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  • 30 June 2015
  • Bonnie Stack

United Problem Solvers™: Providing Bright Solutions for a Growing Sunscreen Business

At The UPS Store, we’re focused on solving our customers’ problems. We take pride in providing creative and effective solutions to any challenge. From offering a secure business mailbox with a real street address to becoming a small business customer’s back office and warehouse, we tailor our services to meet the customer’s needs.  As a continuation of our new United Problem Solvers campaign, we’re sharing the story of how The UPS Store has become an integral part of a growing sunscreen business.

Brian Guadagno has been a lifeguard in Narragansett, R.I., for 21 years. Spending most of his time on the beach, he became concerned with the chemicals in the average, over-the-counter sunscreen. “I use sunscreen every day. And after doing some research, I was not pleased with the harmful chemicals found in most sunscreen products. I wanted a more organic option,” said Guadagno.

The UPS Store is my virtual office, providing quality service to our customers while I’m on the road.

As an active person in the sun, he set out to find a solution for a natural, eco-friendly sunscreen product that also maintained high performance. His entrepreneurial adventure started in his kitchen, testing out different natural formulas to find the right one for his sunscreen product. After trial and performance testing, he found the perfect lotion and face stick formulas. His dream turned into reality with the creation of Raw Elements, physical eco-protection sunscreen. In 2012, he launched the brand and began a national roll-out plan to local retailers. During the first year, he had success across the East Coast, Florida and Hawaii, but he wanted to pursue business opportunities in California.

Guadagno moved across the country to Laguna Beach, Calif., first introducing his product to natural food stores and surf shops in the area. “At that time, we were still packing and shipping all of our products by ourselves,” mentioned Guadagno. As business began to increase in California, he established a mailbox with The UPS Store in Laguna Beach.

The UPS Store General Manager, Jason Bird, helped Guadagno with a mailbox and small shipping jobs, but had no idea that his initial needs would quickly expand to full warehouse, logistics and order fulfillment services.

As business continued to grow, Guadagno shared his concerns with Bird about handling nationwide product fulfillment at such high volume and frequency with a very small team. Bird and Guadagno sparked a relationship that has now ignited into an array of services for Raw Elements provided by The UPS Store. “We ship sunscreen products to sales reps, fulfill large retail orders and daily e-commerce orders direct to their customers. Essentially, we are their full warehouse for product storage, packing and shipping and logistics and their back office for faxing and printing, all right here in our 1,400-square-foot store,” shared Bird.

With summer time being especially busy, Bird and Guadagno keep in constant communication. “We talk every day. I am always traveling, but when I’m in California we spend time developing the next business steps and setting new goals.” said Guadagno.  “The UPS Store is my virtual office, providing quality service to our customers while I’m on the road.”

Expanding at a 300 percent growth rate over the past year, Brian and his Raw Elements team are very grateful for The UPS Store’s commitment to service. “I don’t know where we would be if we hadn’t partnered with them. They have been the perfect answer to our business needs and have been very integral to company growth,” added Guadagno. “As we evolve, they’ve matched their services to evolve with us.”

Raw Elements lotion and face sticks are sold in over 1,200 natural food stores and surf and outdoor shops across 40 states. Both U.S. and international customers continue to place orders online daily. The UPS Store has filled more than 6,000 orders over the past three summers, shipping more than 50,000 bottles of lotion. Guadagno plans to introduce some new Raw Elements products later this year.

Are you a small business owner looking for effective and efficient solutions to your challenges? Find your local The UPS Store and allow us to problem-solve for your next business venture today.

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