Chaundra Smith (1971-)
Company: Naturally Me
Size: Valued at $100,000 as of 2012
When her children began experiencing skin irritations and rashes, Chicagoan Chaundra Smith got busy seeking alternative products that were affordable and natural. When Smith was laid off from her in 2008, she transformed her quest into a business, and launched Naturally Me, which makes handmade, natural vegan home and beauty products. Within three years, Naturally Me expanded dramatically, offering products through a website, directly to boutiques and spas, as well as through consultants who sell at in-home demonstration parties. Smith’s team of half a dozen sales and PR consultants are based in three states, covering two time zones and working multiple shifts. Making it all come together for this small company are cloud technologies that let Smith connect with her team and clients via videoconferencing and document sharing.
“The best piece of advice I have is to have patience and do lots of research. Success does not happen overnight. It may seem like a business just popped up overnight, but believe me when I say that they have been working hard at it for years before it became a big hit.”