The Story Behind Bona Dea Naturals
I often get questions about how I got started with my business, so I thought it would be the perfect time to tell you my story. Here goes!
How it all started
I've struggled with feminine issues my entire life, often developing a low-grade infection that never completely goes away. As a child, I'd go to the doctor when the symptoms got so bothersome that they made daily life difficult, and my doctor would give me a prescription to lessen the symptoms—but the infection was always there. I had essentially gotten to the point where I thought it was just how things were.
As an adult, I moved to a new city and found a new gynecologist, who introduced me to boric acid suppositories. They literally changed my life. With just 1 application a week, I could prevent infections. If things got out of balance, a few applications would completely clear it.
But because I would still get occasional infections, I would experience itching, discharge, and irritation every now and then. And while I swear by boric acid, it's pretty messy. And because it's a suppository, it's more of an only-at-night application. I wanted something I could apply in the moment, and expensive over-the-counter (OTC) products have never even given me a moment's relief. So I started researching which essential oils had antifungal properties so I could concoct an oil blend to help relieve symptoms while I was waiting for the boric acid to clear the infection.
There was a bit of trial and error, but after a few months of research I made a blend of tea tree, palmarosa, orange, and lemongrass essential oils (with calendula and echinacea-infused olive oil) that made my itch and discharge disappear immediately. I would have never thought I could have created anything that worked so fast!
I made some bottles for friends, and the formula worked for them as well. Knowing that feminine issues are quite common—and knowing that prescriptions and OTC medicines rarely get the job done—I began selling on Etsy in March 2016. After about 6 months of healthy sales there, I began the process of selling it on Amazon. It really was a case of necessity is the mother of all invention!
A switch to natural
The creation of my product also was helped along by my interest in natural living. That began several years ago, when my husband and I began having conversations about ways to change our home environment and lifestyle. He had always had eczema and I have a family history of cancer, so we got rid of cleaning supplies with chemicals and began replacing traditional toiletries with either natural ones or products that at least didn't include the most harmful chemicals identified as the .
What I've learned
I don't have a business background, so it was a really steep learning curve when I first began. In a very short period of time, I've had to learn a lot about state sales tax, working with contract manufacturers, and bookkeeping, to name a few. Thankfully I was so blind to everything that goes into a business because I didn't have fear holding me back!
While some days are tough (I'm looking at you, occasional negative reviews), this product has sold so much better than I could have imagined, and I'm so grateful for what it means for me and my customers. For every 1 negative review that pops up, I get 10 positive ones from women sharing their stories about it has made a difference in their lives. It's made it all worth it!