MEET YOUR NEIGHBOR: Erin Heit, 34
“I have been coined as tenacious,” Erin Heit says with pride. “I really do not give up or let go. It is not in my nature.”
That determination came in handy when the 34-year-old Boynton Beach resident encountered obstacle after obstacle while setting up a new business: getting married and divorced, breaking her foot, buying a house and finding ways to pay the bills.
But now, she’s back on track – and Salon Supplements, the company she runs with two other partners, just rolled out Beauty Bumps GROW, a chewable hair treatment supplement formulated with all natural and vegan ingredients. “My two partners own a hair salon. We were talking one day and they were saying women were coming into their salon asking how they could get healthier, longer, thicker hair. I have a background in the supplement industry and saw a huge opportunity for a beauty-from-within product to address these concerns,” says Heit, who has a degree in business from State University of New York at Albany.
Heit’s road to entrepreneurship began as a child growing up in the Bronx. “I discovered I was a natural-born business woman after my father abandoned us when I was 13. My mother needed help, and my first instinct was to get to work and make us some money,” she explains.
She cleaned houses, babysat, was a waitress, and worked at a pool snack bar – and more. At the time, she says, she was in survivor mode but now she realizes she was also fostering her business talents.
After graduating from college, she joined the corporate world working in startup companies featuring consumer products. “My expertise is product development and marketing for startup consumer brands,” she explains.
Although her goal is to grow her own business, she has another objective: to inspire other female business owners. “There is a sisterhood that exists,” she says. Her advice to other female entrepreneurs? “Make sure you are confident about your business plan, that it is a good idea and there is actual money to be made, that you have a mentor and a personal support system so you can process your emotions outside the business arena.”
What are your hobbies?
I try to reinforce physical activity as my main hobby. I also enjoy cooking healthy and playing with my two dogs.
What are you reading these days?
I read several magazines a month to stay current on fashion, beauty, health and business and keep me connected to reading what consumers are reading, which helps me stay ahead.
What has been your biggest challenge?
To stay in shape.
What is something about you that would surprise others?
Whenever I tell someone that my father abandoned me at the age of 13 people are usually surprised and shocked. I have accepted it as a gift to make me more driven and successful, but no one would ever suspect such a disappointing and sad story.