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Personal Quest Leads to Business Venture

Syliva Ruma and her father Faisal Ghazi
Syliva Ruma and her father Faisal Ghazi
Sylvia Ruma will be the first to tell you she doesn’t smell… and she’s made it her business to make sure you don’t either.

Ruma not only sells, but makes her own all natural, aluminum and paraben free deodorant – Ruma Organics.  The Macomb Township wife and mother of three boys started blending deodorant in her kitchen for personal and family-member use when she was unable to find a product that met her needs.

“I kept trying chemical-free deodorants and nothing worked, I couldn’t find a product that eliminated odor, so I decided to make it myself,” said Ruma. Finding a solution to ward off the yellow underarm stains caused by antiperspirants on her husband’s shirts also contributed to her quest.

“Antiperspirants contain aluminum-based compounds, prompting sweat ducts to swell, blocking sweat from escaping and that’s just not healthy, we’re supposed to sweat, “ said Ruma who says promoting a healthy lifestyle for her family is her life’s priority.

Ruma started mixing deodorant in her kitchen last March and was soon passing out samples to family members and friends. “I designed some labels describing what was in the product, bought some cute jars and gave away $1,000 worth of deodorant to family, friends and girls at the gym,” said Ruma. “I was doing it just for fun and to make my life easier when people started asking if they could order it.” It was then that Ruma’s father, a retired engineer, suggested she might want to start charging for her deodorant.

Orders started piling up and deodorant became a family affair. Ruma’s father joined her in the kitchen mixing ingredients with a hand mixer and her three boys dried off jars so she could affix labels. ”My dad helped whip the deodorant, he made it beautiful, better than I could,” exclaimed Ruma.

As product demand continued to increase, Ruma, who is three classes away from a master’s degree at Walsh College, turned to her college’s Blackstone LaunchPad program for support. “I met with the director Carol Glynn and her team who helped me focus, provided great business connections and broadened my vision of what Ruma Organics can become,” said Ruma.

In January, the company launched a website www.rumaorganics.com offering tips to a healthy lifestyle and selling organic deodorant cream in three varieties - peppermint, lavender and lemon. Ruma is now working with an eco-friendly manufacturer to make her product labels waterproof and more attractive.

She has also discovered additional uses for her product and is working on expanded product offerings.

She and her father still mix ingredients in her kitchen; however, the recent purchase of new equipment has allowed her to increase batch production from nine to 18 jars.

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