Why did you give up a successful career as a surgeon to start a business?

As a breast cancer surgeon, I was alarmed by increasing cancer rates among healthy young women. I knew there were toxic ingredients in foods and personal care products that people use every day, like toothpaste. These ingredients can cause inflammation, hormone disruption or even cancer. This hit home for me when I saw my young son eating toothpaste. I partnered with my dentist sister, who is also a mom, to create safe, effective and great-tasting natural oral care products. As a breast cancer surgeon, I used to help cure cancer. With Dr. Brite, I can help prevent it.

What business leaders inspire you?

Tory Burch. I met her last year when I was named a Tory Burch Foundation Fellow and won the $100,000 Pitch Competition. I admire her business savvy, her grit and her ability to help women entrepreneurs through her foundation. And she does it all while being a mom to her boys. 

Can you talk about your mentors and how they have shaped who you are?

The biggest mentors in my life have always been my parents. They immigrated to the United States from Iran in the 1980s because they saw opportunity and freedom. It’s mind-blowing to think that they left the only home they had ever known with just a suitcase each so my siblings and I could have a better life.

What advice can you give to female entrepreneurs starting their own businesses?

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. As women, we’re raised with an emphasis on helping others rather than asking for what we may want or need for ourselves. This mindset needs to change. No one succeeds on her own.