Today we’d like to introduce you to Merrily Talbott.
Hi Merrily, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today. As a high school psychology teacher and counselor, I was so fulfilled by helping teenagers through the daily social-emotional challenges of life. Years later, after I had left public school teaching, I experienced my first entrepreneurial failure. I had tried to start a texting service for college students that would enable them to connect with a trained counselor over text message 24/7. It was a complicated business model and we weren’t able to raise the necessary funds to make it happen.
At the same time, I had conceived of the idea for mints called Placebos that could be used as a prop, a physical manifestation of belief in one’s ability to heal from various social-emotional struggles. Originally I thought the mints could be used as a marketing tool for the texting service: Inside each package, we would include an explanation of the placebo effect, helpful advice for that issue, and encouragement to text us if more support was needed.
While the texting service didn’t get off the ground, Placebos mints were introduced at the Tattered Cover in 2017, with a portion of profits going to mental health organizations. They sold well, and now we are in over 300 independent retailers across all 50 states and D.C.