April 29, 2019
Entrepreneur of the Month: Michael Cammarata
Michael Cammarata has been an entrepreneur with a unique business sense for longer than many people even know what they want to do with their lives. Earning his first million dollars at the young age of 13, he invested that capital into industries such as biotechnology, entertainment, advertising, and electronics.
Michael struggled with dyslexia as a child which led the other kids and some teachers to misunderstand him. Being behind the other students’ progress lowered his confidence. He would get the correct answers to math problems but still be told he was wrong because he used a different process to get the answer. These alienating experiences planted the seeds that helped him grow into the person he is today.
When Michael was 11-years-old he met a group of people he connected with, people who didn’t judge him because he thought differently. A man named Jeff Barrett introduced Michael to the video game Starcraft and this led to him meeting friends, mentors, and a network of people who expanded his world view. His confidence grew when he began excelling at building things. At 12, he began a web hosting company that grew to 5 million unique visitors daily.
A Unique Perspective
Mr. Cammarata began to see his differences as special rather than as something to fix. He realized that his unique perspective on the world and industries could lead to real change for many people. This has led him to make investment decisions others in his position would deem crazy.
In 2014, Michael invested in a small Oregon-based company selling all-natural deodorant in jars at farmer’s markets. Michael instantly understood the potential the product had for a larger consumer base and co-founded Schmidt’s Naturals. He helped the company become one of the world’s fastest-growing startup wellness brands.
By 2017, the company had two facilities: a 30,000 square-foot facility in Portland, Oregon, and a sales office in Florida with a team of 120 employees. Michael also helped the company widen its product range to include plant and mineral based body washes, soaps, mouth paste, and toothpaste. By the second half of 2017, over 14,000 American retail outlets were stocking Schmidt’s Naturals products.
This rapid growth quickly caught Unilever’s attention. The global giant acquired Schmidt’s Naturals in December of 2017, at the same time Michael became CEO. Alessandro Di Bella, who worked at Unilever during the acquisition, had nothing but good things to say about working with Mr. Cammarata.
“Michael is the proof that you have to embrace what you really are to be the best you can be rather than conforming or imitating others. He has a crisp and direct communication style as well as an attitude and readiness to take on risk and act fast. He is willing to work hard for a global cause and a bigger purpose.”
Michael Cammarata is dedicated to bringing his unique perspective to every business venture he enters and hopes his enthusiasm for innovation will inspire others as well.