Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Amy Carpenter MBA RDH, CEO of OrthoGum Inc, located in Denver, CO, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Active by OrthoGum is a chewing gum engineered for orthodontic patients. It is designed to be used in conjunction with braces or clear aligners to help speed up the teeth straightening process, decrease pain, clean aligners and freshen breath.

Tell us about yourself

While practicing Dental Hygiene for 23 years, I went to grad school and received my MBA. During grad school, I created active chewing gum to help patients through their orthodontic journey. Patients were complaining about smelly aligners, bad breath, and slow treatment time. When I hear that people love active chewing gum and actually continue to chew it after orthodontic treatment, this keeps me motivated to continue to help my patients.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Building a profitable and sustainable business: One of the primary goals of any business owner is to build a profitable and sustainable business that can withstand economic fluctuations and market changes. Achieving profitability and creating a viable long-term business model is a significant accomplishment.

Creating a positive impact: I strive to make a positive impact on the community through my business. I'm hoping this involves creating jobs, supporting local causes, and promoting environmentally sustainable practices.

Overcoming challenges and obstacles: Starting and running a business can be incredibly challenging, and overcoming obstacles along the way is a significant accomplishment. This includes navigating a difficult economic climate, pivoting the business to adjust to changing market conditions, or overcoming personal or professional setbacks. Being a female business owner of a small business is also an incredible accomplishment.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

One of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner is the level of responsibility and the pressure to make critical decisions that can affect the success or failure of the business. Business owners have to wear many hats and take on a wide range of responsibilities, from managing finances and operations to leading teams and making strategic decisions. This can be particularly challenging because there is no one-size-fits-all approach to running a business, and there is no guarantee that the decisions made will lead to success. Business owners must navigate uncertainty, take calculated risks, and be prepared to pivot or adapt as needed.

In addition, business owners often work long hours and face significant stress, particularly in the early stages of building a business. Balancing work and personal life can be difficult, and the pressure to succeed can take a toll on mental and emotional well-being. Despite these challenges, I have found the rewards of building and growing a successful business to be incredibly fulfilling and motivating.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

Build a strong network: Networking is key to building a successful business. Connect with other entrepreneurs, mentors, and industry professionals who can provide advice, support, and valuable connections. Attend industry events, join professional organizations, and leverage social media to build your network and establish your brand. I've found most people just want to help, and they will give you incredible ideas and potential barriers that haven't even entered your mind.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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