How an Entrepreneur Turned His Fear of Germs Into a Bubbling Business

Self-proclaimed germaphobe Emilio Smeke turned his obsession with defeating bacteria into a bustling business.
His line of 20-plus products called Daily Concepts are sold at retailers including Ulta Beauty, Bed Bath & Beyond, Ricky’s, Soft Surroundings, Pharmaca and select CVS doors, as well as on HSN and its own web site.
The company is experiencing double-digit growth, the result of the confluence of the growing focus on self-care and the resurgence of bathing. Stoked by Instagram images of people luxuriating in elegant tubs, sales of bath-related product sales rose 30 percent, according to IRI data through the end of 2018. The demand for bath items and accessories helped Daily Concepts build up estimated sales $30 million. Part of the bath boom focuses on products that don’t breed germs and are eco-friendly.
"Germs have always been an issue because if you think about it, you don't want to be scrubbing with bacteria or bad odors on a sponge as well as mold, both of which are signs that bacteria is reproducing on the surface," Smeke said. "For us, it is important to have an antimicrobial built into our products that will guarantee the freshness of the life period of the product. Furthermore, we have incorporated our fading label technology to help keep customers safe."
Those labels have print that disappears when it is time to replace the product to ensure cleanliness. The Daily Concepts lineup also includes sustainable products such as new reusable BioCotton Makeup Removers launching in Ulta Beauty. They are organic, biodegradable and vegan. Keeping with the focus on cleanliness. There are also Konjac sponges, made popular in Japan. The sponges are highly absorbent and contain no preservatives or chemicals but are imbued with turmeric.
"Our functional and reusable packaging also speaks to our clientele, as they are eco-conscious, but also appreciate that these products are travel friendly,” Smeke said. “Many of our products are packaged and sold in a pouch that transforms quite simply into a shower caddy, with the help of included suction cup, that allows your scrubber to drain out of the bottom and hang in a convenient and clean place in your bathroom."
With a focus on bathroom via social media, Smeke has noted an uptick in "aesthetically pleasing" beauty tools. A case in point is a jade roller launched last year that immediately sold out. "We see a growing market of skin-health-focused individuals who see the importance of taking care of their skin on a deeper level."
Daily Concepts also gives back in a partnership with Lava Mae, which offers the homeless a clean facility to shower via specially equipped buses. Smeke donates his best-selling product, the Your Body Scrubbers to the organization because he believes in delivering dignity to the homeless one shower at a time.
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