The road to entrepreneurship, community, and pickleball: 6 Things We Talked about with Jamie Schmidt

You can thank Jamie Schmidt for not only helping you smell a little bit better but also for giving you a bit of inspiration in whatever goal you may be pursuing whether it be climbing the corporate ladder or starting a business at your kitchen table, like she did (or sink rather.) 

Her story is a classic one yet still unique and ultimately inspirational. While pregnant with her first son she started experimenting with making her products because of her sensitive skin and it was also cheaper than just buying more. Schmidt was also big into all things DIY. She sold her products at farmer’s markets and eventually the brand gained widespread acclaim for its innovative approach to deodorant, offering a plant-based and cruelty-free alternative to traditional products. Jamie's commitment to sustainability and wellness resonated with consumers, contributing to Schmidt’s Naturals’ rapid growth. 

Eventually, the brand was sold to Unilever in 2017 (for an undisclosed sum) and she went off into the entrepreneur sunset, except she didn’t.  She founded Supermaker, a platform that highlights, educates, and guides entrepreneurs and brands. Schmidt and her husband, Chris Cantino, also founded the investment fund Color, which specializes in supporting early-stage companies led by women and other minority groups. She also wrote the book Supermaker: Crafting Business on Your Own Terms. Tired yet? But Schmidt was very interested in crypto, blockchain, NFTs, and Web3 and joined forces with Brit Morin to help bring more women and non-binary friends into the space. They co-founded BFF to help provide guidance and resources those interested in learning more about Web3 and now they have joined forces with Boss Beauties and here we are. This partnership showcases Jamie's versatility and willingness to explore new opportunities, further solidifying her position as a forward-thinking entrepreneur.

As a trailblazer in the natural products industry and a champion for women in the crypto space, Jamie Schmidt continues to inspire aspiring entrepreneurs with her innovative spirit and commitment to making a positive impact on both the business and social fronts. We were lucky enough to sit down with Schmidt and pick her brain on her journey, her entrepreneurial drive, her work-life balance, and most importantly, pickleball. Watch her whole interview here. 

On Being an Entrepreneur

Schmidt started building her company while pregnant which may not seem like an ideal time to start your empire but Schmidt disagrees. “There’s no prescribed path to become an entrepreneur. I think sometimes we fall into it. We sort of stumble our way into starting businesses and I think those are generally the ones that are most successful and I love that kind of story too.” She said she really didn’t have a plan to become an entrepreneur but discovered later on in life that this drive was just in her. “There's probably a lot of people that can relate to that, and if they don't realize it now, they'll discover that later. So that sort of set a fire under me too, just to keep going and to build in a way that was a little bit nontraditional.”

On Being Pregnant While Starting a Business

Schmidt says it helped her to get pregnant and build a business at the same time. It was a productive source of stress in a way. “I had to get my shit together and I had to be incredibly organized. I had to be strategic with the way I was spending my time and my money and where I was putting my attention. Now when I look back on it, it's crazy to think that I juggled all those things at the same time, but it worked! I had enough of a support system to lean on if I needed it. So, yeah, if inspo strikes, I think it's hard to fight it.”

On Finding Your Career Path 

Schmidt told us, “You have to try things, but there's also this conversation around finding your passion. But it does take work. It's not going to just fall into your lap one day. You have to try things and realize what you don't like and what you're not good at to discover what it is that you're meant to be doing.”

On Negative Feedback

Anyone creating a product is going to have to be ready for some failures and tough feedback. But how do you handle that both personally and professionally? Schmidt said she developed a  muscle over time to help her deal with negative feedback. “I think I did develop it over time because I didn't have the time or the ability to not. Like  I trust myself because things move so quickly. And if you're just questioning everything and wondering if you're making the right choices, you just get stuck and then second guess yourself or tell yourself that you're doing a bad job.” This can lead to paralysis which you cannot have as an entrepreneur. “You have to power through and just move forward. You have to remind yourself sometimes, that this is your thing and nobody can do it better.”

On the Importance of Pickleball

Schmidt is a huge player of pickleball and encourages others to get involved. She sees huge potential in the sport and often encourages others to play on social media and try to introduce it to more and more people. “I just see how it's affected me personally and other people. I want more people to give it a try.” She wishes it had been around more in her early days of entrepreneurship for her mental health as well as physical wellbeing as it helps her so much today with both of those things. 

On Work-Life Balance

Schmidt says sometimes it is going to work and some weeks it is just going to be rough but you should give yourself a break. It is also so dependent on the people you surround yourself with. She has Morinnow as a partner, who is incredibly supportive, but when she was building Scmidt’s she had a really strong community of makers and entrepreneurs around her. They struggled together and they celebrated success together. Having that community is essential for this kind of work. Otherwise, you can become very isolated. She sees so much of that wonderful community spirit with BFF as well both online and off. 

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