through challenges, and sharing in victories. For learning with me along the way and helping me grow into the leader I am today.
The customers who took a chance on me at the farmer’s markets who shared their feedback and remained loyal to the Schmidt’s brand over the years. Also, the retailers who made space on their shelves and believed in what I was doing.
And, of course, my friends and family for all the love and support.
- Website: https://jaimeschmidt.info/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jaimeschmidt/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/jaimeschmidt