~Pourri Founder and Chief Visionary Officer Suzy Batiz rises from poverty and trauma to join the ranks of Forbes’s richest self-made women.
Following the failure of more than 10 entrepreneurial attempts, it’s unsurprising that Suzy Batiz, founder of Addison-based ~Pourri, labeled herself the “worst entrepreneur in the world.” Yet, she overcame this rough start—in addition to overcoming poverty, sexual and domestic abuse, depression, three divorces, and a suicide attempt—to join the ranks of Forbes’s Richest Self-Made Women and Conscious Company’s World-Changing Women in 2019. That same year she was also listed in Inc.’s Female Founders 100 and named EarthX’s Community Leader of the Year. Between her background and her business, she transformed personally and professionally to establish a nine-figure empire with the unusual mission of “get out the funk,” a mantra she means figuratively and literally.
The pivotal points that happened between background and booming business were a series of business failures and devastating losses, in the form of bankruptcies. Batiz realized that she had the “luxury of losing everything” and took the opportunity to embark on a spiritual sabbatical. She became a seeker, examining her basic beliefs and studying religions, including Christianity, Buddhism, and Hinduism. She entered therapy. Influenced by several books, including Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl and Loving What Is by Byron Katie, Batiz began her transformation after realizing she needed a connection to a higher power and didn’t need money to make her happy. As her beliefs evolved, so did her approach to life and business. The process is detailed in her book, The Woo of Poo, and laid out in an all-out stage talk in which Batiz is unchained by any limiting beliefs.
The aha moment of creation, talent, and synchronicity came for Batiz when her brother-in-law mentioned that he wished there was a way to trap or eliminate the unpleasant smell after a trip to the toilet, and Batiz lit-up.
“I was into aromatherapy, and I knew that there must be a way to do that using oils,” Batiz says. “I experimented with different formulas. I drove my friends and family crazy, following them around whenever they had to ‘go’ and asking them to try whatever I had developed until Eureka! I knew I had a winner, and Poo~Pourri was born.”
Then the real work began in 2007 with the sale of the first bottle of Poo~Pourri.
After the aforementioned bankruptcies and unsatisfactory meetings with venture capitalists, Batiz was determined not to go into debt and to retain ownership of her company. With the support of trusted family and friends and living frugally, she was able to bootstrap the entire venture and today continues to retain 97 percent ownership of her company, with each of her three children holding 1 percent. Batiz became a different kind of entrepreneur and is proud of the fact that her story and style is taught at Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts, where professors and students have conducted case studies on ~Pourri and asked Batiz to be a guest speaker.
“I learned to trust my gut,” she says. “I didn’t need a traditional business plan or outside capital. I believed that trusting my intuition was the best investment I could make, and I continually reinvested profits in the company. I learned that magic can happen—it’s a real thing—and I began to see seemingly impossible things happen on an almost daily basis. I stuck to my guns, refused to operate or make any decisions based on fear, and by 2013, Poo~Pourri was in 10,000 retail stores and gift shops.”
But Poo~Pourri had not yet become the household name it would become. So when Batiz knew intuitively that she was ready to take the company and the product to the next level, she once again turned to her magic formula: Trust your intuition, go toward that which makes you feel alive, grow, and always have fun.
To stick to her debt-free commitment, Batiz knew an expansive ad campaign was not in her budget. In 2013 the power of viral video on social media was just coming into its own. Batiz studied videos and found some guerilla marketers, and the idea for “Girls Don’t Poop,” one of several humorous videos, was born. The video went viral and was so successful that it almost tanked the company. Orders came in so fast and in such large numbers that Batiz believes two of her newfound beliefs kept the company afloat.
I belived trusting my intution was the best investment I could make.
“I believe in infinite possibility and that when you open yourself up, follow your dreams and instincts, the universe has your back,” she says. “I believe that most people want you to succeed. So many impossible things happened after we launched that video: Suppliers stepped up for production, the team pulled together and found ways to make the fulfillment process more efficient, and most of all, the people who placed the orders understood. They cheered our success and were willing to wait until we could get the product out to them.”
To date ~Pourri (The company name changed to ~Pourri in 2022) videos have over 450 million views worldwide and the prim and proper British lady with the potty mouth is one of the most recognizable, iconic characters in viral ad history.
The latest video campaign, Flip That Funk, features the company’s total line of products, which includes the original and two new Poo~Pourri sprays, an indoor air and fabric spray, a line of non-toxic household cleaning products, a candle and spray that eliminate pet odors, a healthy deodorant, and a foot odor product. Expanding her product line and entering a new era for ~Pourri, Batiz wanted to up her video game and found a group of dancers from Amsterdam named Ghetto Funk Collective. The synchronicity of their name, the sound of funk music, and her vision for the campaign was all Batiz needed to once again trust her instincts and go all in, enlisting the talent of music director RC Williams and his band The Gritz as well as Austin musician Black Joe Lewis. Her team flew to Amsterdam to film the videos, which went viral, receiving 3.7 million views in the first two months after their release.
During her personal transformation, Batiz also decided to embrace a large part of her true nature—that she is a natural sharer. Sharing the effects her products have on users is the basis for her ad campaigns. Sharing the insight and realizations that have allowed her to become one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the United States is the basis for her Alive OS courses, which she developed in 2020.
Set for its inaugural in-person immersion class this spring in Dallas, Alive OS is a course for personal transformation. Batiz shares her journey, beliefs, and the Radical Trinity of Transformation with participants. Based on the belief that the world is simply a reflection of our internal state, Batiz focuses on mind, body, and soul/spirit. The course looks at ways to recognize and change limiting patterns and perceptions and move into a more energetic, fulfilling life of purpose, gratitude, and happiness.
“Every idea is alive. When I am pulled toward an idea, I have learned to trust my intuition and my body. I sense it in my body,” Batiz says. “It’s different for everyone, but I get a tingling in my arm. It also creates a heightened sense of being. I’m aligned and moments of synchronicity begin to happen. It’s also a feeling that no matter how my logical brain says ‘it will never work’ and how many people say the same, I just can’t let go of the idea. There is an energetic vibration. If there is resonance, then I feel alive, especially when the energy waves match. I have learned that if it vibrates with me, it vibrates with others, with the right people who get it and things just move in the direction of making seemingly impossible and, at the very least, improbable things happen. I look for resonance in ideas, in groups, in partnerships, and in companies, and I wait until we get something where we actually are more with that idea than we were without it.”
Recently Batiz listened to her own resonance and told her mentor Gay Hendricks that she no longer found joy working in the company she founded. “It wasn’t lighting me up anymore,” Batiz says.
Guided by Hendricks, Batiz sought out and hired a CEO for ~Pourri, retained her position as chief visionary officer and founder, and went back to pursuing work that did light her up, like envisioning, creating, and overseeing the new Flip the Funk ad campaign. Giving up control by changing her perspective has been a positive change both for Batiz personally and for the company.
Batiz sports a tattoo with a quote from the ancient Persian poet and Sufi mystic Rumi. “This dance is the joy of existence.” For Batiz, it is a reminder to look back and know that the joy of existence is all a dance—the good and the bad, the hard times and the good times—and to appreciate everything that dance has taught her.