These destructive rodents cause, in all, $8 million in damage to U.S. farms every year.
Kari Warberg Block, a farm wife from North Dakota, had one experience in particular that made her fully aware of this problem.
AUDIO – Block on an experience on the farm that caused her to invent a mice repelling product.
“One of the first times I was ever on a farm was when I was dating a farmer,” Block said. “He needed my help pull starting his truck because no one else was around.
As I pulled ahead in the front truck a mouse ran up my leg and right in my crotch and really freaked me out. ”
Block’s initial instinct was to get her
perfume out and spray it around the truck cab.
Low and behold that did the trick and the mouse high-tailed it out of the door.
It was a while later, after Block
married a farmer, that she
recalled that little maneuver and began using it regularly when rodents became an issue.
That is when her company Earth-Kind, and its first product, Fresh Cab, was born.
AUDIO – Block on the trial and error process of inventing Fresh Cab.
“I started doing research and testing and found out that there wasn’t a product out there for this dilemma,” Block said. “So I invented Fresh Cab, got a patent and an EPA registration.”
Today her product sits on 20,000 store shelves and sales have reached the $40 million mark.
The reason Fresh Cab works so well is that rodents can’t see very well and rely heavily on their sense of smell to navigate.
“So I thought that if I could get a smell that is strong enough and gets stuck in the mouse’s nose, not only will they not be able to see but they won’t be able to smell and they’ll go elsewhere,” Block said. “It took 8 years of trial and error to find a scent that would last, a scent that was pleasant to people and only offensive to the rodents and not dogs and cats.”
The successful formula of Fresh Cab that met all of those criteria includes balsam fir, a very common Christmas tree.
“It smells good, it lasts a long time and to top it all off, it is grown on American farms,” Block said.
You can find Fresh Cab at any John Deere, Ace Hardware, Do It Best, True Value and more.
WKU Communication Department to host Earth-Kind CEO on Feb. 12-13 WKU’s Department of Communication will host Kari Warberg Block, founder, CEO and “Farmer-in-Charge” of Earth-Kind, for its first “Executive in Residence” program Feb. 12-13.
In addition to visiting WKU classes, Warberg Block will present Building a Better Mouse Trap: Entrepreneurship and the Importance of Community at 7 p.m. Feb. 12 at Grise Hall Auditorium.
Warberg Block knows how important communities of support are for entrepreneurs, and —in return — how important it is for entrepreneurs to focus their energies on contributing to those communities that support them.
The 2005 WKU
graduate serves on various committees for the University, as well as an instructor in the Popular Culture Studies Program.
“Kari has been a true pleasure to work with, and I’m so glad that she
is coming here to share some of her
experiences, insight, and inspiring story with WKU students and the south central Kentucky community,” Ford said.
Source: WKU News
Earth-Kind CEO Kari Block is a Finalist for Innovative Entrepreneur of the Year from Stiletto Woman
About Stiletto Woman:
Stiletto Woman is a FORBES ranked leadership-centric lifestyle improvement company for modern working business women.
Simply put, through our mission to empower women to dream big and believe in the impossible, we advocate healthy businesses and healthy lives.
We accomplish this by helping women transition into entrepreneurship, build sustainable businesses, and up-level their careers.
Our principle message encourages women from all walks of life to live courageously on purpose and elevate their influence in business.
In 2013, Stiletto Woman was named one of the "Best 100 Websites For Women" by Forbes; it's also been named a "Top 40 Website By, For and About Women
in the Workplace & Beyond", a "Top Career Blog to Follow", and She Owns It
recognized Karlena Wallace as one of the "Top 50 Women
to Follow on Twitter".
In 2012, Stiletto Woman was also named one of the "Top 75 Websites for Your Career" by Forbes, and a "Top 25 Site for Women Entrepreneurs to Love."
Kari is honored to be among the 10 finalists for the Innovative Entrepreneur of the Year award.
Earth-Kind mission and story as well as our quest to be included in the Chase Mission Main Street Grant.
Once Gail learned our mission, story and plans for the grant, she became a strong supporter of
Listen to the interview here
Summary of interview:
During my interview with Kari Block, Founder of Safe Cab Rodent Repellent from Gail Zahtz
It was the early 90’s, and Kari
was working behind the cosmetics counter at a high end department store.
was so successful, that her
employer would reward her
with bottles of expensive perfume.
And while she wasn’t one to wear it very often, she’d slip it into her purse before visiting the man she was dating, a farmer in a remote corner of Western North Dakota.
“I’d get such a headache from it,” Kari remembered, “but I thought while I was dating, I should probably smell good.
So I kept a bottle in my purse, thinking I’d put it on later in the day, to lessen the headache.”
But the perfume that was meant to bring her new beau a little closer, would ultimately end up serving an entirely different purpose -- one that would get this city girl through a day on the farm and years later, make her a millionaire.
“It was my first time out on the farm,” Kari continued. “I was wearing short shorts and sandals and of course I had my purse with me!
When I got out there, he
asked if I could help him pull sta