By Suzanne Schmidt
LAND O’ LAKES—For two years, Sarapage Bauguss has been growing her home-based business, Baby Girl Products.
It all started when Bauguss became a stay-at-home mom to Brinly, 4, and Bradyn, 2. She said she used to clean up all the time because she thought that was the way to keep her daughters safe and healthy.
After seeing all the safety recalls for the toys because they had lead, she decided to do some research on all the other things she thought were safe including cleaners. What she discovered made her decide to not only change her ways, but to also help others out there who were just like her.
“When I was doing research, I could not find anything that was 100 percent safe enough,” Bauguss said. “The chemicals in cleaners have been lab tested and have been found to cause the growth of cancer cells and cause reproductive difficulties. There is also the presence of neurotoxins which have been found to cause brain abnormalities.”
The Baby Girl products are certified organic with ingredients like vinegar, organic essential oils, olive oil and lemon juice. All of the products are non-toxic and some are even safe enough to eat like the wood polish and the glass cleaner.
“Most of my products use vinegar because it is a natural disinfectant,” Bauguss said. “I don’t like it to smell like vinegar so I use organic essential oils that I saponified, which means I turned them into soap.”
In order to reach more people, Bauguss has been attending moms groups and community events. She said she originally started creating Baby Girl products to educate people, but now that her business is growing she is excited.
“Educating is my main thing,” Bauguss said. “I never thought I would make a profit.”
Through word-of-mouth, Bauguss has been able to grow her business. She started out just mixing the cleaners in her kitchen and selling them on-line. She now has 14 stores carrying her products as well as four women working for her.
“I have been going to events and speaking at Mom’s groups,” Bauguss said. “I have been talking to a lot of people who were just like me. There are a lot of people who just don’t have that awareness. The main way my business has grown is just because when people buy my products, they get so excited they want to tell everybody.”
Through her Web site, Bauguss distributes a newsletter every month where she gives helpful cleaning tips like using her glass cleaner for flat stove tops or using cooking oil spray to clean stainless steel. She said it is important to her to help others and most importantly her family.
“If there is anything in my life I can do to protect me or my family from having cancer, then I will do it,” Bauguss said. “I figure if a product is safer and works just as well, then why not use it.”
Jennifer Agustines, a stay-at-home Mom in Tampa, said when she met Bauguss recently, she changed her life. Agustines said she loves Baby Girl products and uses them all the time instead of traditional cleaners.
“I used to have a germ phobia,” Agustines said. “I was actually a bit of a bleach-aholic because I thought it was good to be clean and sanitized. I didn’t pay too much attention to what I used to clean, but then I met Bauguss at a mom’s event. I like that the Baby Girl products clean really well and they don’t smell bad.”
The next event Bauguss will be attending will be the Smart Baby Expo at the Quorum Hotel, 700 N. Westshore Blvd., Jan. 31 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, visit babygirlproducts.com.