This is a follow up story for DetraPel. If you're interested in reading how they got started, published over 2 years ago, check it out here.
Hello again! Remind us who you are and what business you started.
Hey, I’m David Zamarin. I’m a 23-year-old intellectually curious, thrill-seeking, serial-entrepreneur, and the CEO behind the company I brought to life in 2013, DetraPel.
DetraPel was born when I realized that highly toxic products were abundant on the market that were used by billions of people daily. This epiphany led to an urgency to disrupt the growth trajectory of global challenges directly caused by irresponsible manufacturing.
What do we do at DetraPel?
We make products that are better for people, pets, and, planet.
We make fabric protectors that prolong the life of your favorite belongings without the cancerous PFAS chemicals found in our competitors’ products.
We make powerful cleaners and sanitizers without nasty propellants and unnecessary additives.
We make cleaning safer, easier and better all while making greener products that don’t suck!
Tell us about what you’ve been up to! Has the business been growing?
2020 was a turning point for everyone, we included.
Be nimble, and listen to the people around you and the feedback from the people you intend to serve.
At the onset of COVID-19, the demand for our products, like many other companies' products and services dropped. The pandemic put our business at stake. We essentially had a choice to sink or float.
Fortunately, the DetraPel slogan Protect What You Love, is ingrained in our DNA and we realized that the best way to survive the crisis would be to become a part of the solution.
“Pivot” has been the word of the past year, and that’s exactly what we did. Using our existing infrastructure to pivot to disinfectant and sanitizer production made sense for the safety of our community and our business.
Ultimately, while it was a big risk - it was the right move. Pivoting allowed us to grow the company drastically since our new products were in high demand. We quickly ramped up production, invested in new machinery, multiplied our production capacity 10x, grew from 8 employees to 17, expanded our R&D department which has been fundamental in helping us to launch new products, and even outgrew our space. In the coming month, we will be moving from our existing 13,000 square foot facility into a 40,000 square foot space.
What have been your biggest lessons learned in the last year?
4 things we learned in the last year:
- Solve a problem. Always.
This one is a no-brainer. Your business was already designed to solve a problem. But as things change, acknowledge that new problems arise and that you may be well-positioned to tackle them. Think about what new problems your population is experiencing and fill that gap where you can.
- Adapt or perish.
Sometimes you have to change your business plan to survive. Accept that there will be nightmares about this process. We had them. You will too. It’s going to be ok!
- Stick to what you do best.
You’re already great at what you do. Find a meaningful way to support your community in times of crisis, and they will support you in the future. If you have to pivot, make the most of your existing resources instead of reinventing the wheel.
- Get $#!T Done
This has been our mantra from day one. Often it’s more about just starting and doing instead of being too methodical and planning everything. When I started the business as a 15-year-old, I didn’t feel the need to be so methodical about things. In some ways that were a blessing because many entrepreneurs are scared to take the first leap and will plan to perfect an idea indefinitely without ever acting on it. Things and expectations always change, you’re never going to have everything figured out before you start your company. When we started, we were filling individual bottles by hand and as you grow and gain traction you slowly start implementing better and more efficient ways of doing things.
Similarly, if we had hesitated in launching our disinfectant product, we would have missed out on an opportunity to propel our business forward and more importantly, be there for our community.
What’s in the plans for the upcoming year, and the next 5 years?
At DetraPel, we love being vertically integrated - which is why we’re excited to move into our larger facility which will allow us to continue to keep everything in-house. As we grow our R&D team and production capabilities, we’re really looking forward to growing our consumer product assortment in retail over the next 5 years, as well as our B2B business.
What you’ll see from our brand in the coming months will be more digital and retail presence. With the launch of our Clean AF line, we’ve really enjoyed becoming more daring with our brand. We’re still the same reliable DetraPel that makes powerfully effective, and inherently safer products, and now we have more bite.
Have you read any good books in the last year?
Recently I reread The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey. It’s a classic book that many entrepreneurs have read. Despite having read it before, I enjoy reminding myself to focus on the important things and to work on self-growth. As an entrepreneur, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the day-to-day, but remember to work on the best version of yourself ultimately makes you better at what you do, and positively affects the people around you.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who might be struggling to grow their business?
Every business has its obstacles. Running a business is not supposed to be easy, otherwise, everyone would do it. That said, many successful businesses either started during a major crisis or grew during a major crisis and that is because businesses are designed to help solve problems.
More than ever, businesses have a unique opportunity to do meaningful work for a population that could use help in some way or another. I recommend that entrepreneurs just get started in helping to build solutions. Be nimble, and listen to the people around you and the feedback from the people you intend to serve.
Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?
At this point, we’re looking to hire talented sales & marketing people to join our team. However, at DetraPel, we’re always on the lookout for motivated individuals who are interested in becoming part of a collaborative team with an entrepreneurial spirit. If you’re an innovator and are interested in building your career, reach out to us by emailing us at [email protected], or visit detrapel.com/careers.
Where can we go to learn more?
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
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