Tony Gauthier creator and owner of Sprëtz, is from the heart of the Bay Area, Oakland California. The youngest of three brothers, Tony who has been in the entertainment industry since he was a kid, has always known he would be an entrepreneur one day. Along with his success in business he looks to one day use his entrepreneurial endeavors to inspire others to follow their dreams. In September 2012 Tony lost his mother unexpectedly. She passed away five days after her 59th birthday and since then Tony has been more determined to succeed than ever before.
Tony created Sprëtz in 2012. A few years later teaming up with Wesley Osaze and Scott Hoag to help bring Sprëtz to the forefront.
1) How did you come up with the idea for Spetz?
I created Sprëtz a few years ago while hosting a non-profit event. During an intermission I went outside to have a quick cigarette. Being a secret cig smoker I knew I didn’t want anyone to smell the smoke on me. I quickly noticed that I was in need of some gum for my breath but also something for my hands. I didn’t want to return to the event smelling like smoke so I started searching my pockets for candy, mints, lotions, anything! I also felt as though I needed some cologne or some kind of smell good lotion for my hands in order to remove the harsh odor of the cigarettes. As I searched for gum, cologne and or lotion I noticed I only had one piece of gum and nothing for my hands. So, I did what I thought was right and this is the gross part (hahaha) but I opened the gum wrapper and popped a piece of gum in my mouth and after chewing the gum for a few seconds, I spit the gum in my hands and began rolling the gum around to get the smell of smoke off. I figured it would absorb the tobacco odor on my hands. It was at that moment the light bulb went off! We all know that the smell of cigarettes can leave the breath and hands with a terrible smell. Those smells also include garlic, coffee, cheese, and fish just to name a few. This is why Sprëtz was created. I saw a need, a solution to a problem that has been going on for decades; smelly breath and hands. After realizing I was on to something, I quickly teamed up with a friend who is a professional chemist to come up with the perfect formula. After much research and many variations of the formula, Sprëtz was finally born. My goal was to create one product that could deliver two benefits; fresh breath and fresh hands all while keeping it 100% all natural.
2) What is the next step for Spretz?
Sprëtz is forward moving and we plan on continuing to grow, from small business to that product people can’t live without. We have had nothing but amazing and positive feedback from our community, the social media and online community, consumers and retailers alike. People understand that Sprëtz was created with a specific market in mind and that’s fine, because that market is huge. Another goal for Sprëtz is to gain the attention of a major retailer and or distributor so that Sprëtz can one day be in gas stations, grocery stores, neighborhood stores, smoke shops, airports, hotels, restaurants, vending machines, you name it. I want Sprëtz to be the Redbull of freshness. Our mission is to Freshen up the world one Sprëtz at a time.
3) How did your experience on Shark Tank help your business?
Being on Shark Tank was truly a once in a lifetime, amazing experience that we will never forget. The experience has certainly helped Sprëtz with nation wide visibility and for that, we are grateful. Shark Tank gave Sprëtz a voice and the people are talking back!
Orders have increased and we have had a huge surge in inquires and interest from potential retailers and consumers. Twitter and Facebook have been buzzing with various hash tags #spretzme #spretz and other conversations about about the need, use and value of such a product like Sprëtz.
4) What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
My advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is “never give up on a dream or plan that you believe in your heart can succeed”. I’ve created a mantra and I live by it, “My Thoughts Will Transform my Future” (MTWTF). What you think about today will have a negative or positive effect on your tomorrow. So choose your thoughts wisely. I believe that it is that saying that has helped us bring this dream Sprëtz to reality. Think it, believe it, say and see it! Yes, there will be tough days. Yes, there will be tons of mistakes along the way, but those mistakes are key ingredients to success. It is the learning from your mistakes that makes you better. And it is the believing in yourself that creates persistence and drive. People laughed at me and they will continue to laugh, but how many of those laughing can say they are following their dream?
We would like to thank Tony for speaking with us.