Lots to be said about armpits!

The wonderful Mary Schmich of the Chicago Tribune opened a conversation about women and their armpits in her Friday article.http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-04-01/news/ct-met-schmich-0401-20110401_1_underarm-armpits-unilever opened a conversationAs the Duggan Sisters, we clearly have lots to say about armpits!  We implore you – our lifestinks deodorant users – to reach out to Mary Schmich at mschmich@tribune.com  with your armpit stories!  You’ve shared so many of them with us, please share them with her!  We’ve shared Mary Duggan’s response below…

Dear Mary,

Greetings from some really big fans! We loved what you had to say in Friday’s column about armpits. However, we would greatly appreciate the opportunity to explore the issue with you a bit further. We are the Duggan Sisters from the south side of Chicago. We are the creators of lifestinks® deodorant: a safe, effective, natural deodorant THAT ACTUALLY WORKS.  Our slogan: Finally, from the city that works, comes a natural deodorant that actually works. You can check out our website to learn more about the work we do and visit our web store to check out our full product line.

However, I am not writing to you to hawk our wares; rather, I am reaching out to you continue this conversation about armpits. We call our grass roots initiative the DON’T BE A BOOB CAMPAIGN: get smart today about healthy armpits and the role deodorant plays. Carrying Advanced Certification in Lymphatic Care for Breast and Prostate through the Midwest College of Naturopathic Medicine, we were truly frustrated that we couldn’t find a natural deodorant that actually worked, so we created our lifestinks® deodorant, handmade here in our basement in Beverly and now sold in 42 states, the US Military, Merz Apothecary (Lincoln Square and Palmer House Hilton), Northwestern University’s Raby Clinic for Integrative Medicine, Kohler Waters Spas in Illinois and Wisconsin, and as of this past Thursday our first WHOLE FOODS MARKET – South Loop – a really big day for three sisters with a passion for wellness making deodorant in their basement. We have been recognized as Entrepreneurs of Focus by the State of Illinois and many distinguished citizens of Chicago have come forward and donated their expertise to help us further our endeavor (e.g. SNR Denton are our pro-bono attorneys, K& L Gates Patent Attorneys and the Kent Law Clinic have processed our patents free of charge, UIC Sustainability Clinic has awarded us their gold client status and provided industrial design students to help us design our new dispenser, the list of angels goes on and on.)

Mary, the heart and soul of the work we do is inspired by the hours we clocked in doing end stage care for women dying from breast cancer. One day I turned to my sister Annie at the end of a funeral for a 45-year old mother of 3 who died on Christmas Eve following a seven-year battle with breast cancer and said, “Annie, I can’t take this anymore. We have forgotten more common sense tips for preventing breast cancer than these mommies have ever known. We have to shift gears and get the word out.” Our family motto is ENOUGH WITH THE PINK, LET’S THINK! Surely there is more we can do with diet and exercise and toxin-free products to change these devastating statistics. Surely early diagnosis is not the best answer; surely prevention has to be our real goal. Our grass roots campaign was born. The first public sale of our products was the St. Barnabas Christmas Fair. We made boatloads of deodorant. We sold out by noon. Within six months we had to close our home based lymphatic wellness center and turn full attention to the production of lifestinks® deodorant. Our goal this year is to get it distributed nationwide. We hope our new partnership with Whole Foods Market will help with this endeavor. If not, we will say yes to the hundreds of Mom and Pop stores nationwide who know about our product and have requested to have it to sell in their stores. One way or the other we will get our message out that the healthy care of the armpit, or axillary drain of the lymphatic system, as we call it, is vital to breast and prostate health. Step One: a healthy deodorant is now possible for everyone, and at recession proof prices ($1.50 per month) and in a refillable stainless decanter. We have worked hard to create this “green” component to our company, and being chosen as keynote speakers at the Green Family Festival was a thrill. And now, knowing that we have a great product in place, our focus is 100% on the creation of jobs. We have set our intent to be one of Chicago’s finest stories of success against overwhelming odds and to bring our fellow Chicagoans along by creating real jobs. An unemployed neighbor turned to me recently and said, “Mary, I just know you will be successful. You are our Sea Biscuit.” Those words move me to tears every time I think of them.

I like to tell Democrats and Republicans alike that Chicago launched an unlikely young politician into the White House and his initials are BO: we are in the BO industry and in complete alignment with our brilliant young president in the creation of green jobs and the healing of our nation’s health crisis, one sick pit at a time. Another neighbor, after getting an update from us on some recent business milestones said, “Won’t the president be proud when he finds outs about you girls.” Those words too move me to tears and keep me going on the exhausting days when 75 hour work weeks for over two years gets to be just too much.

Mary Schmich, I implore you, please give the Duggan Sisters an hour of your time to tell you our full story. A journalist of your warmth and wisdom can really make miracles happen for an endeavor like ours. Recently a famous woman in the world of running named Coach Jenny Hadfield stumbled upon our products on display at the Kohler Spa. She gave me a call, looking for samples, which of course as a small family business we can’t afford yet. We chatted woman to woman for an hour – I had no idea about her considerable sphere of influence. I just really liked her. A week or so later she gave a three-line product recommendation to us in her capacity as an expert on active.com – a complete unknown to my sisters and I. That shout out went to over 6 million individuals and our little web store did 3 months of business in 2 days! This shot in the arm gave us the confidence to take on a new employee – another Chicagoan with a job!

Please Mary, an hour of your time, that’s what we are asking for. We can teach men and women how to love their armpits and improve their health profile at the same time, without the use of any deadly chemicals or slick ad campaigns. Thanks for listening.

Kind regards,

Mary Duggan
The Duggan Sisters

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