Dawn Schol wanted an organic lotion that would relieve her severely dry skin – a problem exacerbated by the frequent hand-washing she had to do as a teacher. But in the search for a lotion that could heal her hands but didn’t include dangerous chemicals, Schol came up empty-handed. When she went to natural-food stores, she found that even the organic lotions had ingredients she couldn’t pronounce. In turn, Schol started making her own all-natural, organic, whipped body butter. After a few years, her family and friends began encouraging her to go into business, so with a logo and packaging designed by her artist mother, she started selling Mermaid Butter at local street fairs. When Schol decided to take her product to the next level, she turned to SCORE for help.
SCORE mentor Pamela Kaur has helped Schol with every aspect of setting up her business, from choosing the right corporate structure to filing the necessary paperwork with the IRS and the state of New York. She also advises Schol on pricing, logo ideas, copyright issues and negotiations with local merchants. Because Kaur was familiar with the ingredients in Mermaid Butter, she was able to help Schol adjust her formula and add new ingredients to improve results. Despite her busy schedule, Kaur always gets back to Schol right away when she has questions.
“Without Pamela's knowledge and dedication, I would not have started my company,” says Schol. “She gave me enthusiasm from the beginning and was also excited about my product.”
Schol turned Mermaid Butter into an S corporation, created a website and convinced three local merchants to begin carrying her product. She also sells Mermaid Butter on her website, where customers can order their own customized formulas.