Crafting Success: Jaime Schmidt’s journey from kitchen creations to corporate acquisition

In this episode of The Female Founder, Jaime Schmidt, founder of Schmidt’s Naturals and co-founder of BFF, shares her remarkable entrepreneurial journey and insights into navigating business growth, acquisitions, and post-exit ventures. From starting small in Portland, Oregon, to catching the attention of industry giants like Unilever, Schmidt’s story is a testament to the power of passion, resilience, and strategic decision-making in the business world.

Key Takeaways 

1. Jamie Schmidt began organically as a creative outlet in Portland, Oregon, a city known for its artistic community. Her initial focus on creating body care products like lotions and soaps stemmed from a passion for essential oils and a tight budget due to being pregnant at the time. The positive response from the community at farmers’ markets validated her products’ potential and led to organic growth, with retailers eventually approaching her to sell in their stores.

2. Additionally, Schmidt’s experience with Unilever’s interest in acquiring her brand sheds light on the unpredictable nature of entrepreneurship. Despite not initially planning for an exit, she remained open to opportunities and carefully evaluated the potential benefits and challenges of selling her company. This showcases the importance of flexibility and adaptability in navigating unexpected opportunities in business.

3. Moreover, Schmidt’s emphasis on maintaining clean financial records and avoiding long-term contracts underscores the importance of sound financial management from the early stages of a business. By keeping finances organized and supplier relationships flexible, entrepreneurs can better position themselves for potential acquisitions or exits in the future. Her financial acumen provides a sense of security and preparedness, crucial elements in the unpredictable world of entrepreneurship.

4. Schmidt’s post-exit ventures, including founding Color, an investment fund, and SuperMaker, a media company, demonstrate her commitment to supporting other entrepreneurs and sharing her knowledge and experiences. These ventures reflect her desire to give back to the entrepreneurial community and help others navigate the challenges and opportunities of business ownership.

5. Nevertheless, Schmidt’s focus on self-care, hobbies like playing pickleball, reading, and investing in sports business ventures highlights the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance. By prioritizing self-care and engaging in activities outside of work, entrepreneurs can recharge and stay motivated, leading to greater overall well-being and productivity. Her example serves as a reminder that success is not just about business but also about personal well-being and fulfillment.

"I didn't sit down one day and say, 'I'm gonna start a business, and here's my whole business plan.' I sort of just fell into it." – Jaime Schmidt