ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) — Kailey Bradt, founder of Susteau, is a local entrepreneur that created a sustainable, waterless haircare brand.
The name Susteau is a combination of two things. The first part “Sust” gives credit to the brand’s sustainability efforts. “Eau” means water in French.
Her company was featured on the Today Show on Mar. 3.
Bradt was born in Elmira and grew up in Horseheads. Her family currently resides in Big Flats.
Bradt said that she did not plan on being an entrepreneur growing up, but it fits her personality.
“When I was super young, I was very creative and really strong in math and science,” said Bradt. “So, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my career because I felt like every field that I was looking at wasn’t really creative enough. So I actually thought I was going to go into art.”
In a sense, she did go into art. She may not have gone into traditional art, but instead the art of beauty.
Bradt shared how she came up with her idea.
“I was traveling a lot for work and I was packing little toiletries into a little Ziploc bag and putting it in my carry on like once a week,” said Bradt. “I realized that I was continually packing these little bottles and everything listed water as the first ingredient.”
So she decided to make a product to reduce water waste used in shampoo. Bradt said how normal shampoo can consist of up to 80% water. All she needed to figure out was how to actually make this product.
“I started calling laboratories and manufacturers and was like, ‘Hey, could you make a powder to liquid formula for shampoo and conditioner?’ and they were like, ‘No, we have never heard of that’,” said Bradt. “I got a lot of ‘no’s’ and eventually I just decided to do it myself.”
With International Women’s Day on Mar. 8, Bradt has advice for any young entrepreneurial girls who want to follow in her footsteps.
“If you want to start a business, I would say just get started,” said Bradt. “Find a way to start working on it. It doesn’t have to be money invested, it can be time. A lot of that first year of me working on my business was just me putting time into it.