‘Taking Back the Outdoors’ with Mozi-Q’s Erin Bosch
July 2, 2014
JOHN SHEGERIAN: Welcome back to Green is Good, and we’re so excited to have with us today Erin Bosch. She is the President and CEO of Mozi-Q and Mozi-Q.com. Welcome to Green is Good, Erin. ERIN BOSCH: Hi. Thank you for having me. JOHN SHEGERIAN: Hey, Erin, before we get talking about what you’re doing there and all the important work, I want you to share the Erin Bosch story. We’ve got so many young people from around the world that listen to Green is Good and our guests are the inspirational leaders of today and there’s a lot of young people that want to follow in your footsteps so can you share your journey leading up to being the President and CEO of Mozi-Q? ERIN BOSCH: Absolutely. I’m kind of a chronic entrepreneur. I actually tried to open up my first business when I was 15 years old with a coffee shop. It didn’t quite work out that way but later on, when I was 20 years old, I got the idea to open up a health food store because all throughout high school I had worked in health food stores so I went to my mom and was like, ‘Mom, I want to open up a health food store,’ and she said, ‘Write a business plan,’ and so I went and I wrote a business plan and a few months later, I had opened up a little health food store in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. At that point, I had gotten myself to day one and I remember sitting in my office and I used a label maker. It was our biggest expense of the entire build and I typed out, ‘It is real,’ and that thing sat on my computer actually for years afterwards and so I started working in my little health food store and gained quite a little following and then year five I actually decided to change the concept of my business. Part of my store was still a little store and the other part of it was a clinic and the reason I did that was because I love natural medicine and I love green medicine but I really believed that we had to have professionals talking about the medicine and so I did a renovation. I did it all myself because I’m a good entrepreneur and then we reopened as a clinic and at that point, we started to get a great following because we had so many professionals working for us and then fast forward another year. We were researching again and obsessed with natural medicine and came across a remedy in an old textbook that if you took it, mosquitos wouldn’t bite you. I didn’t actually think a lot about it because I’m not a particularly yummy person. Bugs don’t bite me but I started selling it in the clinic and every year, I had this 100% increase in sales and one day, we had sold a lot of it and I was talking to my sister. I’m like, ‘Okay, when I die, I want this on my tombstone because it’s like it’s a real product,’ and then she gave me a funny look and the light bulb went off and I started working to bring this product to market. It took me actually a year and a half to get approval in Canada. Canada actually has very strict guidelines for natural medicine and then finally, when I got my approval, I brought it to market and I’ve been chasing after Mozi-Q ever since and this year marks the year that we’re actually launching it to the U.S. I’m really excited about it because Mozi-Q is the first ever oral insect repellent. It’s completely safe. There’s no contra-indication. It’s all natural and I really believe this is a remedy that can help change the world. JOHN SHEGERIAN: This is so cool; so wait a second now. I want to step back. There’s so many questions that come out of that and that’s such a fascinating journey so you’re still in Canada I take it, Erin? ERIN BOSCH: Yes. JOHN SHEGERIAN: And, you still have the health center or what’s it look? What’s your retail store look like or center look like? ERIN BOSCH: Oh, it’s still there and I have somebody who’s running it for me. I’ve kind of branched off a bit because you know, it sounds weird but I actually thought launching a product would be a hobby and lo and behold, two years later, it’s not a hobby and so we just expanded into this brand new space in a gorgeous part of our city and I’ve got an office with a bunch of people working for me and I just have a really good time with it now. JOHN SHEGERIAN: Okay, but still, people can go to your health food store, homeopathic center that runs as a retail center and this is now going to be your wholesale enterprise, selling Mozi-Q to the world? ERIN BOSCH: Exactly, yeah. As far as sales of Mozi-Q, I launched it two seasons ago so we’re entering into our third season here in Canada and we’re now in about 2,500 stores across Canada. We’ve got a huge following. I was recently featured on Dragon’s Den, which is Canada’s equivalent of Shark Tank. JOHN SHEGERIAN: No. ERIN BOSCH: Yeah, yeah, and guess what: Kevin loved me. JOHN SHEGERIAN: Wait a second. Kevin’s on both shows? ERIN BOSCH: He’s on both shows. Kevin’s Canadian. JOHN SHEGERIAN: Oh, so he’s on both shows. Which show started first? ERIN BOSCH: I think it was Dragon’s Den. Dragon’s Den has been around for eight years now. JOHN SHEGERIAN: No kidding. So, wait a second. Did you get the funding you wanted or did you not? ERIN BOSCH: I ended up having four out of the five dragons fight over me, which was kind of interesting. JOHN SHEGERIAN: That’s fun. Good for you! ERIN BOSCH: I didn’t end up going with Kevin, but I went with two other dragons for a deal. Eventually, it actually fell through just because my sales exploded and I didn’t need the funding anymore. JOHN SHEGERIAN: Good for you; and I’m sure that was great publicity for you. ERIN BOSCH: It was a fascinating night. It took down our website five times and we trended on Twitter and I didn’t know I ever wanted to trend on Twitter until I trended on Twitter. JOHN SHEGERIAN: Good for you. That’s awesome. Alright, so wait a second now. Let’s step back so now let’s go back and talk a little bit about the interrelationship and really part of our journey. Homeopathy and green, explain why that was so important to you and why that should be important to our listeners out there across not only Canada and the United States, but across the world. ERIN BOSCH: Socrates said, “Let your food be your medicine,” and one of the things that’s always really concerned me is that in our society, we have this preconceived notion that our medicine is poison and to me, that’s not right. Our medicine should not be poison, right? We shouldn’t be scared of overdosing on something that’s supposed to actually heal us and so in my veins back at the health food store, I knew that there had to be an alternative. It just didn’t make sense to me that there wasn’t an alternative for a poisonous medicine until we came across homeopathy. In my first days at that health food store, I couldn’t really afford to hire anybody and so my mom was working for me and when she started working for me, she also started going to school for homeopathic medicine and that’s when we just fell in love with the medicine and we realized it can do so much. In our clinic we have such fantastic results, especially with children, and kind of my goal is to bring a safe and effective and natural and green medicine to the world so that people no longer have this idea that medicine is poison. JOHN SHEGERIAN: That is so great and for our listeners out there that want to follow along, first of all, Erin’s website is just beautiful. I’m on it right now. If you want to pull it up on your iPad or on your laptop or whatever you’re on, your cell phone, it’s www.mozi-q.com. It’s with a dash in there though, Mozi-Q.com, so wait a second now. You sell at the store all sorts of homeopathic medicines but now your new business, your add-on business, is this natural repellent for bugs. ERIN BOSCH: Yeah well, I wanted to find a way to bring natural medicine to the world. I’m only one person. I can’t talk to the entire world from my little clinic but when Mozi-Q, this idea, came to me, I realized this is a safe natural medicine that had mass appeal. People want to take a pill and not get bitten and bugs are a chronic problem all across the world and so the reason I launched Mozi-Q was to introduce people to a different alternative for something that is potentially dangerous for us. JOHN SHEGERIAN: Wait a second. This is fascinating. In Canada, you’ve been selling this now for two years? ERIN BOSCH: Yes. JOHN SHEGERIAN: Talk a little bit about your sales by packages. How many sales the first month? How many sales last month or how many sales the first year? How’s it going and what are you expecting to happen within the United States when it starts taking off? ERIN BOSCH: Yeah, well, I’m up in Canada and despite what people think, we don’t have snow all year round, but at the same time, it’s very hard to sell a mosquito product in the dead of winter in Canada so we have a very short season here. In my first season on the market, I got into about 250 stores and that was just me putting pedal to the metal and going in and talking to individual retailers and getting it out there and then the second season that we launched was this last year. We got into 900 stores because the word spread how awesome this product was and then this year going in, we’re in about 2,500 stores across Canada so I’m really expecting the U.S. We’ve always had requests from the U.S. to come into the market. We’ve always had a presence on our website. We’re available on Amazon.com but I’m really expecting to see a huge influx because you’ve got areas of the country that first of all, there’s insect borne illness but also, mosquitos are prevalent all year round. JOHN SHEGERIAN: Let’s be honest here. You’re going to save people’s lives and also save people from all these insect borne illnesses so I’m on your website. Again, for our listeners out there, this is really important stuff, www.mozi-q.com. It says it works within 30 minutes of taking it. I want you to walk us through this. There are no side effects. It works on other bugs aside from mosquitos like ticks and head lice. I’m reading here. Is it also bed bugs, too? ERIN BOSCH: Basically, any blood biting insect, so things like chiggers. It does work on scabies, but we tend not to talk about that because it makes people itchy. JOHN SHEGERIAN: And, it’s nontoxic. ERIN BOSCH: Nontoxic, and it’s safe for babies and it’s also safe for pets. JOHN SHEGERIAN: Wait, wait. Why wouldn’t every household in America want this? ERIN BOSCH: Well, that’s definitely the goal. JOHN SHEGERIAN: Erin, come one now! We can do this! You can do this now. This is amazing. Good for you. ERIN BOSCH: Like I said, I’ve been running after it ever since I launched it going, ‘Wait for me! Oh my God!’ It’s been quite an adventure since then. The one thing to point out is that I can’t guarantee that you’re never going to get bitten by a bug ever again. Nobody can do that but what I did that was really important to me is I turned it into a formula and so I made sure that if you do happen to get a bite, it won’t be as itchy and it’ll heal in about half the time. JOHN SHEGERIAN: Wow. So many of our listeners suffer from bites of so many types, like you said, and we’re not going to go back through the list again but this is a great thing for our pets, for ourselves, for our children, for our loved ones, our friends. How often do you have to take then a dose of your Mozi-Q? ERIN BOSCH: You take one tablet every two to three hours depending on exposure. If you’re in a swamp, you might have to take it more often and one of the things, talking about being green, is we have a bunch of tree planters in northern Canada and they love this stuff because they’re out in the middle of the woods making sure that we have more trees but they’re getting eaten alive so we’ve been sending up with them since the get-go. JOHN SHEGERIAN: This is amazing and for our listeners out there that have to travel or want to travel to areas where dengue fever and other things are very serious in terms of illnesses that can be contracted from mosquito bites, I assume the Mozi-Q would work very well for people who have to travel to more dangerous areas of the world where dengue fever and other type of airborne illnesses through mosquitos can be even more dangerous to us. ERIN BOSCH: It’s also important to note that Mozi-Q can be used in conjunction with anything else because you do have to be safe in those areas but I can tell you we had one woman. She took it. She went on a mission in Kenya. She built houses and she took enough. She didn’t know if anybody else would be interested in it so she took enough just for her to be able to use for the entire time. Well, everybody else was getting eaten alive. She wasn’t getting eaten alive and the next thing you know, she didn’t have enough Mozi-Q because everybody was using it. JOHN SHEGERIAN: This is great. This is really, really, really great. In terms of environment and other things, where do you manufacture it? Are you a green manufacturer as well? Are you manufacturing it just in Canada or are you contract manufacturing in other parts of the world? ERIN BOSCH: We are a Canadian based manufacturing company and we do practice green manufacturing as well as I’m actually a certified B Corporation and so I don’t know if you’re familiar with the B Corporations but that is a way for me to be audited, not only on my manufacturing practices, but also on my environmental initiatives, on community initiatives, and what I do for the stakeholders in my company. JOHN SHEGERIAN: Wow, that’s awesome and will you be able to manufacture enough for other parts of the world right out of Canada or will you open up other facilities? What’s your vision there? ERIN BOSCH: Well, my vision is to keep it in Canada. One of the things I stay clear about is making sure that I have a close watch over the process and I don’t feel like I could do that halfway across the world unless I wanted to go on a trip. JOHN SHEGERIAN: Do you manufacture your other homeopathic medicines there too as well, besides the Mozi-Q, or do you purchase those and just sell them as a wholesaler? ERIN BOSCH: I purchase those and sell them through the store but I am actually launching a children’s line here in Canada and that’s going to be available just in Canada very shortly. JOHN SHEGERIAN: For our listeners out there who just joined us, we’ve got Erin Bosch. She’s the President and CEO of a very important breakthrough homeopathic medicine called Mozi-Q. It’s www.mozi-q.com. We have about four minutes left, Erin. I want you to share with our listeners your experience with The Green Festival and what you’re doing with them and how you’re continuing to get the word out, besides being on television and having a beautiful website and all the other great things you’re doing. How is The Green Festival helping you get this very important and new homeopathic medicine, Mozi-Q, out to the world? ERIN BOSCH: Well, we introduced the product to the U.S. at The Green Festival in New York and you know what, I was so welcomed and I was so lovingly received. I just felt like I was amongst the right people, the people who really do believe in change and want to change the world. It was a great experience, everything from the different products that were there to the people who were coming going, ‘Oh my God! This is an awesome product. We want to get more.’ That to me was really nice to see, not to mention they had some great speakers there. It felt like the right community to be able to talk about something like this. JOHN SHEGERIAN: And, what’s your vision in the United States, Erin? You’re going to make this huge. I know it. What’s the vision? How many stores do you want to get into? When is Whole Foods and other great retailers going to start carrying this? This is really important stuff. What’s your thought on all that? ERIN BOSCH: Well, we’re on Madison Avenue in Clyde’s and that just blows my mind that my product is on Madison Avenue. The idea of the U.S. is kind of — keep in mind I’m a Canadian. Our population is equivalent to one of your states so even the idea almost blows my mind at the moment but you know, Whole Foods has seen the product and we’ve got a lot of buzz going on and we’re getting it out to stores and just really having that communication because the one thing that’s really nice about this product is when you use it and it works, your mind is blown and you tell 10 other people, right? And so I really think that’s going to end up being more than even I can conceive. JOHN SHEGERIAN: What’s your vision after the United States? Is this a product that you’re then going to take around the world, Erin? ERIN BOSCH: Well, the whole goal originally was to have the golfers that we know that don’t want to get bit fund the idea that we could take this around the world. Malaria is the number one killer of children in the world and I want to see this product go to places that really need it, that really need that leg up, and so kind of it’s one step at a time as I go. I’m still just an entrepreneur and I don’t know. My shiny happy future is kind of out there because once again, going back, I really thought this would be a hobby and now I’m working 12 hour days trying to keep up with it. JOHN SHEGERIAN: So, when people from The Gates Foundation are listening to this show, we’re going to put them in contact with you so you can help them vanquish malaria around the world. Doesn’t that make sense? ERIN BOSCH: That would be awesome. JOHN SHEGERIAN: Hey, Erin, we’re down to the last minute or so. What’s next for you? What’s your goals in the immediate near future and long term? You’re really young. You have a big future. You’re probably going to be a billionaire on the cover of Forbes in years to come. What’s on your mind today and where are you going with all of this? ERIN BOSCH: Well, it might seem kind of small but I’ll tell you yesterday was one of my staff members’ birthdays and so we stopped halfway through the day and we got some pizza and we sat in the boardroom and we just chatted and I was talking about the fact that I was really happy to be able to create an environment where people loved going to work and I love going to work because we spend so much time at work and why should it be terrible? And so my goal is kind of to create the environment that I’d like to be in. I want to have great retail partners. I want to have great customers. I want to make sure that everybody knows that we’re doing this, not just for huge gain. We’re doing it to try to change the world and have a great team moving forward. JOHN SHEGERIAN: Erin, we want you to come back and help continue to change the world. For our listeners out there, please go and check out Erin’s great product, www.mozi-q.com. Buy it, use it, help make the world a better place. Thank you, Erin, for being a visionary entrepreneur and making the world a better place for everyone, all of our listeners out there. You are truly living proof that green is good.