When Nelly Reyes began her feminine care products company, freshie, she never expected to impact the lives of women in the way that she has.
In 2013, Reyes began developing freshie after discovering that there was an unmet need in the market of natural feminine care products. Reyes had twenty years prior experience working for her father’s brand, Lemisol, the Caribbean’s leading feminine wash brand.
In 2005 she moved to Los Angeles where she learned about the importance of natural product consumption and healthy living. All these experiences culminated in the creation of Freshie, an all natural feminine wash product free of sulfates, parabens, and other harmful toxins and chemicals often found in conventional feminine care products.
Starting up her company she encountered the usual obstacles most entrepreneurs face such as creating brand awareness and learning where to invest startup funds. She tackled these obstacles by speaking with experienced business owners and reading industry publications, “such as the LatinasinBusiness.us Newsletter,” she mentions.
Natural feminine care products, a whole new world
One unique challenge though was family loyalty. “For me, the main struggle when deciding to launch Freshie was with how to do it without being disloyal to my father. As Latinos we are deeply loyal to our parents,” Nelly explains. Her father gave his blessing and after advice from fellow mentors, Nelly was able to reconcile her doubts and move forward with Freshie.
When asked about her strengths as a Latina business owner, Nelly cited her “fiery character” as one of her main strengths. She thrives in high energy environments “because I grew up in one,” she says, and her charismatic personality has helped her in her business activities. She is always “diving into opportunities with an intense optimism.”
To other fellow Latinas looking to start their own business or company Nelly urges them to take a chance and go for it. “Do your due diligence and do your best to make educated choices,” she says, “but do not stop yourself from taking a chance…If you believe you have an idea…you owe it to yourself the opportunity to try it.”
She then offers a quote from Nelson Mandela as a personal reminder for taking chances in both one’s life and business, “I never lose. I either win or I learn.”
Nelly says she created Freshie hoping that it would “become the impactful evolution of feminine care products,” and it certainly has had an impact.
Nelly recounts a story that stood out as a turning point for her in her business journey. “On a particularly hard business month, I was considering not continuing with freshie,” and at that very moment she received an email from a customer who helped but everything back into perspective. “[She] was thanking us for ‘changing her life.’ She had struggled for years with pH-imbalance which caused her to never feel confident….She thanked me profusely for creating the product and improving her health and quality of life.” It was then that Nelly realized the real life impact of her work and how she was helping to change lives.
“I understood then that creating products for women that help them avoid toxins in their feminine care is a worthy cause to pursue.” In addition to this, Freshie is committed to donating a portion of sales to organizations that support women’s empowerment. Their most recent cause was the “freshie-Start” program which helps support victims of domestic violence in starting new lives free from violence. In all aspects, Nelly Reyes and her company are putting women’s health and happiness first.
Helping women and getting back
“At freshie we know that women empowered by education and ongoing support, will change our world for the better,” states freshie’s website.
Because of this, $1 from every freshie unit sold online is donated to nonprofits that empower and support women. If you know a nonprofit that will benefit from our financial or product donation support, Nelly encourages you to email her for their consideration to: Nelly@freshieFemCare.com
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