Suzy Batiz doesn’t see herself as a business woman. Sure, she’s built a multimillion-dollar business based on removing the smell of excrement. But she thinks her capitalistic success is more than just dollar signs. It’s her calling.
She refers to herself as “a business shaman.” Just as a traditional shaman moves energy, she moves money, and she thinks they’re the same thing. Money is simply her spiritual medium.
Let’s take a look at how this woman that left behind a string of failed businesses became as wealthy as Reese Witherspoon by selling poop spray.
Suzy Batiz: Experimentation and Bankruptcy
Suzy Batiz did not come from wealth. And she filled her career with trial and error before she made it big with Poo-Pourri.
Her interview with The New Yorker detailed her previous entrepreneurial exploits including selling exercise equipment, starting a clothing line, opening a clothing store, running a tanning-bed repairing business, opening a beauty salon, starting a hot tub repair business, and opening a tanning salon. She tried selling “cheap lingerie at a markup to strippers, until a club owner with three missing fingers demanded a percentage of her profits.” She would call up manufacturers and ask what they had in excess. She’d buy it cheap and try to flip it for a profit. One time it was gearboxes, another time it was fabric.
She filed for bankruptcy once when her bridal shop went under and then again when the staffing startup she founded ran out of cash.
And Poo-Pourri wasn’t her first attempt at creating something the market hasn’t seen before. She tried selling caffeinated gum. She explained it as, “You know those Listerine strips? I tried to make those with, like, Red Bull.”
Trying to Make It as an Entrepreneur
For years, she desperately tried to make her way as an entrepreneur, but nothing stuck. She lost investors, her house, and her Range Rover. Finally, she decided that the universe told her to give up business for good. She stayed home, painted, and listened to Disturbed. She says the band was “energetically aligned with where I was at the time.” She went on a journey of self-discovery with a hypnotist and when they said she lacked purpose, she went on what she called a “spiritual sabbatical.”
After beginning this journey of self-discovery, she attended a dinner party with her friends and family. After someone had an unfortunate time in the only bathroom, her brother asked if the bathroom odor could be trapped. She said, “lightning went through my body” after hearing that rhetorical question.
She started experimenting night and day with different blends of essential oils. Her goal was to create an oil mixture that would suspend on the surface of the toilet water, trapping the poo’s scent under the surface. And she followed anyone that went into her home’s bathroom to experiment.
Her son admits that he thought she was “completely nuts.” But finally, they found a concoction that truly worked. They started a web store and sold bottles in her friend’s friend’s storefront.
Suzy Batiz: Success and Shamanism
She finally did it. Batiz struck gold, and her fortune and spiritualism grew. Batiz called it an “alive idea” that had a spiritual resonance that matched her own aura.
In 2012, she formed the company’s first national partnership with QVC. Their 2013 commercial “Girls Don’t Poop” made the company a viral sensation. By 2014, Poo-Pourri entered its first physical store chain in Bed Bath & Beyond. Now, you can find it in commerce powerhouses like Target, Costco, and Walmart.
While it seems counterintuitive to their product, they made their branding bold. The whole premise of Poo-Pourri is making your bathroom business discreet. But they made an impression with their brash ad campaigns like “How to Poop at Work” and “Jingle Bells, Your Poop Smells.” Instead of being quiet and sweet like their product, their website contrasts clean, bright product photography and brash copy. The first line of their about page is “In 2006 at an all-too-intimate dinner party someone blew up the one and only bathroom.”
She’s now gone beyond toilet sprays. Batiz started a cleaning product line called “Supernatural.” It sold out in the first two hours it was available on Goop, Gwyneth Paltrow’s life brand. During the pandemic, the brand capitalized on the opportunity in the expanded market for sanitation by producing hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes.
They’ve also expanded to include a natural women’s deodorant called Pitt Pourri, a sole deodorizer called Sole Pourri, and an air care product called Home Pourri.
Throughout all of this, Batiz has felt like more than a business woman. She considers herself a deeply spiritual person and business is simply her medium for connecting to a higher power.
She explains that “Business, for me, isn’t just something I do. It’s a purpose. This is not a rags-to-riches story. It’s a spiritual-evolution story.”
She lives in a church she converted into her home and workspace. She called it her Temple of Transformation. And she sees transformation as the through-line in her life. She says transformation is “just what I do. That’s my whole life. I transform poop into smelling good.” And her product is “not just a toilet spray. The underbelly is transformation.”
While her late-stage capitalism ideology that borders on a religious fervor may seem extreme to some, there’s no word to describe her transition from a bankrupt business woman to a business tycoon worth $215 million other than transformation.
Photo Credit: Suzy Batiz’s FacebookPublished in
Author, Artist, Photographer.
Sarah Margaret is an artist who expresses her love for feminism, equality, and justice through a variety of mediums: photography, filmmaking, poetry, illustration, song, acting, and of course, writing.
She owns Still Poetry Photography, a company that showcases her passion for capturing poetic moments in time. Instead of poetry in motion, she captures visual poetry in fractions of a second, making cherished keepsakes of unforgettable moments.
She is the artist behind the Still Poetry Etsy shop, which houses her illustrations and bespoke, handmade items. She is the author of intricacies are just cracks in the wall, a narrative poetry anthology that follows a young woman discovering herself as she emerges from an abusive relationship.