Since its founding in 2015, Pure & Clean LLC has experienced phenomenal growth, increasing revenue from $27,300 in 2016 to more than $9.1 million in 2020. The trajectory could be summed up in a single word: sanitization.
Keeping up with that growth challenged the company to hire Ryan Freeman — brother of founder Trent Freeman — as chief revenue officer to help.
Pure & Clean had grown steadily through 2018 selling its sanitizers and wound care products. That year, the company had five full-time staffers who were all family members and part owners.
By the end of 2018, the company notched 240% revenue growth. The sanitizers are made from hypochlorous acid, which is created when saltwater is electrolyzed. There’s nothing new about its use or creation, Ryan Freeman says. What is new is the methodologies Pure & Clean employs to create it and its ability to make the acid shelf stable.
Freeman likens it to the Apple iPod: “Apple didn’t come out with the MP3 player, but Apple did it really, really well.”
In order to meet growing demands, the Freemans added staff to help develop the culture, structure and system changes needed to enhance customer relations, hire and retain employees, monitor performance, improve communication with sales representatives and clients, select wholesale distributors and increase community involvement.
This put Pure & Clean in a good position for the explosive interest that followed the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the company still needed to make adjustments. The company’s disinfectant/sanitizer was added to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s List N of products that kill COVID-19.
Then, Freeman says, the company got an endorsement from a most unexpected source.
A dentist in South Korea mentioned Pure & Clean by name in a video instructing other dentists on how to safely open their clinics during the pandemic.
“We got orders from hundreds and hundreds of dentists over the next few days, so we’ve launched a dental division,” Freeman says, noting the product can be used to disinfect offices but also in endodontic procedures, such as root canals.
In order to meet the increased demand for sanitzers in all sectors and the emerging dental market, Pure & Clean opened two fulfillment centers, added websites and tripled its distribution capabilities.
One of the company’s greatest challenges was in finding new sources for bottles when the international supply chain was disrupted.
“It took effort,” Freeman says. “We accomplished a lot in the last year. It was quite a wild ride.”
Read the profiles of this year's honorees.