It's been said that necessity is the mother of invention. That's true for Wendy Harris, who created Ohmygaia, an all-natural deodorant. A long-distance runner with an entrepreneurial spirit — she operated Poppy clothing boutique in downtown Coeur d'Alene for six years — Harris was concerned about traditional antiperspirants. She worried about chemicals that were in them, but also didn't like that they blocked the natural sweating process.
"I just wanted to smell good," says the mother of two, who relocated to North Idaho 12 years ago.
Now Harris works out of her Hayden home, admitting that her kitchen can sometimes look more like a chemistry lab. "I love apothecary. I love lotions and potions," she says, laughingly calling herself a beauty scientist.
A friend suggested the name for the business, says Harris, who liked how Ohmygaia ties into the " om" in yoga, the flirty, youthful quality of the exclamation OMG, and Gaia, an ancient name for Mother Earth.
Ohmygaia sells 14 scented and one unscented deodorants in 2-ounce bottles ($10), including Egyptian musk, lavender, honeysuckle and cherry almond. One additional scent, Goddess, is made and sold exclusively by one of her largest area distributors, Mountain Madness Soap Company in Coeur d'Alene. Harris recently added scented beard oil ($18) and fragrance oils ($18) to Ohmygaia's line.
Additional retail outlets include Salon 208 in Coeur d'Alene, Club Tan in Hayden and Rocket Market in Spokane. Ohmygaia is also available online (ohmygaia.com) and in select Seattle and California locations.