Christie Shumate, Founder of Underarm Deodorant Granules and Esthetician and Certified Medical Elect
Christie Shumate is an award-winning licensed Esthetician and Certified Medical Electrologist, who has been in the beauty industry for more than 30 years. Her spa, Transformations Esthetics & Wellness, boasts some of her personally developed cutting-edge techniques as well as an impressive roster of celebrity clients.
Using her esthetics background Christie created the world’s first plant based, aluminum free Underarm Deodorant Granules that actually work! Underarm Deodorant Granules debuted at a private label manufacturing show, where they were awarded one of the “Innovative Products of the Year”.
Christie is now on a dedicated mission to educate men and women about the products they use and specifically aluminum and all its effects. She has been featured on CBS News, The Palm Beach Post and many other local and national outlets. She is always open to discussions about health, wellness and of course deodorant. You can buy Underarm Deodorant Granules at Transformations Esthetics & Wellness, One on One Fitness, Salt Suite.
What's your industry?
Health and Wellness
For those who don't know anything about you or your work, can you provide a bit of background?
I began my career as an Esthetician after being inspired by a plastic surgeon who would donate his Summers to go to third-world Countries and help those in need. Some of his patients included children born with birth defects as well as those injured in fires or who had suffered physically from domestic abuse.
There I was, sitting in his waiting room flipping through before and after photos with tears running down my face. Here I wanted to pay him to make me look better than perfect! And, these poor folks were hoping he could make them just look somewhat normal. It was a very humbling experience and one that changed my life. I too, wanted to be involved in a career where I could help others with their appearance and also give back.
What does an average day look like for you?
I begin every day in prayer and my Daily Devotional: Time With God. I first give thanks for what I have already been blessed with, followed by prayers for others and finally some personal requests for my business, family, health, pets etc. Starting each day on an uplifting note like this, helps to set the stage for the rest of the day. Next, comes my “positive affirmations”. For 33 days, I will close my eyes and envision how I want my life to be, as if it is already happening. You truly do bring about what you think about! Just like a magnet, you can draw your desires to you. I currently have nine affirmations that I envision as if they are already here, and when the 33 days are up, I will tweak the list and begin another 33 days.
Five days a week I will either walk (at a brisk pace) around my neighborhood or do 20 minutes of weight training. Then, make the 40 minute drive to my office while listening to upbeat music or an encouraging message from Pastor Joel Osteen.
My days are filled with amazing Clients that have become more like family. They are not only looking for a pampering, relaxing experience, but also a change in their appearance. And, that’s where I get to work my magic! Knowing that you have the ability to change someone’s appearance, which will ultimately effect their self-esteem is both scary and exhilarating
How do you balance the needs of your business with the needs of your personal life?
That’s a tough one. Because I am not only a work-a-holic, but also a perfectionist. So, I am never truly DONE for the day. There is always something to be done when you own a business. I usually have a running To-Do list with no less than 15-20 tasks. Thankfully, I have a very understanding and supportive husband. He does most of the cooking during the week since he works from home. That helps a great deal.
My body usually tells me when it’s time to schedule “me” time or “we” time, with my husband. I’ll get run down and HAVE to rest, decompress, unplug, go off-the-grid for a few days
What's the best advice anyone ever gave you on your journey in business?
The best advice came during a class I was taking on growing my business. Although the class was four hours in length, the one sentence spoken by the presenter that changed my career only took her four seconds to say. She said: “What got you here (the financial or business level you are currently at), won’t get you there (the level you want to get to)”. Those eight, simple words came to life in me. It reminded me of a saying that I had heard many years prior: “If you always do what you’ve always done, then you’ll always be where you are right now”.
I had always been a “solo-preneur”, operating my Esthetics Practice on my own. I often said that I needed to grow more heads due to all of the hats that I wore. Those coming in for their pampering Spa services didn’t realize that I was also the Janitor that had just finished mopping the floor after taking off my Marketing hat, from a Networking luncheon earlier that day. I was the accountant, balancing the books and keeping track of inventory while becoming Certified in new technologies to offer my Clients. I was the Receptionist, answering calls, scheduling appointments, returning text messages and emails. Ironically, none of those hats came with a paycheck! Other people get paid to do those jobs, but not me. Those jobs were taking time away from what I DO get paid for, which is performing services as an Aesthetician.
The “a-ha lightbulb” lit up. By hiring folks that do those jobs for a living, it would free up time for me to do what I do for a living. And, I could also hire other Aestheticians/Technicians that could perform services on my Clients (and new Clients that they would bring), which would grow the business.
I’m happy to say, that is exactly what happened. I am exceeding my goals by only wearing one hat. This has freed up time for me to launch my innovative creation, Underarm Deodorant Granules. The first single-use, plant-based, aluminum-free Deodorant in Granule form. And, it actually works!
What's been the hardest part about the path you've taken and how would you advise someone facing a similar situation to overcome it?
As the creator of Underarm Deodorant Granules, I knew that I was on to something big. Afterall, Deodorant in granule form has never been done before. Offering a single-use option as with the granules, would make the application method much more sanitary than a stick or roll-on. Think about it. Why use something over and over in an area known to produce bacteria, your underarms? In effect, you are putting the bacteria from your underarms onto the stick or roll-on and then re-applying it the next day. Granules just made sense and they would be easy to travel with on a plane, to the beach, the gym or wherever for on-the-go needs.
But, since Deodorant in granule form had never existed before, I excitedly wanted to show it to three individuals that already had products in Retail stores. Keep in mind that these three people didn’t know each other, and their products are unrelated to mine. Imagine my surprise when all three emphatically told me that my deodorant in “granular” form would not be accepted and that I would absolutely have to turn it into a stick or roll-on! I thanked them for their time and never looked back. When you believe so strongly in something as I do the granules, you owe it to yourself and those that it will affect to see it all of the way through. Don’t let others burst your bubble.
The other obstacle that I have to overcome, was getting people interested in trying an aluminum-free deodorant. Aluminum-free deodorants are very popular…just not for the right reason. Most do not work. As a licensed Esthetician, being familiar with product ingredients, I was able to come up with the exact combination of plant-based ingredients that became the million dollar success story. Finally, a deodorant that kept you smelling fresh and dry that didn’t contain a heavy metal, aluminum!
As I knew they would, the Underarm Deodorant Granules have been extremely well received. In fact, they received the distinction of being one of the Innovative Products of theYear in 2022 and were recently featured on CBS News!
Are there any well-known Books, Podcasts, or Courses that you credit your current success to?
As previously mentioned, I read the Bible. But, some other classics I enjoy are Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive, by Harvey Mackay, How To Win Friends & Influence People, by Dale Carnegie and Positive Imaging by Norman Vincent Peale. On my radar is Superfans, by Pat Flynn and Raving Fans, by Ken Blanchard/Sheldon Bowles
What do you think are the most important qualities for a successful business owner or executive to have?
The most important qualities to have are honesty and integrity. I have been known to turn away a new Client/s that I knew I couldn’t help. Or, talk someone out of a procedure that they saw online and wanted me to perform on them. As an example, (making up a number here) the one hundred dollars paid by a new, happy Client will net me at least 3 new happy Clients, from people that she will tell, and they will tell and so on. And, that same one hundred dollars paid by a disappointed Client will cost me dearly, as she will tell at least 10 people and post a bad online review. So, although my Clients think that they have chosen me, I ultimately chose them!
I recently had an online order come through for the Underarm Deodorant Granules. The order was for a 3-day sample if you just pay the shipping, of which this person did. When I saw that she was mistakenly charged $5.00 too much. I whipped out a $5.00 bill and had it included with her order along with a handwritten apology letter from me. She would have never known of the mistake, but I did and needed to make it right.
Another quality would be to relate to your clientele or staff as human beings and not a “number”. I like to surprise my staff by taking them out to dinner, asking them about their families, and how I can help them become the best (whatever their position is) that they can be. For my clientele, they receive a hug, not a handshake when entering, a phone call/or handwritten card by me on their birthday and unexpected freebie services as a thank you for their patronage.
What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out as a business owner?
Go the extra mile. It is rewarding on so many levels and will set you apart from others. And, as a new business owner, you MUST set yourself apart from the competition.
Don’t skimp on office décor, technology or quality. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on these things. Heck, my first Spa was almost completely furnished by the Salvation Army and Good Will stores! BUT, it looked very regal. Yes, I had to use a little elbow grease to spruce some things up. But, the finished product was a masterpiece! When people see quality, they feel comfortable in investing in your products and services
What are the top three things you think are essential for business success?
The top 3 things that I think are essential for business success are:
1. Set realistic goals for the year that are broken down into months and weeks. You can eat a whole elephant one bite at a time! Reward yourself when you reach each goal.
2. Hire staff for the kind of person they are and not the qualifications they have! You can train someone to do almost anything. But, you can not train someone on how to be a good person with integrity
3. Give back. At both of my companies, Transformations Esthetics and Transformations Wellness, we donate 10% back to people, places and pets in need, including research for Cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease. Don’t wait until you hit the big-time. Start it from the very beginning of your business journey
Do you think someone can be a great business owner without having many years of experience first?
Yes, if you just treat people the way you want to be treated. What do you expect from those whom you do business with? Do that or do better
In general, do you think the world is producing better business owners in 2023 than it was fifty years ago?
No, I don’t. We have become too “techy”. Covid helped with that. So much is “virtual” now. The company my husband works for didn’t even have their annual Christmas party this year, since everyone is now working from home. To me, that would have been the perfect opportunity to finally meet the people in person that you have only know from a computer screen.