We all know that plastic pollution is harming our oceans and killing fish and wildlife. One day, while flossing her teeth after lunch at the school where she worked as a librarian, Jodi Breau realized that dental floss containers were part of the problem. She held up the non-recyclable floss container and said to herself, “This is so ugly and the plastic is bad for the environment. Someone should change this.”
Years later, after she retired, Breau came up with a solution – not just for the plastic floss container, but the plastic in the floss itself. Many types of commercial dental floss are coated in a plastic substance that contains PFCs, chemicals that are thought to be harmful to human health.
Breau developed Dental Lace, a plastic-free floss that comes in fashionable and refillable dispensers in a variety of colors.
As Breau was getting ready to launch, she found SCORE. She says, “I was a little nervous sharing my idea with a stranger and a successful business person. Then I met my mentor. He was supportive from the very start. He gave me the confidence to actually go for it.”
She’s also made use of SCORE classes, the resource list, and additional SCORE mentors to help her meet specific short-term challenges. “My mentors helped me set goals then celebrate with me when I exceed them,” she says.
Sales are strong and demand is high, meaning Breau often has to work long hours to keep up. As always, SCORE mentors are there to help. “My mentors and I are working on the next stage to scale the business by increasing sales, assembly volume, and staff,” says Breau.
She attributes much of her success to SCORE. “There wouldn’t be a Dental Lace, Inc. if it were not for my SCORE mentors,” she says.
Dental Lace now has customers in 34 countries and across the United States. Dental Lace won the 2017 Maine Sunday SOURCE Award for Sustainability and is a finalist for the 2018 American Small Business Championship.