May 22, 2024
Entrepreneurial Itch

Photo: CSL Photography

Sampson worked with chemists for 16 months to develop ScalpBliss Itch CalmingSerum, Canviiy's first product and still its best seller. Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa has been offering her products to cancer patients since 2018.

Rising Executives: Ones to Watch

Entrepreneurial Itch

Nancy Dahlberg | 12/13/2023

Canviiy, Tampa

When opportunity knocked, Sherrel Sampson opened the door, unlocking a new passion, career direction and business of her own.

After earning marketing degrees from Stetson University and West Virginia University, Sampson settled into professional roles including as a marketing director of a software company. In 2011, the software company’s owner had purchased Key West Aloe, a luxury personal care brand, out of bankruptcy and asked Sampson if she wanted to run the company and lead the resurrection of the then 40-year-old brand. She took on the challenge. “I was responsible for packaging, labeling, retail infrastructure and worked with vendors in Germany, China and Japan. I just absolutely fell in love with the challenge. It was incredibly fulfilling to be able to ideate and create solutions and products that drive customer satisfaction. That is how I got the entrepreneurial bug.”

After she left Key West Aloe for another career opportunity, she knew she wanted to start her own skincare company and began tinkering on the side. Then, after coming home from the salon with her scalp feeling “like it was on fire,” she discovered in her research scalp itch is something many people experience, including those with scalp conditions and women who color their hair. “It was a really huge opportunity if we took our time and crafted something special.”

That realization marked the start of Canviiy. As CEO of the Tampa-based company she founded in 2014, Sampson worked with chemists for 16 months to develop ScalpBliss Itch Calming Serum, Canviiy’s first product and still its best seller. “We were liberating women and men alike from the frustration and the agony of dealing with scalp irritation.”

Since then, Canviiy also has created a hair growth serum, a foam treatment for dandruff, a body bar, scalp balm, shampoo and conditioner — all proprietary formulations made from organic ingredients. Today, Canviiy’s products sell in over 3,500 retail stores — including CVS, Sally Beauty, JCPenney, Wegmans and, as of this year, 600 Walmarts. In 2024, more than 500 Walgreens stores will stock Canviiy products, too.

Tampa’s Moffitt Cancer Center has been offering her products to their cancer patients since 2018. The Moffitt relationship helped Canviiy land other cancer centers as customers and ink a contract with Premier, a group purchase organization where hospital and health care system procurement teams do their buying.

Sampson assembled a team of 10 with deep consumer product expertise: Her director of operations has 15 years’ experience in manufacturing and logistics, her vice president of technology previously worked for Johnson & Johnson and Under Armour, and her chief marketing officer is a Procter & Gamble veteran. “We are very well versed on how to continue to scale the business and do it in a smart and intelligent way.”

Since Canviiy’s Premier contract went live in May, Sampson opened discussions with 20 organizations and landed contracts with two health care systems and a major distributor, Medline. “We’re expecting 2024 to truly be a breakout year as we start to onboard new health care systems.” 

Tags: Healthcare, Retail & Sales, Feature, Rising Executives

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