Catch Marcia Reece on the #PirateBroadcast™
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Introduction: [00:00:00] Welcome to the #PirateBroadcast™, where we interview #interestingpeople doing #interestingthings. Where you can expand your connections, your community, #kindnessiscool and #smilesarefree. Let’s get this party started.
Russ Johns: [00:00:10] I am here. I'm here here for another #PirateBroadcast™ and we were so engaged with the conversation that I almost forgot to start the show. So welcome aboard. Thank you Marcia for being here.
Marcia Reece: [00:00:22] Oh, I'm so pleased to be here. Thank you for your invitation Russ.
Russ Johns: [00:00:26] We just connected a month ago. It's almost a month ago at an event here in Arizona and it's around founders and you are a founder. I am a founder, we are founders. And it's amazing to see, and we were just talking about this before the show, about the diversity in some of the experiences that we've had in life. And I just want to applaud you, number one, for the work that you're doing and some of the projects that you have going on. And before I get into that, I just want to tell people that you have an opportunity to go out there and#makeitmatter. You have an opportunity to go out there and make a difference and Marcia has made a difference in so many lives that I had to share her story and some of the things that she's done and accomplished and will continue to accomplish in her future and just support this community of pirates and all the good that we're doing out there. So thank you so much for being here, everyone. So Marcia, tell me, I received this thing and I have one on my phone already. But Marcia is the founder of Stay Well Copper and it's an amazing story in itself. However, your entrepreneurial journey started long before the Staywell Copper. So let's go back and talk about who Marcia is for those that don't know you.
Marcia Reece: [00:01:55] Wow. I'm a farm kid from Southeast Iowa who grew up without a lot of store bought items. So we learned at an early age, if we wanted something, to figure out how to make it. And at the time I thought I was deprived, but what I realized is my parents gave me the most incredible gift of all, creativity and a curious mind to figure out how to make things. So to start my entrepreneurial journey, it goes back into the seventies when my daughter was born and didn't like to get dirty. And she only wore prissy, little frilly pink thing, and I didn't believe my children should have batteries. I believe a child's battery is right up here. And if you encourage them to use it, they do. So we did a lot of creative arts and crafts activities. And at the time the only chalk available was the skinny, blackboard chocolate, the size of your little finger that came out of China and it was dusty and dirty and stained. So I decided there had to be a better way to make chalk. So I went to a place called a library, one of those old things and I did a lot of research on how you make chalk. And I came up with a formulation. I spent a summer working on it, lots of formulations and came up with one that has never been duplicated. And it produced a phenomenally hard, dustless clean product. So through a whole series of events we created and marketed sidewalk chalk and took it to 72% global market share. So that was the beginning of my journey of finding a simple solution to an everyday problem. And that's what I do best. My next product that most of you out there in Pirate Nation might have heard of, I created the gel filled wrist rest that goes in front of the keyboard and the mouse pad. Again, simple solution to a problem I had when I would use my typewriter and then the computers, my wrists would hurt. So I thought let's make something soft and cushy toto protect my wrist. Then I licensed that nationwide, worldwide to Case Logic. So it was just a series of my whole, I probably done over a hundred products. None of them are rocket science. They're all simple solutions to everyday problems.
Russ Johns: [00:04:09] I was talking to Taylor yesterday, who you introduced us to and a phenomenal conversation, both on and off the show. And. My thought process was that if you walk into any kind of a store, whether it's a hardware store or a grocery store or a toy store, you see all of these products and you have to imagine to yourself how the heck did they think of this? And so you're a perfect example of that exercise in creativity and solving problems and creating products. And it just amazes me. That's a talent that I haven't gone through that process. It's mostly mine has been in services, but the product development has a journey of its own.
Marcia Reece: [00:04:55] It does. And when you come up with the idea, oh, I could try to do this, that's the beginning, but it does take a lot to get from a beginning, germ of an idea to a beautiful flourishing product on a store shelf or on e-commerce. A lot of trial and error and testing and focus groups and making sure that what your idea is actually is what a consumer wants, but I always start with what I need in my life or what my children needed in their lives or what my friends needed in their lives. Those are for me the beginning of ideas. If there's not a need, I can't figure out a reason to create it.
Russ Johns: [00:05:36] Yeah. I've created a lot of cool products that didn't necessarily go to market.
Marcia Reece: [00:05:43] It's not too late. Let's do it.
Russ Johns: [00:05:46] It's not too late. So what was the creative process that you go through? Is it different for every product that you've created or is it unique to the product itself.
Marcia Reece: [00:05:56] It's probably a little bit of the same. I've never actually thought of it that way. I've discovered a need and then how do I fill it? And then I'm like, when we started Stay Well Copper, I had almost died from immersive staph infection in the lowest part of my spine. I had final rights twice, six surgeries, and I had to learn to walk again. I was very critically sick and when I got out of the hospital and had my pins back under me, so to speak, I wanted to find a way to kill germs without chemicals and drugs. And that led me back into research. So for me, it always starts with research and I went back to the ancients, back to the Egyptians, the Romans and the Greeks. They kill germs with copper. They didn't know what they were doing yet. And we didn't for a few centuries, but they did figure out in the 1800's that copper will kill germs. There are two metals that will, copper is one. Silver is the other, but silver has to be wet to kill. Copper will kill wet or dry. So that was the beginning. And then, okay. Now I know copper's the material I want. How do I make it into products? I knew that from my research, we carry 80% of our germs on our hands. So I knew that if I could put copper on the things we touch the most, I have a good chance of helping people keep their hands germ-free. What do all of us in 2021 touch almost nonstop? Our phones. So that was the beginning of the copper patch. And while you are talking, texting and touching, you're killing germs on your hands. So that was the beginning of how that worked. Then we went to our roller, which you can roll between your hands. You can put it up your nose. I know that's gross, but that's how we got on Jimmy. Kimmel Live was our copper up our nose, but my husband and I haven't had a cold for four years because we use that copper every morning and every night, then we went to a key fob to put on your car keys. Again, things we touch all the time. So the product development process for me is not, it's not an MBA study. It's simple, practical. How can I make it an affordable solution for people and yet fill their needs? So for us, we came up with things that people touch most often and try to create anti-microbial copper products around it. And then it became very critically important to me that we'd be made in the USA. And I got a neat little side story.
Russ Johns: [00:08:34] Tell this story, beautiful story.
Marcia Reece: [00:08:36] This was a Godwink. I was looking for certification on the purity of our copper and I reached out to my copper fabricator, who employs seven us veterans, by the way. I'm really proud of that as well. And he sent me the certification of our copper purity, but it wasn't everything I needed for the vendor I wanted to work with. But I noticed on the bottom of the paper, it said copper mined at Revere Copper and I thought, I remembered my mom using Revere ware when we were kids. So I Googled, now I don't have to go to the library, I can Google. I Googled Revere Copper and dialed the phone number on the Google and a lady named Amy O'Shaughnessy answered the phone. She's now the Exec VP of Marketing or she was then and she happened to answer the phone because somebody else wasn't at their desk. We struck up a friendship and they have been a pivotal partner in helping us get our EPA registration. But the cool story, Russ, Revere Copper is the oldest manufacturing company in the United States. It was founded by Paul Revere in the late 1700's. He got the first US grant ever given by theUS government. He got $10,000 in 1801 to develop a copper rolling mill, so they can roll sheets of copper to put on our armadas. That he found out that the British ships would always beat ours at sea and ours were covered with barnacles that were eating all the bacteria on the ships, where the British had copper on theirs and they had no bacteria. So the USS constitution, which is still in the Harbor on the East coast, has Paul Revere's copper on it. Still to this day. And that's the cool thing about our products. They're all natural, no chemicals and they kill germs for forever. So it's just, for me, it was a no brainer and it was the mission that I wanted to take me a long way down the road. Cause there's so many people globally that fight germs and hand sanitizers, our bottles are plugging our landfills, tens of millions of them a day are going into our landfill where with our copper product that does not ever have to happen. So we really do want to be a smart solution to a global problem.
Russ Johns: [00:11:02] And that story alone, just the fact that you were introduced to the oldest manufacturer in the US, that has the ability and the opportunity to create the product that you're looking to create was just to me, when I heard that and I heard you tell the story and thought you gotta be on the #PirateBroadcast and share that because that's a story worth hearing.
Marcia Reece: [00:11:23] I've had many people ask me, what do you attribute to your successes? Is it luck or is it hard work? It's both, but you need that kind of a lucky break. For Amy O'Shaughnessy to pick up the phone and then want to have a conversation. And now we're great friends. It's turned into a friendship. She would be a great pirate to have on your show.
Russ Johns: [00:11:43] I was just going to say, we should probablyget her on #PirateBroadcast and follow up with this, because that would be fantastic.
Marcia Reece: [00:11:51] I'll make that happen.
Russ Johns: [00:11:52] Yes. Yes. The other thing about it is one are the hiccups in any product development, in any entrepreneurial journey is one of the things that you have a way to distribute and then yours actually ended up closing down. So now you're going through the process of reinventing how you're putting this together because the interruption is that you had it on Amazon and then they got a little bit, across the board, they just wiped off a lot of products and services as they normally do. And so you actually went to the chemists in Revere and actually got some information that allows you to actually make claims that are accurate. So talk about that a little bit.
Marcia Reece: [00:12:38] We were selling great on Amazon. It was quite a journey and we were doing very well. We had perfect shipping record and all of a sudden last fall we get delisted last December. They took off thousands of companies that were making kill claims, germ claims, in a response to the pandemic. And we yet did not have our EPA registration. So I couldn't validate our claims, either. However, I want to tell you the good news. First on March 17th, we are now registered with the EPA. We are compliant with the FDA and we are compliant with the FTC. So we've gone through all the alphabet soup and we're clean on all of them, but that doesn't let you back on. We've been waiting since last fall to get back on. We've sent them all of our data, so it's a day to day wait, but in the meantime, you can't let Amazon ruin your world because they do rule your world. And so we are now in the process of developing retail packaging to go into traditional brick and mortar. We've been asked to do that throughout the last year. A lovely lady named Roberta Bonoff from Minneapolis. she's an amazing human being. She's helping me with our retail sales and she's been begging me for retail packaging, but I just needed to get my med space put together, to think about it and get it designed. So we're doing that now. And I do want to put a shout out to Howard Kaufman. I know he's one of your pirates. He has been so pivotally helpful in my journey in bringing this product to market because he's also bringing an oral care to market, an organic tooth cleaning service. But every time I have a stumbling block, I'll call Howard and he always takes my call and he always has wonderful suggestions. And that's a great message here for wanna be entrepreneurs. This is not a journey you have to make alone. So it is so important. You align yourself with good mentors, good sounding boards and Russ, you have been so pivotal. Every time I call and I've only known you a month, it feels like a lifetime. I'm so thrilled that Howard introduced us because you have a golden Rolodex as well, and you're generous to share it.
Russ Johns: [00:15:01] Thank you. Thank you so much. And thank you for being here and sharing this story because #inspiration like this is so important to share, especially in this day and age. I keep telling people we are living in the most amazing time in history. We have the connectivity, we have the research, the information's out there, and I see nothing but opportunity everywhere. And you just have to roll up your sleeves, decide you're going to solve the problem and go out and do some of the work that is required to get there. And your proof that exists everywhere that we look. And you're a special human and I'm so fortunate and blessed to know you. So it's just been so wonderful to have conversations and I was so excited to hear about your alphabet soup.
Marcia Reece: [00:15:51] Oh my goodness.
Russ Johns: [00:15:52] Experimentation and everything that went along with that. I was so excited though. I was telling my mom, my sister about it and everybody that I could. Shouting out. And so I just want to share so many things with the pirate community and they're all good stories.
Marcia Reece: [00:16:05] Can I share something with the pirate community also as a thank you for you having me here today and letting me tell your audience about Staywell Copper. I had made a branded phone patch. It's engraved with the #PirateSyndicate on it. It goes on the back of a phone and I'd like to give that away to one of your listeners this week. So this week, all during your podcast. When people think about it, if they'll just go either to staywellcopper.com, you can click it into our contact form and just write #beardnation or they can go into your podcast, Russ, your site and type in beard nation, and then pick a winner and we will send someone this beautiful free copper phone patch. It will last forever and keep your hands germ-free
Russ Johns: [00:17:00] That's Stay Well?
Marcia Reece: [00:17:01] staywell.com and there's a contact form and you can just type #beardnation or you can put it on your... Russ, we can share the contest. We're going to see each other Saturday at the Arizona founders.
Russ Johns: [00:17:15] We'll put it out there, but I just want to Stay Well Copper right?
Marcia Reece: [00:17:19] StayWellCopper.com. Yes. I want to give one away because your people are important to me and I want them all to be healthy. I don't give these to people that I want to get sick.
Russ Johns: [00:17:30] This is awesome. And I just want to give a shout out. Let me hide this for a second. Tracie says, good morning pirates. She's the producer. You've probably met her already in the notes and everything else. Jenny's Gold Standard. I met her through Howard. She's an amazing individual out of Colorado, that's doing some great work. Angie is an epic supporter. I love Angie and she's doing some great work. She introduced me to Tracie who's now the producer. And then Hiett Ives does product development. He usually helps companies at expo centers. He's out of Houston. So Hiett, thanks for being here. Russ Hedge out of Oregon. He's an amazing marketer and somebody that believes in smiling on a regular basis. So he's there. Amazing story, Marcia. Thank you so much. Marcia needs to meet Red O'Laughlin. Yeah. Red O'Laughlin is another individual that has a long history in healthcare and wellness and actually is an author and a speaker and a coach out of Houston as well. Where can we buy these products? That's a great question.
Marcia Reece: [00:18:36] StayWellCopper.com right now is our website. And if you if you do go there to order, I'm going to give a two for one discount to anyone that orders this week and types in the note,#beardnation. I want your audience to be able to protect themselves and someone they love. So if they'll just reach out to me and know that they heard about us on the #PirateBroadcast, I'm going to give them two for one right now. I've never done that before. It's just with your folks, Russ,
Russ Johns: [00:19:10] I love it. Jenny says, good morning, Tracie, Angie, Russ Hedge. And then Howard of course, says, what a truly inspiring story that continues to help so many people. I love it. And Taylor's in the room. Moving the FDA, Amazon mountain with facts, truth and perseverance. Yes, absolutely. And she says she loves Roberta too. So shout out to Howard Kaufman. Yes. Taylor says, thank you, Howard. Sarathy says, hey, Russ and comrades. How is everyone? Right now I'm doing an email intro. So Hiett's already on the move. So all of these things that you've gone through, all of these experiences, what's your word of advice to people that are looking and searching and attempting to define their future and their lives in today's age and environment?
Marcia Reece: [00:20:03] I'm going to say perseverance. We've had so many obstacles thrown at us the last six months. I seriously have had those middle of the night conversations with myself. I'm should I just quit? But I can't because there are so many people who have issues with germs and their hands are all red and chapped and sore from hand sanitizer. We don't have those issues with our product. So I had to wake up the next morning, put my network underneath me and that's Howard and Roberta and Taylor. And now you, Russ. People I'm going to meet through the #PirateSyndicate. We can form such a powerful helping collective. So put your sticks back under you and go fight another day. And I've told Taylor so many times, we may have had the door shut. We may have been slammed down again, but each time we come back stronger with another tool in our toolbox. So I think you just got to have it. So in your gut that you want to make this change happen. That and I think back to 40 years ago, when I brought sidewalk, chalk to market. Now I see the Geico commercial with the people hopping on the hopscotch. You know that when the pandemic happened so many people started decorating sidewalks again, and that just warmed my heart to know, gosh, I had a part in that many decades ago. That's where I hope we go with copper. I want it to come back into mainstream. It used to be here a couple of centuries ago. And then the stainless steel industry and pharma, big pharmaceutical. We don't need a holistic cure. We can cure this with drugs and chemicals and I'm not into drugs and chemicals. I try to do things very naturally. So keep your fire in you. And then put people around you that help candle it when it starts to burn low, because it will. I would say entrepreneurial journey is the good, the bad and the ugly. So the good better be really good cause it has to counteract the bad and the ugly.
Russ Johns: [00:22:09] Yeah. I can't agree with you more. There's so many times where you wake up saying, why am I here? What am I doing again? What is it that I'm doing here? I just think it's so inspirational to hear that from other founders and other entrepreneurs. And it's really about this kindred spirit of being able to say, you're doing something important. This is important work, and you have to continue.
Marcia Reece: [00:22:37] I've also found #inspiration surprisingly enough in the history channel on television. I think it's on Sunday night, there's a television show called Foods that Built America and it's all the food brands we all know from Heinz to Campbell's to Lays to Coke, to all of them and the stories of how they started. And it has helped me so much these last month when I've had all these problems with Amazon and trying to become compliant with these government agencies because every one of these founders almost failed. Some of them did fail and started over again. And it's taught me, gosh, if Post Food and if General Mills had issues and Nabisco, if they almost didn't make it, I can do this again. I'm not ready to quit. And I learned something from you, Russ, you always talk about kindness and smiles. And what I love so much is smiles speaks every language. And I think when you go at something with your heart and your good intention and kindness and smiles and happiness, you got a better shot at getting to the end of it,
Russ Johns: [00:23:47] And it's really you expressed it earlier is that the journey itself has to be something that you can understand and appreciate.
Marcia Reece: [00:23:58] Yes.
Russ Johns: [00:23:58] So many of us think that there's a finish line and it's not really about the finish line. It's about the journey and it's about the discovery and you taking an entire summer just to go through and do the research on what it takes to create chalk. When people think about that, they think about the instant gratification that we're living in right now is this, we can order it on Amazon and have it prime delivered tomorrow, sometimes on the same day. And I'm thinking slowing down and thinking about some deep thoughts and making sure that we're reflecting on what's important in our lives, I think is also important as well. And having friends like Taylor and Howard and all of these individuals that you have in your life that have helped you along the way. That's, to me, what is really important and really makes a huge impact in our world.
Marcia Reece: [00:24:47] And it's not just what they give to me. It's what I can give to them because I've had some experiences that I've been able to share with our network. And I'm new to Arizona, we moved here almost four years ago. I was very active in the entrepreneurial community in Colorado, where we lived previously, but I'm starting over in Arizona. So meeting the folks that I'm meeting through several entrepreneurial groups that I belong to, that is critically important to me because my network now is a state away instead of across town. So it's fun to start over, meet all the new people. There's a lot of entrepreneurship here in Arizona. And I found out when we got here, Arizona is the Copper State. I didn't know that. It must have been meant to be.
Russ Johns: [00:25:33] Who'd have thunk it? Who'd have thunk it? That is so important. And I guess you and I probably moved here about the same time. I moved here just at the beginning of 2018. Our networks and our ability to network we're wide open here.
Marcia Reece: [00:25:47] We both had to shout out to Howard. I met you because Howard did an introduction for you and I, so I really appreciate him in many ways.
Russ Johns: [00:25:57] I like that. Taylor says yes, life is about the journey. Sent my info to Stay Well Copper. So Sheri says when spinning several plates, I have few spares on standby. Have a few stays spares on standby. Yes. The pirate consortium. I love it. I love this kind of activity. And you asked me before the show why did you pick 7:00 AM in the morning? It's what better way to start your day?
Marcia Reece: [00:26:26] We have to do hair and makeup, Russ. You only have to do a little face makeup. You don't have to do...
Russ Johns: [00:26:31] I just have to comb my beard. Marcia, it is always a pleasure when I get to hang out with you. Smiles somehow arrive every single time we have a conversation and you're just a joy to be around. So I encourage everyone to go to Stay Well, list something out there, check it out. I love the product. I love the process. I love the journey. I love the story and I just encourage all of you to experience this process that Marcia has created for all of us to enjoy and stay safe with. So Marcia, any last parting words of wisdom you want to share with the world today?
Marcia Reece: [00:27:12] Gosh, just don't be afraid to follow your dreams because you do not ever know what path they're going to take you down. And without our dreams, life wouldn't be so rich and full for me, if I wasn't willing to follow my dreams.
Russ Johns: [00:27:27] Boom. I love that. Thank you everyone. Marcia, as always, I look forward to seeing you again and hanging out, Howard will be there. We'll all be there and share some information. Also, if you found this episode worthwhile, worth sharing, go ahead and share it with somebody that needs to hear it today. Cause you never know who's going to be inspired, who needs to hear this information and who needs to be motivated to do something and take action today. So Marcia your an #inspiration to all of us. And so #kindnessiscool, #smilesarefree, so everyone #enjoytheday. Take care.
Marcia Reece: [00:28:11] Thank you Russ.
Russ Johns: [00:28:12] You bet. Love you all. Bye!
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