Meet Vaniti Byrd, body butter queen + school teacher
December 14, 2022
There’s no one way to be an entrepreneur.
You don’t have to look a certain way, operate in a particular industry, pursue specific education, grow up in a particular household, or spend your free time nurturing any particular hobbies — entrepreneurs grow from all walks of life.
In a new video series we are excited to launch today, entrepreneurs, founders, and small business owners from across the Dayton Region share their individual stories in order to break down those pervading stereotypes about who can or can’t be an entrepreneur.
They proudly declare, “I Am an Entrepreneur” — and you can be, too.
Can you recognize and pronounce the ingredients in your body care products? If you shop Baba Love Organics, the answer is yes.
The birth of her daughter, Primrose, inspired Vaniti Byrd to launch her company, specializing in natural body care products.
“I just really indulged in our bath time, it was a really nice time that we bonded. So I just wanted to provide moms with a very simple way to bathe their babies,” she recalled. “I created products that could be used for both hair and body, because being a new mom is already stressful enough.”
But what began as a product line for babies morphed into more when Vaniti saw the need in her community.
“I bought into this skincare stuff prior to making it, and I was like, I can’t get this stuff close. I have to drive at least 15 to 20 minutes to get my hands on a product that is good for my babies, that’s good for me. And I want people to have access to these products here,” she said.
Made from scratch in Dayton
Vaniti developed the formulas for all of her products, making them from scratch in her home kitchen. She sold products at pop-ups, then through an Etsy store.
Today, she sells online and at her storefront at 116 W. 5th St., in downtown Dayton.
“People are becoming a lot more ingredient-conscious, and they really resonate with products that have ingredients that they can actually pronounce. A lot of my products you might see in your kitchen, like coconut oil or grape seed oil,” Vaniti said. “It gives people a peace of mind being able to say, oh this product was made in Dayton, let me Google this person, or being able to physically walk into this space and purchase products here.”
Vaniti is also an elementary school teacher.
“Teaching small people, you know your level of patience is definitely tested. Transitioning to just educating people about skin care, something that I already love, it was just really easy. There is a problem and I’m just easily providing a solution,” she said.
For Vaniti, making body care products was a hobby before it became a business.
“I ran myself ragged the first three years,” she recalled. “It was like, okay, I think I want to do this, and then it started picking up, and I was like, okay I guess I’m doing it. It wasn’t like, okay, let me go get all these things in a row. I got in there, I got hands on with making that product, and I just fell in love.”
That doesn’t mean every day is easy, though, she said.
“There’s days that you’re in it alone. I was making products until 4, 5, 6 in the morning, and then going straight to work. It’s just you and your thoughts and whatever you’re trying to do,” Vaniti said. “There are people on the outside who are supporting you, but before you have those people supporting you, it’s just you, and so you really gotta want it for you before you can introduce anything.”
Just start, she said.
“Don’t wait until you feel like you have all the pieces, because essentially, as you’re building this business, or this idea, you’ll never have all the pieces,” she said. “You’ll continue to just add to the puzzle.”
And don’t allow fear or other people’s opinions to sway your your journey, she added.
“Everyone is going to have an opinion, but if you’re truly passionate about it, it will show through to whatever it is that you’re doing,” she said. “Money is oftentimes a deterrent for people. I literally started this business with $500. I thought that I needed all this stuff, and I didn’t, I just needed the drive, and with that drive, you can attain anything.”
My name is Vaniti Byrd, and I am an entrepreneur.