I am always interested to learn about for profit businesses that incorporate social responsibility into their business structure. After speaking with Dawn Fitch, of the New Jersey based health and beauty business Pooka Pure and Simple, I came away with a sense of her commitment to inspire other business owners; not just in words but in action as well. Ms. Fitch is a graphic artist by trade and is an example of how multi faceted so many entrepreneurs are in their backgrounds and personal interests.
When/how did healthy living become a priority?
Actually it sort of started a little before the business started. I'd say in about 2000 I had gotten sick just going to so many doctors and they didnt know what was wrong...
Doctors kept telling me i was fine.
Really just being sick and not feeling well. I had to take a new look at what I was eating. Seven years ago I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. I decided to forgo traditional treatment and instead focused on food, yoga and exercise
It gets easier every year because I really see the difference when I don't eat well.
What was the inspiration for the Pooka Passion contest?
We've been in business for over 14 years. The thing people ask most is, 'How did you start?'. 'How can I start my own business?'. 'How did your sustain your business?'. 'How did you make the choice to walk away from corporate America?'.
We thought people would be coming to is with a lot of product questions. I do a lot of speaking on entrepreneurship, if you have a passion, you can do it. All you need is just someone to believe in you.
We really wanted to help people get started. What we hope to do is to maybe have a Pooka Passion Club.People can get inspiration from each other
That was really important for us as a business for people to know that we support their passion and their dreams.
How did you come to find out about the Indie Beauty Network?
It's funny, when I wanted to start making the products I read 'Making Aromatherapy Creams and Lotions' by Donna Maria Coles Johnson. When I really started making the products and getting into the business I needed a trade industry
I had an old e-mail from her. I went back and looked at all the work she had done. She has been such an inspiration. I've gone on her Indie Business Cruise four years in a row
I even get produt liability insurance through her network. When your trying to get started you need that support. We've been members for about 10 years. The resources are amazing. If there isn't one, (a trade organization for your business needs) start one.
Are there any ongoing activities of the Black Wealth Initiative as included on your blog?
That was an event put on by local fraternities and sororities. They do it once a year, it's a dialogue about cretaing wealth and keeping wealth. I do a lot of speaking in that area, starting your own business, employing other people...
I also started another business with a friend.....Beauty That Cares
'Beauty that cares was created by LaShonda Tyree, Creator and Founder of The Handmade Soap coach and Dawn Fitch, Creator and Founder of Pooka Pure & Simple. Sharing a love of creating natural products, they began to collaborate to teach workshops where others could learn about the empowerment of creating your own products and the benefits of natural ingredients. The workshops were geared towards young girls, but they soon found out that women of all ages enjoyed the experience.
We believe in civic responsibility and encouraging youth to start their own businesses.