‘We Lost Everything’: How Popular Black-Owned All-Natural Deodorant Brand Is Rebuilding After Devastating Warehouse Fire

A recent warehouse fire may have forced entrepreneur Chantel Powell to halt production of her Play Pits All-Natural Deodorant brand. Still, she is focused on rebuilding her business by launching a recovery initiative. 

Founder of Play Pits Chantel Powell (Photo: website)

“Naturally, I kind of was like, ‘Why God? Like, why?’ And instantly, it hit my spirit that this is a part of your story. This is just another part of your story,” Powell told Atlanta TV station WXIA. “This is the opportunity for me to show my kids that when bad things happen and when you’re down, you don’t have to stay down — and so I’m moving forward every day.”

Play Pits is an all-natural deodorant brand developed for children and young adults living active lives. Free from aluminum, parabens, and other chemicals, Play Pits is a healthy option for families wanting to avoid dangerous ingredients. In 2017 Powell’s son Kam came home from football practice with a heavy odor. Unable to find natural deodorant products, Powell began making her own. Soon after, Powell launched Play Pits All Natural Deodorant in her kitchen. Within one year, Powell had launched a brand with a following that she calls “Underarmie.” Today, customers can find Play Pits in Target, Target.com, Amazon and local stores in the Atlanta area. 

(Photo: website)

On Sept. 13, the business’ suburban Atlanta warehouse was destroyed in a building fire. The fire impacted five other businesses but recovered some of their inventory. Play Pits, however, was deeply affected as the office was directly next to the neighboring building that originally caught fire. 

“I mean, we lost everything. This was a total loss for us,” Powell told WXIA. “While the other businesses on the outside of us, they were able to go in and recover things that they wanted, but because I was right next to the fire, we are experiencing the total loss.”

 Poised for Rebuilding 

Despite the devastation of losing her inventory, Powell is ready to rebuild her business. She has outlined three ways people can support Play Pit on the company’s website. 

Play Pits is accepting monetary donations that will allow the company to locate a new warehouse space so that they can resume production of their products. 

Powell also asks people to spread the word on social media about the company’s recovery initiative. 

Finally, by casting a vote, support Play Pits in the Kapitus Building Resilient Business Contest. As a finalist, the company has the opportunity to win $100,000. 

“I know that I can’t stop,” Powell told the station. “There’s too many people that are relying on what we produce, too many families, too many children, parents, and generations of a family that is relying on our product, and so I’m very knowledgeable of that.”

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