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Business

Berwyn mom cooks up all-natural critter repellents

Jennifer Angone fills bottles with her Green Swerve natural pest repellent in her Berwyn kitchen May 13.
Jennifer Angone fills bottles with her Green Swerve natural pest repellent in her Berwyn kitchen May 13.

BERWYN – Jennifer Angone of Berwyn believes a natural approach is the way to go, especially when dealing with unwanted guests on many legs.

Angone developed a line of products to keep critters out of the home and others from buzzing, biting and stinging while people are enjoying the weather outside. Using all-natural ingredients, under the name of Organnica Inc., Angone’s Red Swerve insecticide and Green Swerve insect repellent are EPA approved and safe to use inside the home and out. The products also are safe for pets.

And it’s all homemade; Angone mixes up all her products, literally, in the kitchen sink.

A Purdue University graduate who studied international business, Angone was in a sales career for 20 years when she and her husband, Bob, moved to Berwyn.

Her journey to become an alchemist started with a spider getting into the house through a screen.

“I’m a total arachnophobe – the sight of a spider sends me into another word,” Angone said. “I was killing something every day. It drove me crazy. At that point, I was making my own skin care and cleaners for the house. My husband said [I should] come up with a natural solution to get these pests out of here.”

About the same time, Angone said her sister-in-law asked her to come up with a remedy for wasps and bees. She worked to come up with a bee repellent across a couple of years, she said.

“In the process, I learned what insects don’t like and how you deter them from entering your home and how to confuse their communication system,” Angone said. “I wanted to be able to kill the spiders and ants, but mostly stop them from entering the house.”

Angone said she tested her various products in her home to see if they would do the trick and when satisfied, applied for a patent.

“That’s when I knew I had something,” Angone said.

Her husband used his background in advertising to design the labels and come up with the name: Red Swerve.

“He was up one night and when I got up he said: “It’s Swerve,” Angone said. “I don’t know what his train of thought was, but he’s a creative guy.”

Her product line isn’t limited to killing or keeping away creepy crawlies. Besides Red Swerve and Green Swerve, Angone also makes her own Air-Aide Natural Air Freshener, Frankincense & Myrrh deodorant and Frankincense & Myrrh hand balm.

With encouragement from her husband, Angone started taking correspondence courses with Trinity College in herbal medicine, homeopathy and herbs. In two years, she was certified in naturopathic medicine during her early years as a mother.

“I was so bored changing diapers and nursing, I needed to feed my brain,” Angone said.

Sales are going well, Angone said, and the Swerve products can be found at Whole Foods locations in Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan as well as at farmers markets in the area. Ace Hardware has shown interested in the product, and she is seeking out new markets outside of the Midwest.

“We just turned our first profit last year,” she said. “I’m really lucky to be at home and start this business because there are so many moms who have to go out and work. I’m incredibly thankful and blessed.”’

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More information about Red Swerve, Green Swerve, and Organnica, Inc, beauty products can be found at www.organnica.net.

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