Christina Ramirez at the beach in Santa Monica. Photos by Sarah Bosworth
How did you come up with PLUS ULTRA?
My vision for the company and desire to make a positive impact started when I was a Global Studies major at UCSB. I came up with the idea for starting a bamboo
toothbrush company as part of an assignment.
It wasn’t until years later while looking over distribution data for toothbrushes when I worked for a News Corp company that I made my school project my mission and dream.
Over 167 million toothbrushes were being bought each year in the United States alone! The image of all those plastic toothbrushes piling up across the planet set me in motion to reduce plastic waste by redefining the conventional image of a toothbrush. And this was the beginning of what would eventually become PLUS ULTRA.
I started researching and developing the product by getting a job on the ground floor of the most respected, conscious grocer in the country, Whole Foods Market. I learned what consumers wanted, what sold and how a big retailer worked. I started speaking with dentists from UCLA and USC about toothbrush design, which then I took to China to source materials, factories and built the supply chain.
How are your tooth brushes different from other brushes we see at Whole Foods
The majority of toothbrushes at Whole Foods and Erewhon are made from plastic,
which is terrible for your health and the planet. Our bamboo toothbrushes are eco-
friendly and non-toxic!
Are you really into teeth and dental hygiene? If so, what are some tips you suggest?
In my writing class back at UCSB, I was asked to create and focus on an area that no one else had. There were NGOs, corporations and philanthropic non-profits that
focused on providing those in need with food, vitamins and vaccines, but no one had ever focused on the neglected epidemic of poor oral hygiene.
When I had learned about how many plastic toothbrushes were produced and thrown away each year, my mind was blown! I decided that I was going to do something about it and start a toothbrush company that would make a positive impact on the world.
While I don’t have a background in dentistry, I am a advocate huge of good oral hygiene habits! I suggest ditching plastic toothbrushes and opting for a natural toothpaste, without all the chemicals or additives. I love Davids natural toothpaste and Weleda’s salt toothpaste. Every now and then I use baking soda on my toothpaste as a natural whitening factor, but not harmful!
What has been your biggest struggle with entrepreneurship?
Growing is the best and most painful thing in the world! It requires a tremendous
amount of sacrifice, patience, persistence and enthusiasm at all times… which can get exhausting.
Being a small company- what do you focus on while making a hire?
Are they focused on the long-term with me? I always look for people that can see the bigger picture. I look for people who are even more patient, persistent and enthusiastic than I am!
What does female empowerment look like to you?
Female empowerment is a sisterhood of support! Whether your best friend, or a
complete stranger, the love and respect is the same.
What is an ideal woman?
An ideal woman is true to herself. She is strong with her beliefs and opinions, and
doesn’t compromise that for anyone, ever.
What do you like most about being a woman?
Everything! We are magical. Our intuition, our ability to be sensitive and strong is such a blessing and asset to being a leader.
Who are you crushing on and why?
My little sister Jenna Isaacs. Who is a badass, young female Sous Chef at the Bacara Resort. She is so young and talented!!!!