President and CEO, Carter-Health Disposables, LLC
Roda Carter is an impressive female entrepreneur, having launched not one but two companies thus far. She graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City and began working in sales and management in the cosmetics industry in New York. Starting as a beauty advisor she worked her way up the ranks, quitting in 1992 to set out to begin work on developing her own brand.
She spend years learning from self-help books and strategically developed her business while working as a commercial model and actress. In 1999 she launched her first company, Universal Colors Cosmetics. “My company had a great run for five years or so, but I had to give up the company as it needed a lot more capital to sustain it. It earned great international recognition and a small following of celebrity clientele.” All she learned from starting this first business proved handy when she later launched another company years later, this one in the healthcare industry.
“I built relationships in the supply chain of the healthcare market, and with my then-husband launched Carter-Health, LLC. We began marketing and business development for the design and engineering of cleanrooms which are a sterile environment for pharmaceutical compounding.
HER EUREKA MOMENT
Carter realized that once a client purchased a cleanroom, it was a one-time construction project, so that customer was left on their own to find the right supplies to maintain their new, sterile room. That’s when a light bulb went on and her inner entrepreneur shined.
“I wrote a detailed business plan for launching a new division. This new company would provide all the required disposable supplies including apparel such as lab coats, sterile cleaning supplies, disinfectants etc. I custom designed the keystone product the “Pre-Pak Kit” and sourced a special collection of products from long-standing and reputable U.S. based manufacturers to round out the collection.”
The plan took her about nine months to perfect and complete, applying lessons from her first business. She had mastered tasks such as developing concepts, brand imaging, sourcing, logistics, and so on. “I had learned a serious lesson about finance and made sure to focus on the financial and accounting aspect.
Then, with an initial investment of about $175,000 that I secured from a group of pharmacy executives and associated investors, I took the business from zero to a multi-million-dollar company in five years. I hope and plan for continued, sustained and even exponential growth throughout the upcoming years.” She did not let gender inequalities in business hinder her from living out her visions of success, and encourages other women the same. “The statistics prove that we are far from gender equality, but you can’t let that sway you from pursuing your dreams.