Welcome to Second Life, a podcast spotlighting successful women who've made major career changes—and fearlessly mastered the pivot. Hosted by Hillary Kerr, co-founder and chief content officer at Who What Wear, each episode will give you a direct line to women who are game changers in their fields. Subscribe to Second Life on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or anywhere else you listen to stay tuned.
Suzy Batiz has had many lives. From owning a bridal salon, tanning salon, and hot tub repair business to recruiting and consulting to selling lingerie and refurbished computers, her career journey is, frankly, hard to keep up with. Eventually, though, she found her way to start not one but two successful businesses that make up a household-product empire now valued at over $500 million, making Batiz one of Forbes's richest self-made women in the country.
On the path to founding her first successful business, Batiz faced a steep mountain of hardships. After many failed business attempts and escaping an abusive marriage, Batiz had an idea that was sure to make it big: a hiring platform that matched a prospective employee’s culture preferences with the culture of a company. In 2001, she was in the final stages of securing $5 million in seed investment when the market crashed, and she lost everything, sending Batiz into not her first but her second personal bankruptcy. “It was like a house of cards. It all came tumbling down,” she says. “I just had all this rage and anger because I tried so hard. It wasn't like I didn't put forth the effort.”
It took Batiz four years of soul searching until she came to a personal revelation. “I found peace and happiness within my being, and the ironic thing is, I didn't need money. I knew what wealth was. It was the first time in my life that I wasn’t running towards something,” says Batiz. The irony continued, as just a few months later, Batiz was asked a question at a dinner party that would change her life once again: “Can bathroom odor be trapped?”
“I remember like a zing up my arm,” said Batiz. “I just literally said, ‘I can do that with oils!’” With a new perspective, her business hustle was back, and this time, the idea stuck. After nine months of experimenting with various aromatherapy oils (a longtime hobby of Batiz’s), she came up with her original formula for the before-you-go bathroom spray, Poo-Pourri. The product worked undeniably well, and her business grew fast. Today, the brand is available in over 40,000 retailers and has over 2000 active SKUs.
But Batiz didn't stop there. In 2018, she started a second brand, putting her aromatherapy oils to work once again, this time to create a safer, nontoxic household cleaning alternative. After two years and $2M in investment, she came up with her 100% natural, eco-friendly line of cleaning concentrates, aptly named Supernatural. And with a reported customer satisfaction rating of 98%, it’s clear that Batiz’s persistence has paid off. “I’m really proud of the brand,” she says.
Tune in to this week’s episode of Second Life to hear Batiz’s full career journey, from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows and how she put in the personal work that led her to professional fulfillment. To shop products from both brands, keep scrolling.