Women’s Entrepreneurship Day: Meet Poo~Pourri Founder Suzy Batiz
Transformation is the common thread that runs throughout founder and creator Suzy Batiz’s life and her nine-figure empire of companies. Whether transforming the bathroom into a pleasant-smelling experience with Poo~Pourri, the household cleaning industry from toxicity to aromatherapeutic magic with supernatural or people’s lives with her growing portfolio of ALIVE OS™ courses, Suzy is a revolutionary explorer of infinite potential in the playground of life. She loves to inspire others and bring them along for the ride, with energy being her native tongue.
For Women’s Entrepreneurship Day (11/19), we’re looking back at Suzy’s interview in Authority Magazine’s ‘Powerful Women’ series, which features accomplished women leaders alongside their stories and experiences navigating work, love and life as a powerful woman.
Can you tell us the story about what led you to this particular career path?
Plain and simple — I had an ALIVE idea. After more than 12 failed businesses and my second (yes, second!) bankruptcy, I was on a spiritual sabbatical and had completely sworn off business. Essential oils were my hobby for over a decade, way before they were trendy! One day, at a dinner party someone asked if bathroom odor could be trapped and it was like everything around me went into hi-def as I felt a zing up my arm, goosebumps and the idea would not leave me alone. I could see it — oil floats on water and I knew I could trap the smell under the water’s surface. The idea truly had a life of its own and within me so I worked tirelessly for nine months formulating, testing and tweaking until I finally got it right. I never thought of this idea as a business as I was simply making something that I knew was possible. Once I got it right, there was no way I could keep it to myself. Fast forward 14 years and here I am in the toilet spray business.
You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?
I often say being an entrepreneur is like being a hurdler. If you do not like jumping, dodging and solving problems all day long, then it is probably not for you, but if you are resilient, you can handle all of these hurdles. I have found that there is always a solution if you’re willing to find it.
Starting Poo~Pourri was the first time I had ever worked on CPG. I did not know what I was doing or how things were “supposed” to be done so I made it up along the way and followed the proverbial breadcrumbs that were laid out for me. Had I been experienced, maybe I would have tried to run and build my business within the boundaries of systems that were already built and maybe, just maybe, that would have slowed our growth. We have become known for our innovative ways and doing things that CPG companies are told they “cannot” do.
Throughout my time building Poo~Pourri, I have always remained curious and asked the question, “How can we do this differently?” It’s been one of the greatest, most empowering tools. For instance, about seven years in, I felt an impulse that it was really time to put the foot on the gas and grow the business. The issue was that Poo~Pourri grew in the gift channel and did not have national distribution. We also didn’t have a huge marketing budget, so traditional advertising wasn’t really an option for us. We were curious as to how we could get our name out there, but differently. We heard about this little website called Youtube and had seen some pretty funny viral videos. We were told that there was no way a product-based video would go viral, but with a tiny budget, a small team and a hilarious idea, four days after releasing our first video “Girls Don’t Poop”, we had more than four million dollars in product backorders and millions of video views.
What should a powerful woman do in a context where she feels that people are uneasy around her?
Quite frankly, that is not her problem. A woman should always stay within her experience and never diminish herself in order to make someone else more comfortable. Women have done just that for far too long and it has got to stop.
A woman should always stay within her experience and never diminish herself in order to make someone else more comfortable.
What do we need to do as a society to change the unease around powerful women?
We need to create MORE powerful women and more women who are comfortable being powerful. Then, we need to place women in positions of power. At Poo~Pourri, our executive team is 75% female and I believe that we’re one of the most creative, curious and forward thinking executive teams around. We’re used to breaking down boundaries and systems because we’ve done it our whole lives.
In my own experience, I have observed that often women have to endure ridiculous or uncomfortable situations to achieve success that men don’t have to endure. Do you have a story like this from your own experience? Can you share it with us?
There is a misconception that women HAVE to endure uncomfortable situations to achieve success. There’s a misconception that you have to give certain things or act in certain ways to get something in return. Before my second bankruptcy, I had those same misconceptions. What I have learned is that as long as women keep reinforcing that system and those ideas, we will have to keep playing that game. We need to stop it. We need to create a new system or find a system which is much easier than trying to fight the one that already exists. Compete against the system instead of trying to change it from the inside out.
Want to read Suzy’s full interview? Check it out here.