TENAFLY, N.J. — Walk into a Whole Foods in northern New Jersey and there is a decent chance you will find Tenafly mother Gillian Stollwerk Garrett.
The founder of " Gilly's Organics " visits the upscale supermarkets multiple times a week to promote her line of skin, face and hair care products, which are now sold at six different Whole Foods locations.
The 42-year-old mother of three says watching her business grow has been a lot like watching her kids grow.
"You don't realize it is growing because you are with it everyday," Garrett told Daily Voice. "But then you take a step back and see how far you've come and it is truly amazing."
Garrett has come a long way from making lip gloss out of vaseline and eye shadow at her parents' Long Island pharmacy.
The self-proclaimed "mixologist" worked a string of marketing jobs out of college before landing a copywriting gig with cosmetics company Estee Lauder.
After awhile, she said she became disenchanted promoting non-vegan products that were made with carcinogens.
"I told my husband I was tired of writing 'fresh, crisp, summery' and that I wanted to make my own product," Garrett said.
That product was an exfoliating sugar scrub Garrett whipped together using seven different essential oils and organic sugar.
She bottled it and brought it to a fundraiser for her daughter's school.
She ended up selling $800 worth in one night.
"When it sold well I thought people were just being nice," said Garrett, who was 32 at the time. "But then people started asking for it as gifts and all the sudden I was telling people to preorder in May for Christmas."
While Garrett wanted to grow her business, she first had to raise her young children. Four years ago, Garrett decided it was finally time to start treating "Gilly's Organics" like a full-time job.
Since then, she has grown her line to include nine different products, including a body wash, body cream, face wash, two different toners and a face cream.
She says she will turn a profit this year, and is currently seeking investors to help scale her business.
"When you are an entrepreneur, what you put in is what you get out," Garrett told Daily Voice. "It took me awhile to figure it but now that I have I feel like anything is possible."