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Meet Montrella Rhodes of Sweet Beat Sugar Scrubs in Jonesboro

Today we’d like to introduce you to Montrella Rhodes.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Montrella. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I relocated to Atlanta, GA, after getting married in 2009. I used my time as a stay at home wife to obtain my B.A. in Health and Human Services, with a minor in Human Resource Management. After years of being a stay at home wife and mom, I created a space for myself as a food truck booking agent and management consultant under our parent company, The Rhodes Group LLC, in 2016. I quickly learned after a couple of years, the pay did not equal the time and effort I put into creating earning opportunities for my clients.

Fast forward to 2017… Our son, L3, was diagnosed with eczema at the age of two, which is what prompted us to search for products to soothe his itchy, dry skin. We found a few products that worked well, but when we went back to the store to replenish our supply, we found that the products were either no longer being sold or the store did not restock it. So we (Laurence and Montrella) started searching for ways we could make a product that would not only soothe L3’s dry skin, itchy skin but one that would not break the bank. Jackpot! That was it, make it ourselves. Who knew that the right blend of all-natural products (most of them we had in the home) would be just what we need to help our little one-stop scratching all the time. We realize there is no cure for eczema, however, we have found that our sugar scrubs and body butters are just what he needs to help keep his skin moisturized.

December 2017, we decided it would be more cost-effective to make host/hostess gifts to take to the homes of our family and friends who extended invitations during the holiday say. The Coconut-Mint-Lime (known as Coco Cure) was a hit. A few posts on social media made us realize we were on to something. Building a skincare line made with all-natural products became a conversation in our home.

February 2018, just ten days shy of Valentine’s Day! We packaged up a few items to send to some of our family and friends for testing. Took a few pictures, made posts on our personal FB & IG pages and the “Sweet Beats Sample Box” and the “Sweet Beats Sweet & Salty” boxes were in high demand. With the help a few angel investors and a serious challenge to get 100 boxes shipped in time for Valentine’s Day we started building our company immediately. No time to think about all the negatives, we jumped in full speed ahead. Late nights, early mornings, help from some friends, and the sweet sound of music is what aided in the process of creating our products.

Add a little love and passion for helping others through skincare is what makes Sweet Beats Sugar Scrubs (and more) a company we are thankful to have. There were many days I wanted to quit. It has been challenging to manage every aspect of our businesses, raise our small children, and be a wife.

September 2018, I was offered a contract under The Rhodes Group to return to the food truck industry as the administrative assistant to the board of directors for the Food Truck Association of Georgia. With this, I was able to continue to work my business and be available for my children until this year. I made the tough decision to take a leave of absence the first semester of school due to COVID-19, so I could be available for my school-aged children who are attending school virtually. In addition, in May 2020, we added Sweet Beats Treasures to our brand. We are Independent Business Partners with Paparazzi Accessories.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Absolutely NOT! There were plenty of days early on when I wanted to quit. Remember, we started this business with a small amount of money. I spent a long doing research and development of our products. That meant we were spending a lot of money on product development and improvements with little return on the investment.

Sales are good around holidays, but when things are slow, we have to get creative. There were times when we couldn’t afford to purchase products, supplies, or packaging for the business. It was up to me to create effective marketing campaigns and to be honest, some days, my creative juices just were not flowing. Managing a family, a small business, and a demanding contract job could be tremendously overwhelming at times.

Please tell us about Sweet Beat Sugar Scrubs.
Sweet Beats Sugar Scrubs sells handcrafted bath and body products for the family using the most natural ingredients available at a reasonable price. We recently added Sweet Beats for HOME offering laundry scent booster, room & linen freshener, and wax melts (coming soon).

We specialize in creating products to help individuals with skin management. Most of our customers have extremely dry skin issues like eczema and psoriasis. Although we don’t make any claims to cure these issues, we have heard from our customers that they have seen improvements since using our products. We are most known for our scrubs and whipped shea butter products. As a company, we pride ourselves on offering personal, professional service to our customers. We take pride in developing each product while focusing on consistency while safely preparing orders for our customers. I believe our price and service sets us apart from others.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
My favorite memory from my childhood happened when I was about 4 or 5 years old. My father hired someone to play Santa Claus. He was supposed to show up during our family gathering. This man pulls up in front of our house in an Impala… staggering as he walked up to the door. I remember him falling down the stairs as he made his way to the basement where the rest of the family was gathered. While I really don’t remember anything else from that night, I do know that Santa Claus was the highlight. Even now, over 40 years later, my cousins and I still get a kick out of sharing that story.

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