How your clients refer to you:
David or Mr. Scully’s
Scully’s Wonderful Stuff Inc.
Website: www.scullyswonderfulstuff.com, Personal Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, General Email: email@example.com
How many years have you been in business in NYC?
Officially, Scully’s has been a business for three years, but the Deodormint®, chemical free deodorant, has been in our family since 1928 and in many ways I feel like I’ve been doing this my whole life.
My family owned a rubber factory in Baltimore- my grandfather, Scully, actually co-invented the plunger! So, I grew up working there. We’re a family of tinkerers.
How did you get your start and what was your initial inspiration?
I tried a lot of antiperspirants and deodorants, but none of them worked for me. I didn’t like the artificial smell and feel, and they stained my shirts. So, I stopped wearing it which, unfortunately for my family, was the same time I picked up running. After a few weeks, my wife said that I stunk and need to figure out a solution. I mentioned this to my mom, who reminded me that my grandfather, Scully, used to make his own deodorant.
The story goes that my grandmother agreed to marry him on the condition that he wouldn’t come home stinking from the factory every day. You couldn’t just buy deodorant at the store back then, so he got to work creating one himself. She must have been happy with the result, because my dad was born soon after. He grew up with Scully’s homemade deodorant, took it with him to Europe in the army, and was still using it when he met my mom.
I managed to track down part of the old recipe and spent months in our kitchen reworking it late at night, using all-natural ingredients and adding something to prevent stains. Then history repeated itself: my wife was thrilled with the final product. She even started using it herself – and soon so did our kids, our friends, and our neighbors.
What do you feel differentiates you from others in your field?
First and foremost, it works! It’s as simple as that because so many of these natural products just don’t work. And as we introduce new products, the key test is does it work as well or better than its chemical counterpart?
The second thing that people really love about Scully’s is it actually feels awesome. Here’s a product (antiperspirant / deodorant) that 90% of the adult population uses, and yet no one loves. I spent two years getting the formulation right to make sure it feels cool going on, evaporates at just the right rate, and leaves absolutely no residue.
We’re the only company that brings a foodie-like obsession to sourcing a personal product. I distill two of the mint ingredients myself. I know the supplier of the third personally. My citric acid comes from grapefruits, and much of the alcohol comes from New York and New Jersey grains.
People care a lot about what ingredients are in their food, because it ends up in their bodies. Our point of view is that so does most of what you put on your body.
Scully’s comes in a glass bottle because I thought it felt just right in the hand. I drove suppliers crazy seeking out just the right spritzer that covered the right area and still felt great under your finger. It’s a labor of love which is why it works- and feels so great.
The last differentiator is that it has been in my family since 1928 and I now manufacture it in our building’s old coal vaults, under the streets of Brooklyn. This is as handmade as it gets.
What do you feel gives you longevity in this big city with so many options?
That Deodormint® actually works and took off on its own. I didn’t make a business out of it, it made a business out of itself, and that is when things can be trusted. The reason I decided to go full speed ahead is because the demand was proof that we needed to focus and give this the attention it demanded. Scully’s has a personality connected to a real family with a real history. It’s not based on some obscure or made up marketing plan.
How do you positively impact your clientele?
1. We make a pleasure out of an otherwise throwaway moment. When have you ever actually enjoyed, or better yet craved, putting on deodorant? When have you gifted someone a deodorant or been excited to receive it as a gift? Now it’s a little moment of zen. It becomes part of people’s morning ritual, like a great cup of coffee. A lot of folks use it as a refresher during the day, and not just on their armpits.
2. This product is connected to a real family, and with the trust that comes from this, people can let themselves go and enjoy it without being concerned about what’s in it or where it comes from.
3. I’m determined to show that chemical-free doesn’t have to mean compromise. Almost always, when folks see the words “all natural or organic” it means that whatever it is doesn’t taste as good, work as well, feel as nice, or is much more expensive than whatever it is they’re replacing. Scully’s is the antidote to that.
What is your favorite part of your job?
The stories of how Scully’s affects people’s lives, and making the actual product - getting my geek on in the lab.
I was introduced to a group at a business meeting by a woman who surprised us all by saying that she was a breast cancer survivor, and that Scully’s Deodormint was the only pleasurable thing that had come out of it. It was the only Deodorant her doctor would approve, and it was the first time she used something different from the antiperspirant she had used all her adult life. She said she loved it, and that it actually brings her a little moment of joy every morning. I know we’re only talking about deodorant, but I choked up. The fact that I could make someone happy like that was really cool.
One guy in Arizona always “Scully’s up” before a hot date- I’ll let you use your imagination; the store owner who uses it for her hemorrhoids- try not to use your imagination; the mom who uses it in the mornings on red eye flights like a “little shower in a bottle.”
I love being in the lab: distilling, the measuring, the pumping, the cool automatic bottling turntable a prop designer built for me with a CNC lathe. I love the sound of it going at full tilt. I love it when my kids just appear and start helping me.
What is your favorite secret NYC spot?
I love the Scully’s “lab.” I love the fact that my family had owned and lived in this building for 7 years and had no idea ancient underground coal vaults existed until a ConEd (NY Electric Company) explosion blew them open. They’d probably been sealed up since WWI. One of them still had coal- and a boot- in it. I love the look on friends faces when we descend to the basement then open my grey door and boom, there’s this big cool clean white tiled space with these old arched brick vaults behind. Think Celebrity Chef meets the Bat Cave.
How do you benefit mamas?
In two ways- what it does, and what it doesn’t do.
What it Doesn’t do is contain parabens which leach into breast tissue and hormone disrupting fragrances that interfere in the bonding process with a nursing newborn.
Here’s a bit of the science: Regular deodorants and antiperspirants present two dangers to pregnant and nursing moms, parabens and hormone chemicals present in artificial fragrances. Prevalent research reveals that 99% of all breast cancer tissue samples contain parabens! While parabens are common to most body and hair products, the primary delivery vehicle for breast tissue is deodorants and antiperspirants.
The other thing Scully’s protects you from is the hormone disrupting nature of the fragrances common in popular antiperspirants and deodorants. Breasts and armpits naturally release hormones that guide newborns to the nipples, and create a signature scent that is important to the bonding process. Most commonly used artificial fragrances disrupt this.
What Scully’s does, beyond preventing BO, is leave moms feeling clean and refreshed. A friend of ours had a C-Section and called Scully’s “my little bath in a bottle,” until she was able to finally able to luxuriate in a real one again. It’s a fresh eye opener in the morning, a “refresher” during the day, a little moment of zen at a time when you have no time for yourself.
What is the most memorable feedback a client has given you?
Early on, I consistently got feedback that customer’s spritz’s were running out too quickly because whomever they were living with (wife, husband, girlfriend, etc.) was mooching off them. This led me to make the refill, which also happens to bring the use cost down and be environmentally friendly.
Pay it forward and name your top colleagues in the same field or related field:
I love what the Method business has done with their product line and branding.
What is the best advice anyone's ever given you? Or what is your "mantra" / words to live by?
The best advice was given to me by an Endocrinologist that I consulted with: “Nothing healthy has more than 5 ingredients in it.”
As far as a mantra goes, “An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory.” It’s an Emerson quote my dad would repeat often.
As moms, the day can escape us, what is your best time-saving trick?
Stopping time. I can spend all day down in the lab, running Deodormint® or developing new products and have no sense of time passing. Unfortunately, for the rest of the world, the clock keeps ticking as reflected in the scowling faces of my family when I tramp in late for dinner.