When the State of Michigan gave former administrative law judge Tiffany Cartwright lemons, she turned them into a luxurious body scrub that will soon be sold in Walmart stores.
In an exclusive interview with Black Enterprise, Cartwright discussed how being laid off in 2012 due to budget cuts helped her discover her entrepreneurial spirit. It led to the creation of her G.L.A.M. Body Scrubs– but not before losing almost everything first.
Cartwright shared in the interview how she lost her home, her car and everything she had worked so hard for over the years. She even faced unexpected challenges when it came to finding a new job.
“I was unable to find another job because, having worked as a judge, none of the other firms wanted to pick me up, and most entry-level positions thought I was overqualified,” Cartwright said, “so they didn’t want to take a risk on me, so I just kept getting rejection after rejection.
It happened that Cartwright’s brother, Art Cartwright, a motivational speaker and leader of Global Empowerment Ministries, had a segment on his online radio show where he was featuring guests who were starting new businesses based on items they were crafting in their home kitchens. Cartwright, whose daughter was born with eczema, was doing the very same in her own. She appeared on her brother’s show to discuss her creation.
“I was literally in the kitchen mixing concoctions because I did not want to use steroids or chemicals on her skin. I have always been a believer that everything we need for these temples has already been given us given to us by the Creator, so I started mixing them, handing them out as Mother’s Day gifts, (and) birthday gifts for my girlfriends” Cartwright told Black Enterprise. “And again, [I] never even contemplated starting it as a business until years later.”
With her brother’s assistance, Cartwright took steps to incorporate her business and started taking advantage of the opportunities presented to her on this new journey, including a chance to pitch her product on Shark Tank.
Then came an opportunity to present her products to Walmart.
Her brother made her aware of auditions the megastore was having for suppliers of American-made goods. Cartwright and her family took to the road and did the auditions.
“I met with buyers there, and I had successful meetings with the buyers and got a deal there for my product to be tested. And so, that opened the Walmart door for me,” she said about the audition.
The G.L.A.M. Body Scrubs sold out in stores during the test run, and now the seven scrubs are available online through Walmart and will make their way to the retail stores soon.
Target, which did a unique campaign for Black History Month with Cartwright’s G.L.A.M. Body Scrubs, will also be carrying the product in stores soon.
Now that her business is successful, Cartwright is in the process of looking for a larger manufacturing site and hiring a larger staff. She hopes to help women, especially those who have been victims of domestic violence when she does.
“Right now, I’m working on opening a manufacturing facility in the city of Detroit. I have a building already. They’re working on it as we speak, but I want to hire women in Detroit who are returning citizens or (who) have been victimized by domestic violence and human trafficking.”