There is an old saying that says, "necessity is the mother of invention." This is how iVi Scents came into existence. I was working as a middle school history teacher when, during the height of a national recession AND a state budget crisis, I received news that I (and thousands of others ) would be laid off at the end of the school year. I had put everything I had into teaching: my time, my life, my money, and my heart. I was devastated. At that point I had two choices: I could either cry and let my world come to an end, or I could hustle. Because I'm a fighter, I chose the latter. Sometimes when life throws you an unexpected curve ball, that's all you can do to keep from crying. I took my situation to the Lord, who reminded me that He had rescued me from even bigger dilemmas. Comforted by this fact and resting on Faith, I knew everything would be okay.
The only thing left to do was to figure out exactly what it was that I was going to be doing and how. Ironically, the idea for iVi Scents came about just two months before I was laid off when I was in search of two things for my classroom: 1) a cheaper (and better smelling) way to refill commercial plugin air fresheners, and 2) a hand sanitizer that didn't smell (or make my hands look) like a dried up, funky lemon. While in search of these two solutions, I discovered a wide variety of products that could also be made cheaper, safer, and better smelling. The second thing I discovered was that commercial companies also know this, but ignore it in the interest of a higher profit. Floored by the fact that, for years, I had been putting products on my skin that were often worse than industrial detergents, I decided to make my own natural products and share them with others.
Although I had plenty of experience purchasing bath and body products, I had very little experience making or selling them. So, I spent the next four months researching, experimenting, and testing constantly. It was hard and free time was nonexistent. I was playing teacher by day and scientist at night, basically working two full-time jobs. Eventually, my diligence paid off. Although there were very few successful projects and lots and lots of failures, the successes were a big hit and ultimately became the exact blueprint of the products you know and love today.
iVi Scents was officially launched August 11, 2009. The road has been rough, but I have finally found my true life's calling in entrepreneurship. I have built a company that I am proud of - We are able to create products that are good for people, we are able to give love and respect to all those we come in contact with, and we are able to provide job security despite economic uncertainty. My goal, vision, and prayer is to contend with the best and the brightest companies, to flourish as a rose among thorns, and ultimately to change the way that businesses interact with consumers on a massive scale. Some say it's impossible. Some say it's a dream. Some say it's too much trouble. At times, I even agreed. But "what shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31, KJV). So that settles it.
This is my story. This is our story. This is how it was done. It's the story of how my part-time hustle eventually became my full-time gig. It's how my dreams were actualized and my potential realized. It's how necessity was the mother of my invention and how the Lord was the Father of my faith. I pray that you too are able to overcome your fears and do what you have been called to do.
i love you,
Aarin Elizabeth is the founder of iVi Scents | Nontoxic Bath and Body
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