I Grew My Cleaning Products Business By 48% Thanks To Wholesaling

Published: March 24th, 2022
Michelle C. Smith
Founder, MamaSuds
from Michigan, USA
started January 2012
Discover what tools Michelle recommends to grow your business!
Discover what books Michelle recommends to grow your business!
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Hello again! Remind us who you are and what business you started.

Hello! My name is Michelle Smith and I am the founder and CEO of MamaSuds. MamaSuds creates naturally-focused, synthetic-free products that are truly safe for label-reading people who focus on health + wellness.

The MamaSuds product line includes eco-friendly household cleaners and non-toxic liquid soaps. All ingredients are natural, cruelty-free, free of dyes and synthetics, and handcrafted by mamas.

Today MamaSuds has been sold to customers in all 50 states, over 9 countries, and has an average revenue of $28k a month.


Tell us about what you’ve been up to! Has the business been growing?

The last 18 months have brought us a lot of growth- a 48% increase in revenue! People have continued to understand the importance of soap and its role in keeping us safe and healthy. Our wholesale accounts have continued to increase, especially in Refillery boutiques- which are stores that sell sustainable goods in bulk. You can bring in your containers to fill or purchase them at the store. They have become wildly popular and our products do very well with them, especially with our toilet bombs.

Our toilet bombs have become such a high demand for us we have purchased a press to allow us to make more than we could hand pressing them. Hand pressing them was very labor-intensive and we could only make so many in a day. Now that we have the press, we can make more with less labor (and less shoulder and back pain!). We were just recently featured in a USA Today article!

Last fall, I applied to be in the Golldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program. I did not think I would get through the first phase, but my business mentor and friends encouraged me to apply. I made it through the first two rounds and then the interview. In early January 2021, I received a phone call letting me know I was chosen to be a part of the National Cohort 15.

It was the best and the hardest 16 weeks of my life! I gained skills in marketing, financial statements, negotiations, and employee management while having access to experts and mentors. While I went through the rigorous program, I also had to develop a business plan for growth. For this plan, I choose to do a product launch, MamaSuds Extra Strength Oxygen Powder, which is a bleach alternative laundry product.

We have hired several people this year- we now have 3 production workers and 1 shipping/receiving clerk. We are currently in the process of hiring 2 more production workers. We just hired Knowmad Digital Marketing to provide professional SEO services. We are in the infant stage of our progress but I am enjoying that aspect of my business is taken care of by people who know what they are doing!

In the middle of the GS10KSB application process, I came across a space for lease that wasn’t very far from home and fit our desperate need to get out of our garage! On November 1, 2020, we moved into a 2000 square foot facility in Davisburg, Michigan. This has provided us the opportunity to scale tremendously. We can buy packaging and raw materials in larger quantities and have space for everything. We are growing so quickly, I am keeping my eye out for a larger space!

What have been your biggest lessons learned in the last year?

The biggest lesson I have learned in the last year is how to work ON my business and not so much IN my business. During the interview process for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, you were required to have at least one employee to get accepted into the program. They also reminded all the applicants that as small business owners, it was our job to CREATE jobs. This was such an aha! the moment for me! I realized by hiring more production workers, I could focus on growing the business instead of making everything myself!

Having an accountability group has proved to be very important to our growth in the past 18 months as well. I belong to a couple of indie business groups, but the weekly meeting I have with my Indie Business Network PRO group is so valuable. We meet every Thursday via Zoom where we talk about our wins and we mastermind problems or ideas.

What’s in the plans for the upcoming year, and the next 5 years?

We are planning on moving into a bigger facility if not next year, soon after. We have a few exciting product launches in the works that we are excited about. I am very excited about seeing my Growth Plan come to fruition. I have learned how to work on my business and delegate work. I am excited to get into more homes of people who want a healthy lifestyle!

Find a network of people who are also in your line of work and can hold you accountable.

Have you read any good books in the last year?

I recently read the founder of Schmidt’s Deodorant, Jaime Schmidt’s book called Supermaker. It was very inspiring and I felt a lot of her entrepreneurial journey mirrors a lot of my early years. It’s scary and exciting to think about growing your company so big that you can sell it.

Another great book I’ve read in the last year is Get Out of Your Way by Dave Hollis. It follows his journey through a hard season in life and how he decided he wouldn’t play it safe and settle for mediocrity. It’s a great book!

Advice for other entrepreneurs who might be struggling to grow their business?

Find your people! Find a network of people who are also in your line of work and can hold you accountable. Finding a mix of people who are further along in business (so they can help you), in the same stage (so you can commiserate and celebrate), and also people who are not as far along as you (so you can pay it forward). It makes a world of difference!

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

Yes! We are currently looking for more productive workers. Please check out our website for more information.

Where can we go to learn more?

If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!