A degree in organic chemistry and a Yorkie with serious skin problems led this entrepreneur to create a line of natural skincare products for animals.
“Years ago, I used to raise and show Yorkshire terriers,” says Dr. Adelia Ritchie. “When my little female, Shenanigan, started to itch and lose her hair, we had to take her out of the show circuit and begin expensive skincare treatments that included steroids and antibiotics.” Shenanigan didn’t improve, and was so miserable that the vet thought she should be euthanized, even though she was only a few years old.
But Adelia wasn’t going to give up. “At the time I was teaching organic chemistry at a local college, and had access to a lab, equipment and ingredients I thought might help. My father used to have a jar of what he called ‘gunk’ on our farm, and it was a miracle potion. I started with some of those ingredients to try on Shenanigan.” It took Adelia several days to hit on the right blend of ingredients, but when she did, the little dog improved rapidly. “Within two days she was happy again, growing hair and whiskers in all the bald places. In six months, she was back in the show ring. This was the start of my company, DERMagic, although it was some years more before we were able to refine the skincare products and work through the manufacturing process.”
Our mission is to provide skincare products so that all animals can be free of itchiness without steroids, harsh chemicals or drugs.
As the name suggests, DERMagic focuses on products for dermatological issues. For the past five years, the company has been offering a variety of products to help with problems ranging from hot spots and allergies to fungal infections and parasites. “Our mission is to provide skincare products so that all animals can be free of itchiness without steroids, harsh chemicals or drugs,” says Adelia. “We also have a full line of grooming products, including shampoo and conditioner, both of which support the treatment of skin problems. For doggie dandruff, we developed a product made with salt from the Dead Sea and other natural minerals.”
The company also has certified organic shampoo bars for eco-conscious dog lovers. “We have several ‘flavors’ of these bars, but the most popular is our Skin Rescue Bar, with lemongrass, spearmint, sulfur and neem oil for problem skin. We think people are looking for organic products more and more and we wanted to provide them. We also support an organization in Oregon that plants native trees, one for every ten shampoo bars we sell. We have planted close to 1,000 trees since launching our shampoo bars a couple of years ago.”
Adelia knows from experience how frustrating dealing with skin problems can be. “I love hearing from people who say ‘thank you for creating these products’,” she says. “Many people have been through a pile of cash trying to find some relief for their animals, and they are so grateful. It makes all the hard work so worth it!”