Grandmother knows best. And one title-holder, Sue Robertson, thought she could provide families with better soaps.
It was part of a diversification plan at Tulsa-based Remwood Products, which Robertson and her husband, Bill, purchased in 1994. The company already manufactured an outdoor window cleaner. In 2002, Grandma’s Pure and Natural line of soaps and detergents was born.
One of those products was Grandma’s Lye Soap, a pure, all-natural soap without unnecessary chemicals or additives, which remains the company’s top seller. Grandma’s has since added other products like the Acne Bar, Goat’s Milk Beauty Bar and Don’t Bug Me Bar. Five Grandma’s products have received a 100% safe skin rating from Mayo Clinic Dermatology.
“The first time we did a trade show with the lye soap, it took off like crazy,” says Bill Robertson, Remwood’s president. “We were amazed. People were calling us up and saying, ‘This is the first time in my life that I haven’t itched.’ It’s just so gratifying to talk to people and hear how we’re helping them.”
In June, Grandma’s participated in Wal-Mart’s 2019 Open Call, where entrepreneurs pitch their products to the retail giant. Grandma’s pitched its non-detergent laundry soap, currently the company’s fastest-growing product, and its pet soap, and now waits to see if the products land on Wal-Mart shelves. “We will hear from them at some point,” Robertson says. “We’re not sitting and waiting. We’re picking up other business all the time.” Grandma’s products are available online and in stores nationwide.
Remwood’s growth has continued even after a 2017 tornado damaged its headquarters near East 46th Street and South Memorial Drive. Not even a brush with Mother Nature can detour Grandma’s Pure and Natural from fulfilling its mission, which includes donating four to six 1,400-pound pallets of soap each year to food banks and to those in need.
“It’s not about the money anymore. It’s about helping people,” Robertson says. “It’s a pleasure to be able to help people.”