Good For You Girls makes quality natural skincare for girls, tweens and teens made safe and effective with natural and organic ingredients. Kim Grustas, founder and mom of two, created the company when searching for products for her own daughters more than a decade ago. No skincare companies offered products specifically for young skin–so Mrs. Grustas created her own.
“I’m a creative director by trade. I am a proud working mom. I created Good For You Girls when I was 40 years old with $5,000 of my own money,” said Mrs. Grustas. “I ran lean and mean, and I was very careful and conscious in how I grew my business. I felt confident and in control every step of the way.”
With a background in nutrition, Mrs. Grustas researched and analyzed ingredients and created formulas with her manufacturer that met the highest clean standards. As her business grew, she soon had contracts with Amazon and Wal-Mart and needed a business loan to increase her manufacturing production.
Berkshire Bank was recommended to Mrs. Grustas as a loan partner, and through the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in Connecticut, Mrs. Grustas and Chad Stier, a branch manager at the time, had their first meeting. Chad regularly networked at the SBDC, lending his expertise to small business owners who were learning to navigate loans and banks. After hearing Mrs. Grustas’s story and Good For You Girls’ plans for growth - as well as trying their products - the pair knew they had found the right banking partner for Good For You Girls.
“I decided to expand and selected Berkshire Bank because it was a smaller bank,” said Mrs. Grustas. “I like community banks and knew there was flexibility there and how they handled small business.”
At Berkshire Bank, one thing we know, from living in our communities for so many generations, is that every town is brimming with new ideas, energy and optimism, from young people on the rise, to women like Mrs. Grustas founding new businesses to solve unmet needs, to those who are motivated to reinvent themselves and their worlds. Every time we invest in a new community, in a new cause, every time we double down on an employee or a startup or a customer or a longtime partner, every one of those investments makes us better and stronger.
Mrs. Grustas shared, “My advice to other female entrepreneurs is stay slow and steady. It is not a race; nothing good was ever created overnight. Grow at what feels comfortable. Find a mentor. They are out there and women are so willing to give back.”