Natural skin care company Shea Bodyworks was inspired by owner Saidah Pearsall’s daughter, Lisa. As a gymnast, the chalk Lisa used left her skin dry and dull — and nothing on the market seemed help. Pearsall used knowledge of natural oils and butters she had gleaned from her mother, and that had helped Pearsall as a burn victim, to create a formula that solved the problem. “My daughter fell in love with the project and said, ‘Mom, you should be selling this.’ So I took her advice and started Shea Bodyworks,” she recalls.
Pearsall is proud that her products for dry skin are plant-based and free of synthetic ingredients. “Our concept is simple,” she says. “We take ingredients from the farm and put them in a jar.”
Pearsall attended SCORE online workshops on social media, Facebook ads, trademark issues, and SEO for small businesses. “In each webinar, the presenter provided the attendees with outside resources, broke down technical terminology and provided examples that could be replicated,” she says.
Mentor Steve Click has advised Pearsall on creative ways to market her products. He also offered ideas on redesigning the Shea Bodyworks website. “I’ve received help with pitching to major retailers and we are now in talks with another major grocery retailer,” Pearsall says. Along the way, she has learned about contracts, negotiation tactics, and FDA requirements for skincare products.
Shea Bodyworks has expanded from offering one product in 2014 to having five products on the market in Whole Foods and several other businesses in Indiana.
Shea Bodyworks was selected as one of 102 state winners in the 2017 American Small Business Championship.