New Hope Entrepreneur Sees Success with ‘Nature’s Syrup’
De’Vonna Bentley-Pittman is an expert in syrup.
Just not the kind of syrup you’re probably thinking of.
Pittman, a resident of New Hope, is the owner of Nature’s Syrup. Her company offers a line of skin and hair care products that she developed after enduring what she calls, ‘the big chop’
“So the big chop is when you cut off all of your hair, all your chemically processed hair, to embrace the hair that grows out of your scalp, which is what I did,” Pittman said.
When she decided to embrace the natural look, it required using different hair products than she had in the past. But after not finding ones she liked, she decided to make her own.
“So people are like, oh so you’re a chemist? I’m like no, I’m not really a chemist. I like to call myself a ‘kitchen scientist,’” Pittman said.
Over the last 10 years, the self-described “kitchen scientist” developed a line of products using natural ingredients for women with textured hair.
“I want people to embrace their hair the way it grows out of their scalp without having to use the chemicals, or feeling like they need to use chemicals, to embrace a certain standard of what beauty should look like,” Pittman said.
Pittman uses a warehouse space in Arden Hills to store and ship her merchandise, but most of her sales are done online, and at farmers markets around the metro.
Meanwhile, the local business community is taking notice.
Earlier this year, the Minnesota chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) honored her with the ‘emerging woman business owner’ of the year award.
“This award for me from NAWBO is incredible, and it reminds me to keep working, and to keep paving the way,” Pittman said.
What was once a side hustle is now a full-time job, as she works to encourage others to embrace their natural hair.
“Because we’re all beautiful,” Pittman said. “Our hair is beautiful, no matter the texture.”
One of Pittman’s long-term goals for Nature’s Syrup is to see the product on the shelves of large retailers. Earlier this summer, some of her products became available on Macy’s.com.