Chicago-born entrepreneur partners with Walmart Marketplace
Chicago-born entrepreneur Regina M. Earvin-Underwood is making her own history; as the world celebrates Women’s History Month this March. She was recently approved for Walmart Marketplace, as the Owner of Good Scents Oils (GSO) in Merrillville, Indiana.
“I am excited because a partnership with Walmart Marketplace represents an opportunity to continue helping local businesses and hiring local people,” said Underwood. Walmart Marketplace is an e-commerce (online) platform that allows third-party vendors to sell their products to Walmart customers.
Underwood has come a long way as an entrepreneur. Someone once told her to put her products down and get a real job. Now she owns a business that provides real jobs and distributes products to customers in 10 countries. Underwood is like a rose that grew from concrete.
Her early stage of entrepreneurship included being a vendor at events and hiring individual sales reps. While building her business, Underwood established a blueprint for community reinvestment. She consistently gives back to the community by purchasing supplies locally to ensure that as her business grows, local businesses also grow. GSO products are also distributed at stores in Northwest Indiana. She promotes entrepreneurs by placing their flyers in GSO boxes that are shipped. She also promotes entrepreneurs by placing their flyers in bags when customers shop at the GSO store.
In 2006, Underwood opened her first store in Gary, Indiana. In 2018, she received a telephone call from celebrity stylist, Tym Wallace. Shortly after the call, Wallace introduced GSO in Hollywood. Then, singer and actress Mary J. Blige experienced GSO products. Following that exposure, Underwood expanded GSO to a mall kiosk in 2019.
However, when the pandemic happened, the kiosk had to be closed. When the world experienced the pandemic lockdown in 2020, Underwood refused to allow her creativity to be locked down. She focused on expansion by creating candles, balms, body sprays, gourmet body scrubs, and body butter creams. In March 2020, Taraji P. Henson placed an order and shared her GSO experience on social media. That exposure motivated Underwood to expand GSO into a warehouse distribution center.
Then, singer and actress Brandy shared her love for GSO products in a video that went viral. That exposure motivated Underwood to expand GSO into retail. She has strategically built GSO since 1994 by creating products derived from recipes inspired by a phenomenal woman, her grandmother. Some of the labels even carry her name, such as Ella Mae’s German Chocolate Cake Body Scrub, Ella Mae’s Strawberry Cheesecake Body Scrub, Ella Mae’s Lemon Pound Cake Whipped Butter Cream, and Body Scrub. Each product was created with love, to nourish, moisturize and scent your skin.
Underwood stands on strong shoulders. She has the work ethic of the great Willie Moore, her grandfather, who told her, “Don’t leave no crumbs on the table.” He owned laundromats and apartment buildings in Gary, Indiana. Her maternal great-grandparents, Roy and Madie Robinson, were self-employed owners of 500 acres of land in Mississippi. Underwood was born in Chicago, moved to Gary when she was eight years old and visited her family in Mississippi every summer. Her ancestors passed the spirit of entrepreneurship to her, through their examples.
Shadowing her grandmother and paying close attention to the business decisions of her family members served an important purpose. Now Underwood gets the opportunity to build a business that is the full manifestation of her ancestors’ biggest dreams.