Crafting Your Way from Maker to Business Magnate with Jaime Schmidt of Schmidt’s Naturals
Entrepreneur and investor, Jaime Schmidt, is the founder of Schmidt’s Naturals, the natural personal care brand she started in her kitchen that was later acquired by Unilever. Known for bringing natural personal care products to the mainstream market, Jaime led Schmidt’s Natural’s growth into a global household brand sold in over 30 countries and 30,000 retailers. Jaime shares her entrepreneurial journey in her book Supermaker: Crafting Business on Your Own Terms. Since the breakthrough of Schmidt’s Naturals, Jaime has been enabling other entrepreneurs to bring their vision into reality by investing in women and people of color through her inclusive investment firm, Color.
Jaime joins us today to discuss how she approached her venture one day at a time and to share what she learned from her transition from being a solo founder to being part of the Unilever family. She explains why going to market without a perfect product is feasible and reveals her biggest takeaways from the supply sourcing and wholesaling processes. She also underscores why a lack of fear is a priceless advantage in starting your business and highlights the importance of diversity and inclusion when financially supporting underrepresented entrepreneurs.
“It’s important to know what you’re getting into when starting a business, but obsessing over every detail can be an obstacle. Trust your intuition, listen to your customers, and embrace every opportunity.” – Jaime Schmidt
This week on the Entreprenista Podcast:
- How a hobby Jaime started in her kitchen became a personal care company
- The steps Jaime took after realizing the business opportunity in her home-made personal care products
- Why Jaime is a proponent of bootstrapping and not bringing in capital if it’s not needed
- The challenges of bootstrapping and how Jaime made her first hire
- Jaime’s product development process and how she sourced suppliers for her ingredients
- Building loyalty and connection and why it’s important to be upfront with customers
- How Schmidt’s Naturals got into large retailers like Target and Walmart
- The value of working with a broker and how Jaime found the first production space for her company
- Why paying employees is one of the trickiest parts of running a bootstrap business
- The reason Jaime didn’t outsource manufacturing at first and how she grew her company without an official business plan
- Giving up control and other things Jaime had to learn as she moved to Unilever
- Putting diversity at the forefront of funding companies
- Jaime’s mentorship role in Going Public and how long it took her to write Supermaker
- What Jaime wishes she knew when she first started her business
- Why entrepreneurs shouldn’t get hung up on credentials, and other tips on pitching to investors
Our Favorite Quotes:
- “Bootstrapping means recycling profits back into the business and being conscious about how you spend your dollars.” – Jaime Schmidt
- “Once you feel like your product is ‘good enough,’ get it out there because it’s still going to evolve.” – Jaime Schmidt
- “Sometimes, the less you know, the better equipped you are. If I had known back then what I know now, I think I would have been too scared to start.” – Jaime Schmidt
Connect with Jaime Schmidt:
- Schmidt’s Naturals
- Book: Supermaker: Crafting Business On Your Own Terms
- Schmidt’s Naturals on LinkedIn
- Schmidt’s Naturals on Instagram
- Schmidt’s Naturals on Facebook
- Schmidt’s Naturals on Twitter
- Schmidt’s Naturals on YouTube
- Jaime Schmidt on LinkedIn
- Jaime Schmidt on Instagram
- Jaime Schmidt on Twitter
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