In a graduate school ecology seminar, our professor told us research had determined that the “average homeowner applies chemicals on their property at 5 times the rate of agribusiness”. Never having used heavy chemical products in my home or garden, that fact stuck in my mind.
Enter Candice Hartwell. At a birthday brunch, this amazing woman - whom I didn't know at the time - gifted me with her personally-crafted cleaning products. She had taped her business card to the bottles: "Herb'n Organics".
Candice’s love for tidying had grown into her own successful household cleaning business. However, she had gotten serious contact dermatitis and respiratory issues after using the commercially available products extensively - so she decided to make her own.
I had already been buying 'green' products for years, and for years remained disappointed as they never worked as well as I hoped. When I tried Herb'n Organics, they not only did a fabulous cleanup job on messes, but smelled great without the headache of most artificial fragrances or harsh chemicals. I was delighted. I carried a large tub full of old, ineffective products out of my kitchen and replaced them with 2 bottles of Herb'n Organics.
I approached Candice about starting a business with her amazing cleaning products and she agreed. We started in the guest house on the back of my property, mixing the products in the kitchen and filling 50 bottles at a time. We lined those bottles up on the table that is still in use in our current warehouse space, and with funnels and eye droppers, we filled them.
At the end of our first year, Whole Foods Market's local forager invited us to become a local vender. We added a website, which led to a rebranding, and we became Truce in 2012.
We stayed in the guest house (soon referred to as the Peppermint Palace) until we outgrew the space and moved into a coworking warehouse where we could have 55-gallon drums of ingredients delivered and serious shelving installed.
Candice married her Greek Adonis and is moving to Greece season-by-season. She stepped away from the day-to-day business of Truce years ago, but has always been available to help formulate new products and remains an equity partner in Truce.
Our mission began and remains to help people get toxic chemicals out of their homes and away from children and pets. We now have a staff of 7 truly gifted and committed individuals, and over the years we've brought multiple interns on board from ASU and NAU. We have partners, colleagues and opportunities unfolding as we continue to grow. The future is exceedingly bright!