Mom's natural deodorant leads to family business

Posted at 4:45 PM, Dec 07, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-07 16:45:25-05

Sylvia Ruma has always been about family. So it makes sense her company, Ruma Organics, is a family affair. Her dad is always by her side helping to mix up her all natural deodorant cream. In fact he helped tweak the original recipe to make it just right.

“He’s my biggest supporter and always has been,” she says. “I am so humbled and grateful to call his my father.”

Then there’s her husband. He helps with the finances, and inspired the launch of the business. Sylvia first made the chemical-free deodorant for him and their growing boys.

“I asked my husband to try it, and he said ‘I’m not trying it during the week, but I’ll definitely try it on the weekend,’” she remembers with a smile.

Turns out he loved it… and so did the countless others she gave it away to… two thousand dollars worth.

“My husband came up to me and said ‘do you know how much money you just spent giving away product?’ and I looked at him and said, ‘do you really want me to charge people for deodorant? ‘”

Yes he did… and yes she did. Ruma Organics was born in January of 2014. Marketing only through social media, her website and word of mouth, she’s sold over 5-thousand jars. There’s lemon, peppermint, and lavender.

“Our essential oils, our peppermint essential oil and our lavender, both come from local Michigan farmers,” she says... "Unlike stick deodorant which usually sticks on the surface of the skin and masks the odor, this absorbs into the skin and eliminates odor from forming at all."

There are only four ingredients, including organic corn starch and organic virgin coconut oil. Sylvia says the deodorant can also be used as a facial scrub, a scrub for chapped lips, and a teeth whitener… among other things.

Sylvia’s had such success with the deodorant that she’s launched a number of other products now, including hand crafted soap, body scrubs and lotions. Inspired by yearly family vacations Up North, she has a Traverse City Cherry Almond line, with the bar soap containing real cherries from Traverse City. Sylvia says the line is soon going to be used and sold at the Grand Traverse Resort.

To round out the family involvement in all this, her company’s logo, which is a big smiley face, is in her honor of mother-in-law.

“She doesn’t sign her name on anything, she just does a smiley face,” she says with a smile herself.

And her sons…

“I’d like this to kind of be a legacy so they can grow up in it, and my older son says I can’t wait until I’m the president of Ruma Organics.

Her products were given out in the American Music Awards Gifting Suite last year and in the gift bags at the Latin Grammys. Ruma Organics was also awarded an Micigan Business & Professional Association “Best of Hatched” award, given to local companies that have made it through start-up and are on their way up.

Ruma Organics’ products are sold in a handful of local retailers and online