Spite, seaweed, and skincare: how a Navy veteran became The Skincare Sherpa

Plus, you will LOVE this particular kind of negativity



Of the multitude of reasons entrepreneurs launch businesses, that’s not one you hear often. 

Although if your brain’s response to your brilliant idea was to immediately point out all the reasons you’d probably fail… you might give up.

Or, you might be tempted to go all in, build a skincare brand that becomes crazy successful, sell that brand, buy your old manufacturer, and then become The Skincare Sherpa and help a whole bunch of new skincare brands succeed, too.

Makes perfect sense when you put it that way. 

And so, today I can’t wait to introduce you to Scott Cartwright. I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing him a few times now. So when he popped onto my calendar, I was so stoked because he’s someone you’re going to want to know - even if you’re not in the beauty industry. But especially if you are.

If you don’t know Scott yet, don’t feel bad. He’s notoriously private. Good luck getting a photo of him, period. Much less one without his shades. He’s pushing the next boundary in his own trajectory, and Entrepreneurs Gone Wild got the scoop. 

Also, not to brag or anything, but I gave him his nickname and it stuck. (You want a nickname, reply and hit me up!)

In this week’s edition, you’ll hear Scott’s inspiring story of how he went from serving in the Navy to building a multimillion-dollar business that got acquired. Plus, what happened after his exit that ultimately led to opening a nimble and flexible boutique skincare manufacturing company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow profitable skincare brands.

Of course, that was after the seaweed incident. 

Oooh you’re going to want to jump on this.

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A quick rewind first.

Scott served in the U.S. Navy. When it was time to get out, he teamed up with his dad. His dad’s a doctor and health coach (wow, you’d kinda think that should be redundant… it’s not). Together, they built a health education business serving people with multiple sclerosis. Dad did the coaching. Scott did the technical and marketing stuff. They actually helped people reverse their symptoms. Amazing!

They had a home study course and started creating supplements. It was working! But between the small market size and all the challenges of operating in the health and wellness space, Scott started looking for another way to go.

Five years or so ago, he started his first skincare brand. In a sea of 10,000 others. “Who’s going to want this? What makes me think mine will be any different, much less better?” Scott argued both sides in his head. 

“It’s probably not going to work. Watch me prove it,” were his famous last words… before it actually worked. 

They say that the ultimate in trust is putting a brand’s product on your skin or in your mouth. 

Scott started with a vitamin E oil. People bought it like crazy. He had two sizes, two scents - if you count unscented as a scent. When it took off, Scott doubled down and created a whole line of vitamin E products: a cleanser, an eye cream, a day moisturizer, and a night cream. They did well, so he branched out into some really niche products: for melasma, acne, and menopause. His customers trusted him hard.


And then one day, Scott had the day many founders dream about. 

He’d heard stories and he’d heard fables about how sometimes private equity folks would buy ecomm businesses they found on Amazon. He wasn’t necessarily looking… but he wasn’t not looking either. Mostly, he was exit-curious.

Looking into the possibilities, he asked the first question, “What might this be worth?”

Then the PE fellas came knocking. With an offer. 

Scott knew the adage that says you’ll make more money selling a company than you’ll make any other time. That’s because when you’re building, you’re usually taking out little bits of money - not a big chunk. 

They gave him an offer he couldn’t turn down. It was more than he’d ever thought the brand would be worth. All this time, he’d been doing it because he loved it. To have someone offer cold hard cash, well, it meant someone else could see what he saw.

So, cash in hand, he became a seaweed manufacturer.

Well, almost. 


That probably sounded weird, “seaweed manufacturer.” Therein lies the rub. Seaweed’s cool. Maybe way cooler than you even know yet. It’s going to be HUGE. Like $11.8 billion by 2030. 

No wonder Scott seriously considered getting into the seaweed game. It’s a super long-term play for now, so he passed.

If you had Scott’s ear at this point in his journey, you’d probably whisper exactly what many other smart people did… “Hey Scott, you should get back into skincare.”

And he’d answer you the same way he did them: Why would I want to get back into it? Been there, done that, got the shirt.

But there’s a twist.

Scott had learned a whole lot about manufacturing. He’d also learned product development, marketing, dealing with Amazon, finding customers, packaging, fulfillment. OK, he’d learned ALL the things.

What if he became the most approachable, most helpful, most millionaire-maker-y manufacturer in the skin care world? What if he became… The Skin Care Sherpa.


Well, he did. 

Scott bought part of his old manufacturer’s plant (they stayed on to help run it). He launched Novian Skin Care Manufacturing. And he began helping his ecomm seller clients launch and scale. Where on their own, they’d face an Everest of challenges, Scott helps them navigate, dodge the deadly crevasses, and triumphantly reach their goals. If you’re in skin care, you want Scott on your team.

What’s the old saying about those who can do, and those who can’t teach? Throw that sucker out the window. Scott does both. 

After all, imagine how hard it would be to stand on the sidelines, coaching your heart out and NOT playing the game you’ve come to love. That’s got to be a reason Scott started his newest skin care line. Plus, this time, he’s using all he’s learned as he builds. It’s powerful proof for his clients that his system works.

I actually bought and loved this heart chakra serum (yeah, it’s an affiliate link). 

It’s a line of facial stems for the seven chakras. Scott’s creating this brand to serve people on a spiritual journey. While there are lots of essential oils you can inhale or rub on your chakras, before Scott, there was no facial serum or skincare routine out there specifically created for that crowd. 


Of course, I had to ask.

Scott’s got a young kiddo (they go on bike rides and hikes) and a busy business. So, how’s he find the time to get outdoors? It helps that he lives in San Diego. But that doesn’t automatically mean it’s easy to get outside by himself.

He’s well aware of the challenge. But he also brought up a great point. 

Realize this: Everyone online that has a tendency to lure you in and hold you captive - it’s by design. All the platforms you use are specifically designed to keep you there. By people who’ve spent a lot of time and money on figuring out how to do it. They’re experts.

Going onto those sites without a plan to defend your time is like going into a boxing ring to face Mike Tyson right now, with no training and no plan. You’re going to get beat up. Or, in this case, lost. Knowing that, Scott limits his time and exposure.

But he also does something else really smart that I have to share.

Know how we love to learn? We read books. We study courses. But Scott doesn’t. Instead, he DOES books, and DOES courses. It’s not about accumulation of knowledge for him. It’s about putting it to use. Smart. Toldja.

If you’re building a skincare brand, you might want to look at his Done With You program for starting a skincare, hair care, body care, or pet care brand. He’s got a 6-week master class that includes weekly access to Scott, product formulation, samples, access to his manufacturing and rolodex, and more. You can email him at [email protected] for details. Also, you should totally follow Scott on YouTube at The Skincare Sherpa. And you know what, even if you’re not in that niche, you’ll learn some things there, too.


Negative ions, that is. 

If you’re here, you probably seek ways to boost your productivity and mood naturally. 

One often-overlooked element in this quest is the role of negative ions. 

These invisible molecules, prevalent in natural environments, offer surprising benefits for entrepreneurs.

Negative ions are created in nature, often through the movement of water, air, or sunlight. Think of the fresh feeling near a waterfall or after a thunderstorm. These sensations are partly due to the abundance of negative ions in these settings.

Why you want ‘em:

  • Enhanced Mood and Energy: Negative ions promote oxygen flow to the brain, resulting in higher alertness and decreased drowsiness. This is crucial for entrepreneurs needing to stay sharp and make critical decisions.

  • Stress Reduction: Studies suggest that negative ions can help lower stress levels, which is vital for entrepreneurs who often face high-pressure situations.

  • Improved Cognitive Function: Enhanced focus and mental clarity from negative ions can lead to better problem-solving and creative thinking, essential skills in the entrepreneurial toolkit.

  • Boosted Immune System: Regular exposure to negative ions can strengthen the body's defenses, keeping entrepreneurs healthier and more resilient.

How to get more of ‘em:

  • Spend Time Outdoors: Regularly visit natural settings like forests, beaches, or waterfalls, where negative ions are abundant.

  • Air Purifiers: Use air purifiers that generate negative ions in your workspace to simulate a natural, ion-rich environment.

  • Plants: Incorporate indoor plants into your office space, as they can contribute to a healthier ion balance.

  • Water Features: Consider small indoor water features, like a desktop fountain, which can produce negative ions.

  • Regular Exercise Outdoors: Activities like hiking or jogging (or mowing!), especially near natural water sources, can increase your exposure.

Go and get you some.

By the time you open next week’s edition of Entrepreneurs Gone Wild, I’ll probably be one step closer to being a real farmer. That’s because Idyllwild Woods’ very first structure will be built - a BARN!

I’m currently in a course to learn all about building an off-grid (or somewhat off-grid in our case) but fancy-schmancy retreat center. The guys running it have built an incredible place up in Canada. They started from scratch, too. If you’ve gotten bitten by the “buy some land and go live on it” bug, you might want to check them out.

And come hell or high water, we’ll begin hosting in 2024!


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