Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with James Bauer, founder of Mineralized Deodorant, located in Englewood, CO, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Among the big problems in the world today, we singled out two to focus our business around: Climate change and healthy, trustworthy personal care products.

There are two ways these problems can be solved: from the top down through government regulation or from the bottom up through businesses and consumer choice.

We figure that if we can build something that both is easier on the planet, long-term healthier, and provides a better customer experience, we can change the way we do things for the better for all.

Mineralized Deodorant is a new concept of deodorant powder. It is made from food-safe minerals that are both found naturally in spring waters and also are required by the body. We figure if you use something required by your body, that is the best bet for long-term health.

It is a powder because we did not want to include petroleum-derived chemicals, which commonly make your personal care products into sticks, gels, and creams.

We created a nearly zero-waste product lifecycle. The main container is recyclable. Refills are shipped in biodegradable packaging. There is no plastic anywhere.

We are not perfect. The applicator is only 70% biodegradable. But the good news there is we are working with our supplier to get 100% biodegradable applicators soon.

Our customers are those that care about their own and the planet's health and are willing to spend their money on products that are in line with those values.

Tell us about yourself

I (James) am from Toronto, Canada but currently live in Denver. I have a background in engineering and science. In graduate school, my research was focused on exploring potential alternative computational paradigms using lasers and a new type of light-harnessing material. I learned how to learn during that time.

After leaving academia, I worked in finance for a trading firm here in the USA. There I learned about decision-making in uncertain environments. But that work was ultimately not rewarding. I spent a few years traveling, mostly around the USA. My friends jokingly refer to that as my "Eat Pray Love" phase. That time was invaluable since I could both physically and intellectually wander and really think about what I wanted to do with my life.

The seed of the idea for Mineralized was born from those travels. I started asking questions like: "Does a horse smell bad to another horse? Why do humans smell bad to other humans?". I realized that one of the things that have changed since modernity is the water we bathe in. Now it is chlorinated and demineralized, whereas the natural water sources were not.

Comfortable looking through the scientific literature, I spent some time researching why scientists thought we get body odor. Turns out, bacteria on our skin eats our sweat, and the waste products are what smell.
So knowing the general chemical structure of those waste products, I started experimenting (on myself) with different mineral compounds to see if I could neutralize that odor. Inspired by nature, I limited myself to mineral compounds found in spring water. The current Mineralized Deodorant formula was born from this experiment.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I think just getting started is one of the hardest steps! Another answer is, we still have a lot of work to do, and though we celebrate small accomplishments, we feel most of them are still in front of us.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

The ambiguity can be tough. What are the most important things to work on next? What about our current systems needs to be changed or updated? How to continually ask, "Is this the best way for us, right now?"

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

Put the customer first. Think deeply about your values and stick to them. Break tasks down into very small, manageable parts and get started.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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