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Small Business Q&A: Bellanonna Boutique

East Cobb start-up produces and ships hand-crafted natural scrubs and lotions to clients around the world.

Never underestimate the power of a seeing a good example. Bellanonna Boutique (combined Italian words, beautiful grandmother) owner and artisan, Samatha McCall, started her natural skin care product manufacturing business as a result of witnessing the personal care routine of her late grandmother, Sybil Brewer, of East Cobb.

"My grandmother had amazing skin and she only used products that she made herself with simple ingredients," McCall said.

The 29 year-old East Cobb native is the only employee in her enterprise. McCall hand crafts, bottles, packages, ships, and markets all her 30 different products from her home in East Cobb.

Q. What's the best thing about your job?

A. I get to stay home with my two kids and create great products that are good for your skin.

Q. What is the best thing about East Cobb?

A. It's very affluent. I was born and raised here. I went to Mountain View Elementary School that is right around the corner from Preeminence Salon & Boutique on Shallowford Road, one location where my products are sold. I met Preeminence owner, Philisha Mack, on the internet, through Brook Stanchie of Cobb Tots and Kids. East Cobb has good networking.

Q. Why did you pick this kind of business?

A. I think there's a need to let people know about all the toxins and chemicals that are in many skin care products. My products are natural. We also keep as green as possible in the packaging.

We've applied for PETA cruelty-free accreditation. We don't test any of our products on animals.

Q. What are some of the services you offer that people may not know about?

A. You can have a local pick up of internet orders. My goal is to have a retail location in East Cobb; a lot of people ask to see all the products.

Q. When did you start your business?

A. November 2011.

Q. How did your business get started?

A. I have always made my own skin care products and I was making enough to have extra to give to family and friends. Everyone likes it, and, one day my husband said, "You should see if you could sell it."

I made a Facebook page and almost literally over night the sales blew up. We now have 4,000 fans. We ship everywhere, Canada, Australia, China, a client in Singapore, found us on etsy.com.

My goal is to build a stronger local client base. I enjoy meeting my customers and I'll be able to give back to the community.

Q. Do you have advice for anyone who'd like to start a small business in this area?

A. Follow your dreams. What do you have to lose? Now is the time. If I can do it, anybody can.

Q. Is there anything else you'd like our readers to know?

A. Try something that's made with natural ingredients and see if you see a difference in your skin. I make a whipped banana scrub that has shea butter, banana extract and apricot oil in it that people have told me cleared up their eczema.

Samantha McCall, owner/artisan

Bellanonna Boutique.com





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