Area Woman Turns “A-Ha!” Moment into Entrepreneurial Success

To most moms, the moment might have seemed pretty ordinary. Misty Terrell had just finished mopping the floors. The surface wasn’t quite dry when her then-8-month-old daughter crawled across the shiny surface, took a seat at Mom’s feet and started sucking on her hand.

“Something went off in my head,” Terrell recalls, “something very alarming.” After all, her daughter’s hands had moved across the damp floor, swiping up the remnants of the traditional cleaning fluid Terrell had used on the floor.

“I had no idea why the alarms went off because at that point I had never sat down to study what ingredients were in mainstream household cleaners.”

Terrell’s quick study morphed into a “long journey” of research that led her to conclude that too many ingredients that make up our daily lives – from the items we use to clean the floors to the food we put in our bodies – fall far short of natural.

A business was born: Happy Heart Home Products, Terrell’s line of all-natural home cleaning, body and pet care products. In place of perfumes and polysyllabic preservatives, Terrell employs purified water, natural oils and soaps and other organic materials to handle everything from floors and facial moisturizers to dog shampoos and sanitizing sprays.

“My kitchen became my lab and before I knew it I had a great product that I felt was good enough to share with others,” she says.

Terrell and husband Jim, who played professional baseball for eight years, run the business from a 14-acre spread outside Pleasant Hill, where the family grows its own food, raises its own meat and gets eggs from 18 chickens roaming free-range on the land. A small orchard erupts in large wild blackberries each July.

“We are especially excited about our garden this year as it will be 100 percent non-GMO and organic,” says Terrell. “My husband has the green thumb between the two of us and has already started our garden from seeds in our basement. We can hardly wait for spring to transplant it all!”

Terrell graduated from UMKC’s music conservatory with a degree in music education. She taught eight years in Pleasant Hill and Lee’s Summit before deciding to stay home after her oldest child was born. She began taking courses in naturopathy and recently completed her certification as a natural health practitioner.

“I've been able to use that certification to guide others toward healing their bodies naturally,” she says. “One of the first steps in cleansing the body and eliminating toxins is getting rid of mainstream household cleaners. I’m so thankful that I can now provide an affordable option in that area for others while educating them on how important and beneficial it is.”

Business has exceeded Terrell’s initially modest expectations. When she launched Happy Heart Home Products in 2013, she figured a simple website would ease her into the rigors of owning and growing a company. Then one day that month, she got a call to substitute teach in Lee’s Summit. By the time she arrived at the school, the job was cancelled.

“I had product in the back seat of my car, so I thought I might as well make good use of my time by stopping at HyVee and learning what the process was to get product on the shelves.

“I tossed my one-minute pitch and the manager said, ‘We’d love to carry your entire line.’ I think my jaw hit the floor and I had a blank stare across my face as I processed what I just heard. I walked out to my car, shut the door and bawled my eyes out. It was unreal.”

Since then, even more doors have opened. Happy Heart Home Products can now be found in Natural Grocers, a national chain. She expects bigger things in 2015. She also expects to keep surprising those who may think only liberal hippies promote all-natural products.

“I often chuckle at the stereotype that implies if I love all things organic then I am a left-wing activist with a personal agenda to push,” Terrell says. “I could sum up my philosophy very easily: God’s ways heal. We are called to be good stewards of all He has given us, including our bodies, our homes and our land.”

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