Roberta Perry: Ensuring Simple, Natural, Efficient Care for Every Skin

Skincare is supposed to be a regime that rejuvenates not just your body but also stirs your heart to pleasure. Because who doesn’t like to own naturally beautiful skin? So, we march on towards the product shelves at the supermarkets, both physical and virtual, to seek that one fine product that will help us in our beauty conquest. 

However, many trials and errors later, some of us still keep looking for that elusive product. We often have to go through a lot of unasked pain, irritation, rashes, and breakouts to realize that what’s in those jars is not what is promised. Often laden with unnatural products and sometimes harsh chemicals that do more harm than in the later run, commercial beauty products often break our dreams of having good, healthy skin and sometimes even bank balances!

For Roberta Perry, however, the search turned into research that led to her realizing that sometimes, you need to take matters into your own hands, trust Mother Nature, and put in all the skills you have to achieve what you set out for. 

In 2006, Roberta, after much research and experimentation, finally found a solution for her dry, itchy skin that worked wonders not just for herself, but also those around her. This led to her establishing her now amazing company, ScrubzBody.

So, here’s Roberta’s story of finding herself, her determination, making promises of natural, good, and effective products, and keeping the promise!
TBW: Give a brief overview of your professional journey. What made you choose your current industry? 

Roberta: It was more that it found me. It was 2006. My skin was really dry and flaky and literally peeled when I scratched it. I was busy with my work, my kids, and home and forgot to take care of myself, using the harsh deodorant soap my husband liked and never taking the time to moisturize or properly pamper my skin. When I was in a meeting and scratched a dry spot till it bled, I knew it was time to get some products to help. 
I walked into my local skincare store and the sales manager handed me a salt scrub. I had never used one before and was excited at the prospect of shedding the dead skin. Without thinking, I used it on my body and enjoyed it, until I hit the spot that I had caused to bleed earlier. It was raw skin and the salt scrub was burning and making my eyes water. I vowed to never use a salt scrub again. This, however, put me on a quest for the perfect scrub. 
After trying upwards of 20 different brands, I realized I could make one better myself, and I did. 
My late sister, Michelle, had some retail experience, so she helped at craft fairs and holiday boutiques. My own past graphic design experience had me setting up the website and creating our first brochures and labels for the jars. I did it fast so I made plenty of mistakes and kept learning along the way. 
As we evolved our look streamlined and our line added complimentary products like OilzPlus+ Lotion and Bye Bye Bagz Eye and Face Cream. We started “Make Your Own Scrubz Parties” to cater to young and old alike. We sell at our Main Street retail shop, and online, and also have a wholesale and private label business.
We slowly built an audience and grew from there. We turned from only wholesale and online retail to store retail and online retail, with a smaller wholesale/private label business model, preferring to get to know our customers one by one.
TBW: Describe your working style in a few words. How would others define your communication style? 
Roberta: My overall work style is light and loose because I tend to be a bit of an “oh look, it’s a squirrel” and get lost on something else as I strive to remember what I was working on in the first place. Yet, I have certain things that are scheduled and keep me accountable. 
For example, I am really great at sending weekly emails. It keeps customers in the loop and is a once-a-week reminder to them that we exist. It lets our list know about specials and events at our shop. It is our one-on-one way to communicate and it’s the best marketing tool we use. 
Social media is for hellos and pictures and reminders, but email is for sales. So, because of this, I schedule the emails weeks in advance so I know that no matter what is going on in my life, whether I am on vacation or have a family emergency, my weekly letter will go out. 
Luckily, my VP/Production Manager/Best friend Wendy keeps the production part of the business running smoothly. Together, we basically work the lighter side of 2 full-time jobs and manage to run the business with some occasional part-time help. It allows for work/recreation on a weekly basis. This is the balance I need for my own sanity and for the errand availability for my aging mom.
TBW: What unique or fresh ideas have you introduced in your capacity? 

Roberta: What I love about my business is that it is a combination of “rinse and repeat” as far as product and the day-to-day ritual of running the business. Yet, because we are people-centric more than product-centric, any number of things can change depending on who walks into our shop that day, or who calls or emails us. It really keeps things fresh!

 “Make Your Own Scrubz” Parties have customers creating a signature scent of our sugar scrub, getting pampered, and learning about how fragrance blends. Shipping the boxes out as “Make Your Own at Home”, for people who can’t make it to the store, is another part of that same idea. 
We recently introduced Smarty Pitz deodorant based on and made for us by the original owner of Smarty Pits. Her former customers and mine are really loving it!
TBW: Brief us about the services provided by your company. How does your company uphold its uniqueness in the market? 

Roberta: Our company creates sugar scrubs, lotions, balms, and things like that. We also have shampoo and conditioner, and as mentioned above, deodorant. 
What we really sell, however, is pampering. Self-love and kindness are directed at ourselves. We can’t stress that enough. It just happens to come in jars and bottles. 
 We keep ourselves unique in that we offer customers over-the-top service. Too many businesses are treating people poorly and with disregard. I always say that the first sale is nice, but the second sale is a reminder that you did something correctly the first time. And so on and so on. 
This makes each customer feel special and seen and heard. We also make products, like our lotions and balms, that last for months because you only need a little.
We also host the Make Your Own Scrubz parties and the occasional lecture, so that adds another dimension to our individuality.
TBW: What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your career? How did you overcome it and what did you learn from it? 

Roberta: Naysayers. 
When I went full-time freelance in my design career, a couple of people thought they knew it all and tried to talk me out of it. “Get a job,” they said. I almost believed them. I freelanced for 16 years. 

And when I launched ScrubzBody I really pounded the pavement to prove wrong anyone who thought it was too difficult and too expensive to start a business.

TBW: Enlighten us about your take on technology. As a modern-day entrepreneur, how are you leveraging the power of technology to your organization’s benefit? 

Roberta: I love certain apps and programs more than others. Don’t we all? 
The downside is when I post something on social and stay there too long. 
The upside is that I get to introduce others around the country and even the world to our products and philosophy. 

I use things like Dropbox for efficiency and Adobe Acrobat, Illustrator, and Photoshop for my business writing, photos, and design. I particularly love how easy it has become to create a new website on WordPress or keep the one you have updated with the latest pictures and information.

TBW: What do you see as the biggest trends in your industry for the next 5 years, and how do you plan to prepare your organization for them? 

Roberta: Trends come and go but good solid, simple skincare stays. 
There are boxes of cleansing pads, jars of over-hyped creams and serums, let alone all the money spent on plastic surgery and Botox, etc. that seem to be “OMG this is it” type situations. But when the hype runs out, the simple comes back in style. 

So, we just keep producing the best we can and will hire extra production people as the need arises.

TBW: What, according to you are the challenges hindering the progress of your industry and the potential solutions? 

Roberta: One is an oversaturation of products and the non-deliverable promises. It makes the rest of us work harder to prove our truths. 
Another is an industry that seems to punish the small, more natural, and holistic products over the hyped large company brands. That makes it about marketing, not great products.

My solution is to keep doing more of the same in regard to product quality and excellent customer service. There is a reason our people come back and it’s not because of price. We listen to their needs and skin issues and cater products to them. We serve customers like no large corporation can and it shows.

TBW: What do we expect from you and your team in the next few years? 

Roberta: For ScrubzBody it will be much of the same, only more of it if we have anything to do with it. J   I just love being a small business owner in the middle of a thriving Main Street. I love knowing our customers and sharing in their joy as they begin to see the difference in their skin. 

I love our private label business and I have recently started mentoring other business owners who want to start a skincare line.

TBW: What is that one quote you absolutely live by or find helpful? 

Roberta: I really refer to many quotes, but particularly love the following:
“You teach best what you most need to learn” — Richard Bach
“W.A.I.T.” – Why am I talking? — Anonymous
“I learned to love the journey, not the destination. I learned that this is not a dress rehearsal and that today is the only guarantee you get.” — Anna Quindlen
“Those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” — Bernard Baruch 
“Learning is finding out what you already know. Doing is demonstrating that you know it. Teaching is reminding others that they know just as well as you. You are all learners, doers, teachers.” — Richard Bach