A Florida SBDC Success Story:
Velmaxx – No No-See-Um Insect Repellent, Fort Myers
Noooooo No-See-Um Insect Repellent was created and developed by Caroline Semerjian. After moving to Sanibel from Michigan she found that the bugs of southwest Florida were simply unbearable. After waking up in the night covered in bites, endlessly scratching her legs and trying every bug repellent she could, she decided enough was enough. She began to develop a new repellent that would not only repel No-See-Ums, but also blackflies and mosquitos. After only creating 100 bottles of the new repellent, they were sold out quickly and immediately started to make more.
There was a process when they were developing the formula for this repellent. Most of the time, when creating all forms of animal repellent it has to be environmentally safe, which means getting approval from the Environmental Protection Agency. The problem with the EPA is that it can take a very long time to get something directly approved by them. A way to move past this is to use their list of approved ingredients when creating compounds. Caroline endeavored to create something new using the ingredients approved to try to make a better product. She spent a great deal of time working and creating formulas repeatedly until finally a solution was created that worked. They did an initial trial run of only 100 bottles and they were sold out in 3 days with orders for even more. They still maintain small orders to insure that each bottle is mixed properly and for quality control.
Caroline has worked hard to create a quality product that fills a real need in her community. Caroline states, “With the help of Dwayne from the SBDC I was able to do more for my business and make a better product.” She already has a new repellent spray specifically designed for horses to help equestrians tend to their animals. Caroline is looking to expand even more in the future and bring relief to as many people as she can.