Annabell Catania was only 26 years old when she was diagnosed was Stage 3 breast cancer, which started in her armpit. It wasn’t hard to draw the line between her daily use of antiperspirant to her cancer. And the more she researched the chemicals in antiperspirant, the more alarmed she became of the toxic load women’s bodies receive from puberty onward. It took six rounds of chemotherapy, five surgeries and ultimately the practice of holistic medicine for Annabell to go into remission.
Now Annabell has dedicated her life to advocating for chemical-free skincare. With her company, SIMPURE Clean Skincare, she has brought to the market a line of products with clean ingredients that are just as effective as the chemical ones. “We create natural products that are elevated by science,” Annabell says. “Beautiful Science, we call it.”
SIMPURE’s clean skincare products – deodorants, facial care, and aromatherapy rollers -- are artificial fragrance free, vegan, and cruelty free and are available on TheWMarketplace. Read Annabell’s story and shop women-owned!
What motivated you to start SIMPURE?
I beat stage 3 breast cancer and decided I wanted to share my amazing natural deodorant with the world, to help people limit their toxic load. Clean ingredients can be just as effective as the non-clean ones and I can prove it with our products.
Why did you decide to join TheWMarketplace?
Being a woman-owned brand, we are always excited to be part of a platform or movement that supports and connects with women.
How long have you been in business and has your business changed since you started it?
Four years, and yes, it's changed in so many ways. We started as Auntie & Me Essential Wellness (A&M) and now we are SIMPURE. Simple and Pure ingredients – easy to remember and much shorter.
What communities have been important for you as you've developed your business?
San Diego, CA was and is our home to this day. We started in the farmer's Markets and really connected with local communities throughout SD and that helped us build a brand that followed our customers home to wherever they were visiting from.
What has been the most challenging thing about getting your business up and running?
Marketing it correctly. We are in a huge space- Skincare, there's something for everyone, but that also makes it hard to stand out. [I’ve learned] that creating incredible products doesn't mean that they will sell. Advertising and photography taken daily of your brand is one of the most important ways to build a strong brand.
Can you identify a moment in your business that was pivotal in your success?
During manufacturing, we really dialed in on how to streamline the process and save so much time. [It was great to feel] like our brand didn't need to suffer because we couldn't continue making it the "hard" way.
What kind of mementos do you have on your desk that inspire you each day?
Yes, we still have several of our old packaging from our farmer's market days as well as a huge A&M sign that hangs in my office. In our hearts we will always be Auntie & Me, but we are excited to share SIMPURE with the world.
What has been the most exciting or rewarding part of owning your own business?
Helping people find clean alternatives to their daily products -- most importantly their deodorant!
Do you have any advice for other women who are getting started in business?
Stay focused, organized, never give up and listen to your gut. It's almost always right.
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Launched in 2020, TheWMarketplace is a nationwide e-commerce marketplace for women-owned businesses to sell their products and professional and personal services. Offering favorable terms to its sellers, it also is a supportive community of women entrepreneurs that have access to learning opportunities through the trademarked HER-Commerce™ programs. With over 500 women-owned businesses selling 4000+ products and services ranging from home goods to coaching, in over 35 states, TheWMarketplace empowers shoppers with a new way to find the communities they want to support, including Black-woman owned, Latina-owned, AAPI-owned, Veteran woman-owned, and more. The Her Story Q&A is one benefit TheWMarketplace provides to sellers.