Smells Like Success


They’re the leaders of a green beauty revolution! In two short years, Michael Cammarata, cofounder of Schmidt’s Naturals, and Moiz Ali, founder of Native, transformed their brands from humble start-ups into two of the biggest names in natural deodorants. The enterprising CEOs tell Star how they combined their business smarts and passion for sustainability into a winning formula.

 

There’s a great backstory to both your products. Can you tell us about it?

Michael: In 2014, I was looking for “natural” companies to invest in when a colleague told me, “You have to look at this product — it’s deodorant in a mason jar!” I read the reviews online and saw that customers really loved it, so I invested. I partnered with her and we cofounded a new company together.

Moiz: In 2015, when my sister got pregnant, I wanted her to use a natural deodorant. But I couldn’t find any, so I launched Native. I started selling deodorant online before I even had a product! Eventually, I found a couple selling deodorant that I loved online, and they started producing it for me.

Moiz Ali
Moiz Ali

How did you grow your businesses?

Michael: We reformulated our product into a stick to compete with mainstream brands. I also brought in accountants and lawyers, and secured a $2 million loan to get us out of a kitchen and into a custom in-house manufacturing facility. We also grew our online business and brand.

Moiz: I experimented with different marketing — buying secret AdWords for $3 per click, running ads on Facebook and Pinterest. At first I was selling 300 sticks a week, but after retargeting to women, we eventually grew to 23,000 sticks a day — more than all the brands on Amazon combined.

Michael Cammaratta
Michael Cammaratta

What was your sales strategy?

Michael: Getting into retail outlets alongside established deodorant brands, not in the “naturals” aisle, was imperative. I refused to put product in any store that wouldn’t agree. And business boomed. Then came the acquisitions in 2017 — Schmidt’s Naturals by Unilever, and Native by P&G — and nine-figure exits for both of you.

Michael: I never intended to sell. When Unilever came along, I consulted with my close friend Dr. Jane Goodall, who urged me to think of the potential impact I could have with a company whose mission is to make sustainable living commonplace. After the acquisition, we were able to expand to 35 countries.

 

Schmidts Deodorant

 

How did you achieve such a fast turnaround?

Moiz: By listening to our customers and making the best product we could.

Michael: One of our most popular scents, Rose + Vanilla, was developed in direct response to customer feedback. People love having a personal relationship and connection with a brand.

 

COOL COMBOS

The clean deodorants contain no aluminum, parabens or sulfates — making them perfect for sensitive skin. They also help save the planet!

native deodorant

FAN BOY

Justin Bieber partnered with Cammarata last year to create his own citrusy, all-natural take, Here + Now. Sweet!

Justin Beiber



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Sara Wilson

Sara Wilson is a short story author, novelist, and award-winning poet. She has work appearing or forthcoming in over forty venues, including Black Static, Fireside, and Buzzy Mag. When she’s not frightening strangers with her writing, she’s most likely frightening her husband and their two mischievous cats.

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