Chantel Powell became an entrepreneur out of necessity.
One summer, while shuttling her then-6-year-old son, Kameron, between basketball camp and football practice, she noticed that each time the car door flew open and he buckled in, it was clear that he was not only scoring buckets on the court but also sweating buckets under his armpits.
The offending odor sent the wife and mother searching for a solution, which ultimately led her to create Play Pits deodorant. Play Pits is a kid-friendly, all-natural hygiene option for children with active lifestyles that is free of aluminum, parabens, synthetic fragrances and other harsh chemicals.
Before launching Play Pits in 2018, Powell — a proud graduate of Clark Atlanta University where she received a bachelor’s degree in fashion merchandising — worked for BET as an executive assistant in the office of programming and brand advancement. It is there that she learned about branding and marketing, enhanced her leadership and polished her administration skills, all of which provided her with the experience she needed to succeed in the development of Play Pits.
Why did you start Play Pits?
I created Play Pits because I had a problem in my home — a smelly 6-year-old boy. We didn’t go into this business just to make money. We wanted to solve a problem many families were experiencing in their own homes. As a solution, we offer a safe, trusted and effective natural deodorant that’s safe for kids but strong enough for everyone of all ages.
What are your top three tips for reaching success in the kid-focused business industry?
Brand your products for the children, educate parents and allow your customers to be your marketers.
What advice do you have for aspiring business owners?
My advice to aspiring business owners would be to start. Often, we sit back and brainstorm and come up with all these ideas that are amazing, but it stops there… Think about [it], write it down, plan it, break it down and start doing the work today. Find an accountability partner that will check in on your progress. Use Google and YouTube for all the things you don’t know. I have a Ph.D. in Google. There is no such thing as “I don’t know.” Utilize your resources and the internet. Set a timeline and stick to it.
What do you define as your #BlackGirlMagic?
#BlackGirlMagic is your special sauce. Every Black girl has different magic. My magic is my ability to make the impossible possible while juggling three kids, my amazing husband and building a natural deodorant empire with a smile. Own your magic, let people know how you are magical, and keep thriving Black girls.