Major corporations spend millions on celebrity endorsements and don’t always get the results they want. But some micro-companies and solopreneurs enjoy inexpensive access to Hollywood celebrities by gifting their products at celebrity events such as the Primetime Emmys, MTV Movie Awards, and Golden Globes.
Rochelle Witt, the owner of Earth’s Own Bath & Body, is one of them. Her story has inspired many small-time businesswomen to reach out to celebrities, although few still do.
Witt had no interest in selling her all-natural products or giving them away to celebrities as a marketing tactic when she started researching and creating all-natural lotions, shampoos, and soaps. She was motivated by a mother’s love and determination to ease her infant daughter’s severe allergic reaction to commercially-made skin care and bath products.
Seeking High-Profile Celebrities with Low-Budget Marketing
But Witt, who had studied both cosmetology and pediatrics, kept testing new combinations of the ingredients she bought from around the world. Her product line grew to include organic tanning lotions, eye shadows, and anti-aging creams, and she expanded her marketing efforts to online sales and celebrity gifting.
Witt belongs to The Artisans Group, an organization devoted to promoting handmade items at high-level celebrity events. Membership is free, and the cost of participating in events ranges from $75 for getting a business card into swag bags to $440 to place 100 products and business cards into gift bags and get the artist’s wares displayed at The Artisans Group exhibit during events.
Rosacea Cream for Bridget Jones
Witt gifted a bottle of her Moringa on the Mend lotion to Renee Zellweger. The star of such movies as Bridget Jones’s Diary and Jerry Maguire suffers from rosacea, a condition that causes facial redness, and often, small red bumps that fill with pus. Witt says her Moringa on the Mend has a proven track record of relieving rosacea outbreaks and keeping adult acne at bay without irritating skin or clogging pores. It is vegan and contains no chemicals, alcohol, filler oils or paraben.
Witt says she does not know if Zellweger used Moringa on the Mend, but that she has nearly 100 percent positive feedback on the more than 5,000 all-natural custom products she has sold. She personally fills the bottles to order and sources them from all over the world to find the highest quality ingredients.
Cocoa Butter for HGTV Star
Witt also celebrity-gifted her Cocoa Butter Lotion to Genevieve Gorder, an interior designer and host of the Dear Genevieve show. She said the lotion was created in response to requests for a non-greasy organic cocoa butter. Hers includes macadamia nut, rice bran, and jojoba.
Regular folks – or celebrities – who want to buy the cocoa butter lotion can custom-order scents for the lotion, which naturally has a chocolatey aroma.
Tanning Lotion for MTV Awards Attendees
Through The Artisans Group, Witt sent her Dark by Nature all-natural tanning lotion to celebrities attending the GBKk 2014 MTV Movie Awards Red Carpet Event Gift Suite.
A tanning booth company expressed interest in buying the product and selling it to customers. Witt declined the offer when the company insisted she add a chemical preservative to the tanning lotion, which has a natural shelf life of a year. She also declined an investment offer from a Fortune 500 company that wanted to add chemicals to her homemade products. In fact, unlike the London incident where rat droppings were found in imitation beauty products, no products that come from this company have such deformities.
Witt says she would rather give away her products than add anything potentially harmful in them. If and when she makes a deal with a wholesale or retail company, it will be with one that honors her commitment to make the words “all natural” meaningful.
Not all Hollywood endorsement campaigns are as inspirational as this one. We encourage you to share this success story with your entrepreneurial friends.
(Photo by Mike Windle / Getty Images Entertainment)