After beating breast cancer, Susan Gonzalez started MOON Organics, homemade beauty products free of synthetic ingredients and chemical preservatives.
Reason for Starting
Susan Gonzalez became a registered nurse to help people get healthy and stay healthy, but when she was diagnosed with stage III breast cancer herself in 2005, she was shocked. She started examining every aspect of her life to find out how and why she may have become sick.
Susan took a deep look at her cosmetic products and realized that most contained harsh chemicals, some of which were even known carcinogens. Fighting cancer with every fiber of her body while refusing to give up on her beauty routine, she decided to take things in her own hands. “I started googling and researching different oils and put together very simple recipes,” Susan told The Story Exchange.
She used all natural ingredients to make lotions and creams to substitute the ones she had. “I found that the products I made were better than the mainstream products, and I used them all through my treatment.”
A year later, in 2006 Susan was cancer free and returned to nursing. Three years later, she left her job again – this time to care for her mother-in-law who needed around-the-clock care. “I looked at this situation of having to stay at home not as a hindrance,” she says. “I always try to look at the positive. Maybe this door is closing but there is an opportunity for something else.”
A few of Susan’s friends who were also diagnosed with cancer were using her chemical-free creams and loved them. Encouraged by the feedback, she launched MOON (Made Out Of Nature) Organics in 2011 out of her own sterilized kitchen.
Highly sensitive to the needs of cancer patients, she set out to develop various organic products specifically for them. “When I lost my hair, I wished there was something to condition my scalp, to encourage that follicle to produce hair and nourish the hair that’s coming out,” Susan says. Now she is developing a hair growth serum for people coming out of chemotherapy.
Susan’s business is only a few months young, so when she’s asked about her biggest success, she sees it is still to come: “Chemo and radiation do terrible things to your skin and body. I want to come up with natural alternatives for skin lotions, burn creams, and scar creams and to give back to organizations that help cancer patients and their families get over this tough time,” she says.
One Thing She Would Do Differently
Guided by her passion to help cancer patients, Susan hasn’t let too many factors affect her driving force. But she admits she would probably be a bit more careful about choosing her advisers. When they recommended she follow a business plan that didn’t work towards her vision to help people, she quickly got back on the right track. “ I had to keep on mission. All my decisions had to keep to my vision. Everything else [money] will come.”
Susan Gonzalez shared her experiences about starting a business on Your Story Exchange. If you’ve started a business, please share you story here.