By, Ashley LeBlanc
When you first meet Jessica and Justin Arman, their bright smiles and friendly personalities draw you in. But little do most passersby know, these two have started a dental hygiene revolution.
Jessica Arman was a single mother of two living in Simi Valley, California, when she first mixed up a powder that would change her world. Her daughter suffered from sensitive teeth that were prone to cavities, and she wanted a solution. Working in a field that allowed access to multiple databases with information on organic ingredients, Jessica used her resources to create what is now branded My Magic Mud in her kitchen.
The teeth-whitening solution’s ingredients seem simple: activated coconut shell charcoal, calcium bentonite clay, organic mint extract, and organic orange peel extract. However, each one of these ingredients plays a special role in the powder’s overall performance. The coconut shell charcoal goes through a scientific process to be activated. Once activated the charcoal is used in their solution to suck out bacteria and toxins from your teeth’s pores. The calcium bentonite clay has a high mineral content, strengthening enamel and boosting your mouth’s immune system. The organic mint extract is a natural anti-inflammatory and organic orange peel extract is a natural whitener. The magic happens when you combine these ingredients into a fine black powder. Don’t be afraid to get a little messy and brush! Unlike toothpaste that contains toxic amounts of fluoride, you can swallow the flavorless mixture after brushing, and it will detoxify beyond your mouth into your intestines.
“[Originally] it was just for the kids, but mainly our daughter, she had insanely sensitive teeth,” Jessica said about the home remedy she never knew would turn out to be such a success.
Jessica’s daughter, Allie, was playing around with a collage app on her phone when she made a before and after picture of herself using her mother’s home remedy. She posted the picture Jessica’s Facebook, and it went viral. People from her community started sending her personal messages asking to try some of the remedy themselves. So she got some small containers from the local grocery store and gave some samples to her friends and family.
Years earlier, Jessica’s neighbor Justin was in the right place at the right time when Jessica needed some company for one of her daughter’s oral surgeries. He came along for emotional support, and well, we know how the rest goes. The two were married in 2008.
As their connection grew, so did their company. Justin had the skills to create the website for what would now be called, My Magic Mud, and Jessica would fill orders as they came in. Their first online order was placed by a friend in California in July of 2013.
“I remember when we would jump up and down getting just one or two orders a week,” Justin said. “We went from 10 jars a month, to 25, to more and within a few months we were doing 100 jars a month.”
Jessica’s first workstation was her ironing board. She would bottle the ingredients in small containers and apply the plastic label onto the outside by heating it with her blow dryer.
Facing foreclosure during the housing crash in California, the Armans found financial relief by moving to Austin, Texas with their growing family.
“We ended up in New Braunfels because we found this community even better for our family,” Justin said of their final move. Their fourth child came soon after that.
The struggle was well worth the wait as their online business continued to flourish. They decided to rent their first official office space right in the heart of San Marcos, on the square. Where they also used their office as the headquarters for a local organization, Fluoride Free San Marcos. The company and its employees put a lot of time and effort into helping get fluoride out of our drinking water.
“We believe in natural alternatives to toxic chemicals.” Justin said. “Fluoride isn’t needed for strong, healthy teeth, especially not in our drinking water.”
Soon after the water fluoridation issue was put up for a vote and passed, their business continued to grow quickly, and they decided they needed more room.
“We react to our environment,” Justin said. “So we wanted the most inspiring place to build the business that we could find; San Marcos was it. We were even renting a restaurant space under our offices. But when the new restaurant [Blue Dahlia Bistro] decided to move in, we needed to explore other options. So we ended up in a perfect spot that fits our needs perfectly, but we do miss the San Marcos square. Loved it there.”
Jessica and Justin Arman now have a spacious office right off I-35 in New Braunfels where all of the magic in My Magic Mud happens. The company is run almost entirely by their family with the addition of some close family friends.
Their son, Mikey, is their main manufacturer. He blends the powder in the back and packages it. With the money he makes, he saves up and travels the world, at only 16-years-old. Proud parents Justin and Jessica boast about their son. “He believes in the company; he is so dedicated,” said Justin.
“We’re really proud of him,” Jessica said.
Justin’s mom, Donna Baxter, is their lead sales person. Their logistics manager, his wife and other sales representatives, are close family friends. It’s safe to say they have built quite a trustworthy group of employees.
My Magic Mud is now distributed from 1,400 locations worldwide. Including in Australia, New Zealand, Germany, and the Caribbean Islands. They are sold in holistic themed grocery stores such as Sprouts with their largest distributor being UNFI. You can find their product locally at the following locations: Cornucopia, The Watering Tree, The Parlour Salon, Mochas & Javas, and The Paper Bear.
With all of the success they have already achieved, the couple has more plans for their company in the near future. They will be releasing a My Magic Mud toothpaste in September of this year. It will also be filled with all natural and beneficial ingredients. The paste will come in three flavors: wintergreen, peppermint, and cinnamon clove. They will be taking pre-orders in August on their website MyMagicMud.com.
In the end of it all, Jessica wants to send a message to mothers out there that they can make a change for themselves and their family. She wants to inspire single mothers to be entrepreneurs and sends out a message that “women can provide for their families in a way that wasn’t possible before.” Her hometown community still sends Jessica letters about how she has inspired them, and she is very grateful for the support.