BASEMENT BETTY: Mindy Fries

BASEMENT BETTY: Mindy Fries

This issue, we sat down with Mindy Fries, the founder of Bullfrogs and Butterflies, maker of the stretch mark prevention cream specially formulated for pregnant women.

MINDY, TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF.
Ever since I was a little girl I have been obsessed with makeup and skincare. I regularly experimented with my mother’s beauty products. Once I graduated from West Virginia University with a Liberal Arts Degree, I went to work in Georgetown, Washington D.C. for one of the largest makeup companies in the industry. When I became pregnant for the first time, I was determined to prevent stretch marks. I developed a cream with ingredients I knew treated scars. I slathered my belly with my cream morning, noon and night. Although I gained nearly 70 pounds with my first pregnancy, I had zero stretch marks. Our family of two became a family of six in just four years. I continued using my specially designed belly cream and I walked away stretch mark free!

SO HOW DID YOU EVEN START? HOW DID YOU GO FROM IDEA TO CHEMICAL FORMULA? DID YOU DO ANY PRODUCT TESTING FOR SAFETY AND EFFICIENCY?
I met an industry veteran at a friend’s party who loved my initial creation and helped me get connected to a leading skincare formulator. This is where the magic happened. I had testing done and was approved for both safety and stability.

ARE THERE OTHER CREAMS IN THE MARKET PLACE? HOW DO YOU DIFFER?
Absolutely! We stand out with our anti-itch properties and specific focus on stretch mark prevention.

DID YOU GET OUTSIDE INVESTORS? WAS IT COSTLY TO GET IT GOING?
No, we self-funded. As you can imagine, starting any new company is going to have some upfront costs. Ours is no exception.

HOW DO YOU MARKET THE CREAM?
Word of mouth and I also use social media. As a matter of fact, I ended up getting a blog review from a Big Brother participant that showed me the power of a celebrity following.

HOW ARE SALES? ARE YOU WORKING ON ANY NEW PRODUCTS?
We are growing. Not where we want to be yet, and yes we have a whole lineup of products waiting to launch.

DO YOU HAVE EMPLOYEES?
Are friends and family considered employees?

WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?
I wake up and get the kids off to school, get a workout in, hit the grocery store, then back home to work until I pick the kids up from school, sports until bedtime, then repeat.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU’VE FACED SO FAR?
It’s hard to find people who want to formulate and work on products for pregnant women. This has been a challenge. Everything has to be pH balanced and numerous testing has to be performed on each ingredient to ensure safety. Another challenge has been being out of the workforce for seven years.

IS IT WORTH IT?
Absolutely! I can check off owning a skincare company from my bucket list!

Photos by Ayse Christo