December 13, 2022
254: Happi Hippo Plant Organics | A Calling in Plant-Based Entrepreneurship with Dr. Ann Kartini Nguyen-Chung

In this conversation with Dr. Ann Kartini Nguyen-Chung, we discuss the contribution of Happi Hippo Plant Organics in motivating and advocating for more people to live a plant-based lifestyle. You’ll gain something different t...

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In this conversation with Dr. Ann Kartini Nguyen-Chung, we discuss the contribution of Happi Hippo Plant Organics in motivating and advocating for more people to live a plant-based lifestyle. You’ll gain something different today so join us in this episode!

In this episode, you will learn:

  • How Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung started and developed the Happy Hippo Plant Organics
  • The significant growth of Happy Hippo Plant Organics and its bigger impact on consumers
  • New products offered by Happy Hippo Plant Organics you should support

Buy Eco-Friendly Vegan Dental & Body Care Products and get 15% off when you go to or and type in the discount code HLS15

Other episodes you'll enjoy
How Your Diet Affects Your Oral & Overall Health | Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung

About Dr. Ann Kartini Nguyen-Chung

Dr. Ann Kartini Nguyen-Chung as a Dentist, has a passion for contributing to the overall health and wellness of others. The story begins in 2020 when she developed a  painful rash around her mouth and consulted a dermatologist. After several weeks of using medications without success, it turned out that her rash was due to an allergic reaction to one of her lip balms. Unfortunately, with such an extensive ingredient list, she could not pinpoint which ingredient was causing these embarrassing and painful sores. She began making her own plant-based lip balms with high-quality, minimal ingredients. Her skin cleared up! She continued experimenting and making other personal care products at home.  

Her youngest sister got laid off, and she wanted to help. The combination of her holistic plant-based lifestyle, dental background, and drive to help create jobs is how Happi Hippo Plant Organics was born. Her intention for this business is to be a blessing to humans, animals, and the planet. That is why her tagline is “Eco, toxin-free, vegan body care, for a  Happi you and a Happi planet!” 

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[00:00:00] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:The plant-based diet, those foods, many of them are generally higher in calcium and phosphorus. Phosphates in general, they're very important minerals because these minerals help to strengthen and rebuild teeth.

[00:00:17] Maya Acosta:You have more power over your health than what you've been told. This is the Healthy Lifestyle Solutions Podcast. I'm Maya Acosta and I'm passionate about finding healthy lifestyle solutions to support optimal human health, if you're willing to go with me. Together we can discover how simple lifestyle choices can help improve our quality of life. And increased longevity in a big way. Let's get started. Are you looking for clean and eco-friendly vegan, dental and body care products?

[00:00:48] Maya Acosta:Dr. Ann, a dentist and the founder of Happi Hippo Plant Organics needed to find a solution to a rash that she developed while using a lip balm. Dr. Ann came on the show in the 2020 to answer some of those dental concerns that we have in. Dental health, and at that time she had just launched her company, Happi Hippo Plant Organics.

[00:01:12] Maya Acosta:Today she has expanded her product line and it's now in over 40 stores nationwide and has been featured in several magazines. Dr. Ann is offering you, my listeners, a discount code, so simply go to her website. HappiHippo and use HLS15 to get 15% off your purchase. Also, you can visit her Etsy store.

[00:01:39] Maya Acosta:For the full bio and more information on Dr. Ann, simply go to my website,, and I will also add a link to her previous visit on the show so that you can learn more about dental health. As always, my friends, I hope that you enjoy this. All right. Welcome back to another episode of the Healthy Lifestyle Solutions podcast.

[00:02:00] Maya Acosta:I'm your host, Maya Acosta. I have a guest who's been on before, and she's a plant-based dentist, but she also is a business owner and entrepreneur, and this is what we wanna focus on this time. So welcome Dr. Ann.

[00:02:15] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:Thank you so much for having me. I am very excited to be here. 

[00:02:18] Maya Acosta:Thank you for coming back. And by the way, I just wanna emphasize, I always go back and rerecord my intro, so I didn't do a full intro on you, but I will do that.

[00:02:27] Maya Acosta:And that's because we wanna let people know like what the gist of the conversation is going to be. So Dr. Ann. you were on previously and I had all sorts of questions about dental health and what we've seen. I am gonna add a link to the show notes so that people can go back and listen to that. And ‘til this day, you are the only dentist I've ever interviewed.

[00:02:51] Maya Acosta:So I'm so hard. I know. It's just, I almost had a dental hygienist come on, but she still doesn't feel very comfortable being on podcasts and, but I feel like there's so much knowledge. So I just thought before we talk about Happi Hippo, this wonderful company, um, business that you've created during the pandemic, I was wondering if.

[00:03:12] Maya Acosta:Have any health tips, and I'll start with the fact that the other day I was driving and there was a commercial on the radio and they talked about dental health and all the diseases and conditions are associated with not caring for our teeth. So do you have a tip that you can offer my listeners?

[00:03:31] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:Yes. Actually, a common one that people don't realize is that even well as a, I guess most of your listeners are more plant-based gear, or at least wanting to go to that side, the pH and foods can definitely affect the strength of our teeth. For example, we have a pH scale of one to 14. Seven is neutral.

[00:03:58] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:Anything higher than seven is basic. Anything lower than seven is acidic. And our oral cavity, our mouth is generally neutral, maybe slightly acidic, just depending on diet, depending on medical history. Lots of different things. But our enamel, um, actually let me show you a model. I have a teeth here, so the enamel.

[00:04:22] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:Our teeth, think of it as an egg, right? The outer shell of the tooth is the enamel that the enamel starts to dissolve at a pH level of 5.5. So if you can imagine coffee, for those who love coffee, coffee is actually acidic. Definitely not trying to say Don't drink the things that you love. Juices, vinegarette, those are all, you know, apple cigar ci, apple cider vinegar, vinegarette, a lemon juice.

[00:04:55] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:Those are all great, but you definitely wanna make sure you rinse with water afterwards because it can over time. If you don't, you're just constantly eating it throughout the day. Remember, our teeth start to dissolve and once it goes past the outer, Eggshell, it starts to expose the inner layer called the dentin, and that actually starts dissolving at 6.5.

[00:05:17] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:So that's actually just a little bit under neutral. So fun tips are after eating anything acidic. Make sure you rinse with water, maybe eat something that's more alkaline like leafy greens like yeah, leafy greens. Carrots are also actually very fun, natural toothbrushes on the fly. So just little fun tips here and there.

[00:05:39] Maya Acosta:Wow, this is great. So, Dr. Ann, I'm just as guilty about the acidic, not so much the foods, but the drinks. And you, on this list that you just gave us was coffee and I can definitely tell that my enamel, my teeth, the color changes from drinking coffee, and I no longer drink wine. , but I could tell the difference after drinking wine as well, that my teeth would, the color would actually darken a little bit, become like a little bit of a shade of purple or something.

[00:06:10] Maya Acosta:So what you're saying is, it's pretty tricky, but you're saying after consuming these foods or drinks, just give ourselves a little bit of a rinse. And I wanna say that I learned this from you, that we don't wanna immediately brush our teeth after consuming or drinking an acidic product, correct?

[00:06:29] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:Yes. Thank you for bringing that up. I have a lot of patients who don't realize that. So in the operatory, in the chair, I noticed that many of my patient's teeth are so eroded that you can actually start seeing the roots of the teeth through the shadowing. So very true. After drinking lemonade or even fruit juice, you don't want to brush your teeth right away because the pH at that point is when the tooth is very, very soft.

[00:06:55] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:So if you can imagine taking a tooth, Something that's soft, the outer eggshell, and you take, even if you had a soft bristle toothbrush, but over time when you brush that, you're actually permanently removing enamel and that's gonna get to your Denton, the inside of your teeth a lot faster. And so, unfortunately, once you break that barrier of the enamel, teeth start dissolving at a quicker rate.

[00:07:23] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:And so you wanna make sure you try. Neutralize the pH first, and you can do that, like I said, by rinsing with water. I tell some of my patients who actually have GERD, which is acid dis continual acid reflux all the time, which makes the pH in the mouth very prone to dissolving, and so I tell them to actually.

[00:07:44] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:Take a bottle of water with baking soda and rinse throughout the day, and that helps to protect the teeth. And again, everyone's different. But yes, you're right. Do not brush your teeth immediately after eating anything super acidic, like vinegarette, lemon water, even. Wait a little while. 

[00:08:01] Maya Acosta:That's a great tip. Thank you. So I'm gonna make sure that everyone listens to that point in terms of consuming acidic foods and drinks that can harm or damage our enamel and give ourselves a good rinse with water. Thank you, Dr. Ann. Okay, so the pandemic happened and there were some concerns that I had in terms of, you know, people not, and you can probably give us this perspective as well, people not going for regular dental cleanings because of the pandemic.

[00:08:28] Maya Acosta:And there were so many concerns and I, you know, I felt bad for those professionals that had to continue to see patients because you were putting yourself at risk at that time. So if you share anything about that. But I will tell you that I went ahead and went back for my cleaning and despite the fact that I didn't go 2020, I returned late 2021 to see the dentist because I was one of those that was still a little bit scary.

[00:08:54] Maya Acosta:I was told that. I did not have as much tartar or plaque on my teeth for someone who didn't have regular cleanings during that time. So I didn't know what to say. Part of me was like, could it be the foods that I eat? Could it be that I don't consume animal-based products, that my teeth are a little bit healthier?

[00:09:11] Maya Acosta:I don't know if you wanna speak to that and also briefly tell us, you know, what was your experience like during the pandemic?

[00:09:17] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:Yeah, I know. First address the pandemic. So thankfully in dentistry we're, we've pretty much accustomed to keeping proper protective, you know, mask, gloves. We basically treat everyone as if we don't wanna cross-contaminate.

[00:09:35] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:We don't wanna get our patients sick, we don't wanna get ourselves sick, and so, With the pandemic hitting. I know even though we were really good about wiping down wearing masks, wearing protective barriers, it was tough. Maya, in terms of like, now we had to wear these N95s with. These big shields and these piece suit-looking gowns.

[00:10:00] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:We still saw patients a little bit, but it was more so we cut back on a lot of the procedures that caused aerosols. For example, when we do fillings, our handpieces cause a lot of aerosols, and that spreads in the air, and it stay. It can potentially stay in the air for a while. And if there are any, you know, viruses in those particles.

[00:10:22] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:Someone definitely can get sick by just walking through that mist of, uh, particles. And so we stopped doing those procedures and we just limited it to emergency exams. Patients who came up with pain and swelling, of course, we would wanna alleviate those. We don't. Want it to become a life-threatening situation.

[00:10:42] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:And so if we have to do a tooth removal at that point, just to make sure, just to get that infection out of the body, put, you know, put them on antibiotics if needed. So during the pandemic, I would say for the first several months we were very slow, only because we had to just focus on emergency patients and that in the grand scheme of things, if you can imagine all these fillings, all these cleanings, for a while we weren't even doing cleanings.

[00:11:11] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:We slowly. got back into it, but we weren't polishing because polishing the teeth can also cause aerosols. And so the hygienists were doing everything via hand scaling where they just kind of use an instrument and, you know, clean the teeth with hand instruments rather than using actual polishers to, to do so.

[00:11:30] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:So that led to a backlog of procedures. And like you said, a lot of patients, when eventually. , even when patients came in as emergency patients and after when things started opening up a little bit, we saw. Many, many, many patients with heavier plaque cavities went through the roof. I think people, because they weren't, some people weren't going to work or school, and so that lack of routine, I definitely saw a difference in people becoming a little bit lazier with their home.

[00:12:06] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:They admitted, you know, I'm at home all day. I don't have to go out and talk with people. I'm not brushing my teeth as often. I'm not flossing food-wise too, to address that. Uh, Maya, you're right. Food has a lot to do with the way that, I guess, the health of our teeth. My particular population that I work with is more prone to cavities because of the diet.

[00:12:31] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:And so you touched up on your plant-based diet. It's true if you're on a whole food, plant-based diet, you're not consuming some of those foods that are high-end starches. Simple starches is what I'm talking about. Uh, foods that are higher in sugars, for instance, a lot of my patients do like processed breads and crackers.

[00:12:52] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:Parents don't realize, you know, I give goldfish crackers. They're not full of sugar, but I educate my parents that even simple starches can quickly turn into sugar, which bad bacteria love to feast on. And that fuzzy, you know, that fuzzy stuff that's on your teeth after you eat something sugary. or starchy, that's actually plaque that builds on the teeth from eating those foods that the bad bacteria like to feast on.

[00:13:19] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:But Maya, since you're more of a, you eat plant-based foods, you eat whole foods, vegetables, those things that they don't feed bad bacteria. And so, which is why you don't have that plaque that other people might have if they're eating a star tea or sugary foods. 

[00:13:36] Maya Acosta:Wow. So I wondered, but I didn't wanna tell the dentist, you know, I didn't wanna say I'm plant-based, and this is what I eat. I mean, especially when we take in a lot of salads. You were just talking about balancing the acidity that touches our enamel, and you suggested eating green leafy vegetables to kind of probably help. Alkalizer or balance that pH level. So I'm assuming that if a lot of us are eating more raw foods that are like salads and greens, then that is probably helping to protect our teeth.

[00:14:07] Maya Acosta:And so I was actually surprised because I, you know, how many of us are not embarrassed to go to the dentist? And it's like exposing ourselves. We can't lie about not flossing and brushing our teeth regularly. It's pretty obvious, I think, to dentist. So I did expect a heavy, heavy cleaning to take place, but she was just like, wow, you've done pretty good for not having been here for a year.

[00:14:30] Maya Acosta:Keep doing whatever you're doing. You're doing it right. And I thought, oh my God, really? Like I've never heard anyone tell me that. So it could be what I'm eating, but of course, I know that I have to keep up with regular cleaning as well. Thank you for sharing that, Dr. Ann. That's good stuff. I'm really, really excited about what 2020 brought into your life.

[00:14:51] Maya Acosta:You like many people had to make changes in your life and as a result, you developed Happi Hippo Plant Organics. And this is the main topic that I wanted to focus on for this episode. So I'd love for you to share with our listeners how you develop your business because I now consider you a vegan.

[00:15:12] Maya Acosta:Entrepreneur, and you have come a long way from the time that we last interviewed and when you had just started your, you know, releasing some of your products. So please tell us about Happi Hippo Plant Organics. 

[00:15:24] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:Yes, as you know, I started in 2020, but it's interestingly, enough that it started during the pandemic when our clinic did shut down for a few weeks, and during those several months I told you about where we were kind of slowing things down and only seeing emergency patients.

[00:15:42] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:Well, management divided our teams into A and B teams where we would actually rotate to go into work every other week because there wasn't a work to do. Um, I mean, we weren't doing the normal procedures we were doing and so that, interestingly enough, I developed a painful rash around my face around that time when everything started, and I assumed it was because of the N95 masks that I was wearing.

[00:16:14] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:I even sought help from a dermatologist put on different medications and nothing worked. Long story short, it turned out that my adverse reaction was actually from a stir bot Lip Balm, and I, unfortunately, due to the long list of ingredients, I just could not pinpoint the ingredient that was causing this reaction, so, mm-hmm.

[00:16:38] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:I decided to make my own lip balm at home using. Very minimal plant-based ingredients and lo and behold, my skin cleared up. I'm like, oh my gosh, this is so fun. Well, around that time, my youngest sister also got laid off, and you know, I was just making different products. I'm like, oh my gosh. Why don't I just make this a brand?

[00:17:02] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:This is so cool. This is fun. I love this. And so I took that time, thankfully. It was just great timing, Maya. Yeah, just being able to have that time during the pandemic. I had the time to just do my research, my first website. I built by, by myself, the logo, the branding, the demographics, my target market, all those things I just wrote down.

[00:17:22] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:I, I have this little journal that I just brainstormed every morning after I did my quiet time. I would just write out all my ideas and then, um, started just researching them. And then I built Happi Hippo Plant Organics.

[00:17:37] Maya Acosta:I love it. And at that time, you sent me a few samples. So you sent me the actual lip balm, and at the time there were about three flavor sob varieties, and then the toothbrushes that are ba made out of bamboo.

[00:17:51] Maya Acosta:And you, by the way, taken into consideration the sustainability, the packaging. Because you want your products to be earth friendly. And then I started to see you added more and more products. So this is incredible because I thought it would be a lot of fun to have you on the podcast, showcase some of your products as potential stocking stuffers, you know, gifts for the holidays.

[00:18:15] Maya Acosta:So from the last time that you were on the show. You have now expanded. So tell us what else, because before it was dental care, what else is part of Happi Hippo? 

[00:18:25] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:I would say Happi Hippo Plant Organics is an eco-friendly, all-natural, non-toxic dental and body care company now. I'm holding up a case of all my lip balm scents.

[00:18:39] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:Now I know you're right. I started out with three flavors. Now I have many, and these have been really fun. They are contained in biodegradable tubes like this one, so they're actually backyard compostable. When you're done with them, you can actually throw it in your compost bin in the backyard. They will biodegrade over time.

[00:18:59] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:Worms love these, and the way that you use them is that instead of the twisting mechanism on the plastic lip balm tubes, you twist off the cap like this and then you push up like a push pop. And so you, instead of twisting it, you just push it up and you use it that way and you can push it back down like that and recap it.

[00:19:21] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:Mm-hmm. , um, besides lip balms, like you said, Maya? Yes. The dental things that I have right now are natural toothpaste, tablets. I'm holding up these three flavors that I have. I have natural, peppermint, cinnamon, and strawberry, and they're flavored with natural minimal ingredients. They look like these little tablets here, and so what you actually do because they don't have water, you can take them with you camping.

[00:19:52] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:You can take 'em on the airplane. You don't have to worry regulations because there's no water. And so you can, very easy. And the packaging now is also a backyard compostable. Like I said, if you're camping, you don't have to worry about littering because these will literally just bow degrade over time.

[00:20:09] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:And so you crunch these up a few times, and then you brush it, and it plums in your mouth. Uh, just like regular toothpaste. Earlier I had mentioned some of the ingredient. Well, actually, let me go back to ingredients in the in foods you want, Maya; you'd mentioned plant-based diet. Well, a lot of those foods contain natural calcium and phosphorus, which are minerals that are really important to strengthening our teeth.

[00:20:38] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:And so my toothpaste tablets have, uh, natural sources of calcium and phosphates, which will help strengthen teeth, and then it also has baking soda, which helps neutralize teeth. So Maya, when you talked about your teeth being healthier than some people who do eat certain foods, so with the plant-based diet, those foods do, many of them are generally higher in calcium and phosphorus.

[00:21:07] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:Phosphates, in general, they're very important minerals because these minerals help to strengthen and rebuild teeth. Foods such as lentils, greens, even broccoli, cauliflower. Those have great source of calcium phosphorus. Same with my toothpaste tablets, which is why, um, even though there are minimal ingredients, I do.

[00:21:31] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:Natural sources of calcium and phosphates, which help strengthen teeth. And then the pH I was talking to you about earlier, I have baking soda in the toothpaste, which helps to re-neutralize our dentin and enamel. They don't have fluoride in them, but there are other ingredients that have scientifically proven to help strengthen teeth naturally.

[00:21:56] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:Some other products I'll just kind of quickly go over are some bath soaks. My popular items right now are lotion bars. They are also contained in biodegradable jars. They're shaped like flowers, and so they definitely make great gifts of this one is a rose lotion bar, and it actually has rose petals and them, and so they're fun.

[00:22:17] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:One more thing I'll show you guys really quickly is this gift set. So I do have options for customization on my website. I. Soaps. I have lip bums, butters, so all different kinds of things on my website. I do make the body care items myself in my kitchen. Of course, the other things, such as the toothbrushes, um, I have a factory that makes them for me.

[00:22:43] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:But other than that, I really have. A lot of fun making these for, for people. 

[00:22:47] Maya Acosta:That is impressive. Oh my God, where to start this is wonderful. I wanna add, as you were showcasing your products, now that I think I've shared with you that I have a lot of sensitivities when it comes to what I put on my skin and fragrances.

[00:23:03] Maya Acosta:I once heard that there's a small. People in the population that are highly, highly sensitive, and it's not known why? It's almost labeled like a condition that I can't light candles, I can't wear perfumes, I can't spray aerosols, like you were talking about aerosols, just like certain sprays in the house.

[00:23:21] Maya Acosta:Can't use chemicals because I get extreme headaches, and my skin is highly, highly sensitive in terms of what I put on my. so many, many years ago, I started looking into alternative and more organic, healthier, uh, products, which is why I really like your company. And I'm assuming that not only many people may have some sensitivities, but may also wanna consider what they put in their mouth what they put on their skin because we know that we absorb all of that.

[00:23:49] Maya Acosta:Your lip balm. Came very handy to me when I realized that as a podcaster, you can see this, I'm always sipping on water. Mm-hmm. , because my mouth does get dry from talking. Mm-hmm. and my lips get dry from that. And I didn't know until I started doing the research that there are lip bones and other lipsticks and other products that we put on our skin, on our face, on our lips that actually are not only bad for the environment but bad for our health.

[00:24:19] Maya Acosta:Because, like I said, we absorb a lot of that. I'm thankful that you have these alternative products, and I'm excited to hear that you have your tablets. Mm-hmm. . And I wanna tell you how I know about these tablets. So when my husband and I travel, and we're starting to travel a lot more, again, we each pack our toilet tree bags, and we each ask each other.

[00:24:39] Maya Acosta:Who's taken the toothpaste because, as you know, the toothpaste is huge and the little small ones travel size are useless because you know, Dr. Ann, we brush our teeth a lot more than what the little travel size toothpaste offers. Mm-hmm. . And so usually one of us will take the bulky toothpaste with us, and I like the ones that don't have any.

[00:25:02] Maya Acosta:What is that one product I. Believe it. Just, uh, fluoride. So I don't use fluoride. I've done that for years. And then I learned about these tablets, and I picked up some from a local store, and I was disappointed in the sense that these particular tablets were very hard to chew. Mm-hmm. . And when I would take a little bit of water just to kind of help lather, they were not as effective as I thought.

[00:25:25] Maya Acosta:They didn't really. Toothpaste. Tell us how your product works and how you recommend the tablets be used. And by the way, I like 'em because, like you said, they're easy to travel with. So you can put 'em in a little bag or a little container or however, whatever is best for you. Mm-hmm. . And there you're ready to pack and travel.

[00:25:42] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:Right. Yeah. So you mentioned the being more holistic. I would agree with you. My journey becoming plant-based as I did my research on the benefits of how it not only benefits our bodies. It's better for the environment, and so when I built my brand Maya, I wanted it to address three main problems. The first problem being I wanted it to have minimal ingredients that were hypoallergenic, meaning.

[00:26:15] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:They contain ingredients that are not commonly, they don't commonly cause reactions in people, and I definitely steer away from any synthetic fragrances, dyes, chemicals. I do use essential oils, organic essential oils. Um, I use a brand that is actually certified organic and vegan cruelty-free. And I use food extracts that are, are food.

[00:26:44] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:And so, so that being the first problem I wanted to address. And then the, the second problem is making sure it's better for the environment. And then the third problem is I learning how different industries treat animals. I wanted to make sure it's gonna be vegan and animal cruelty-free. So, um.

[00:27:06] Maya Acosta:Yeah, first I commented on those, uh, sensitivities that I had, and then I asked about your tablets and how you recommend people use them.

[00:27:14] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:Okay, yes. With the toothpaste, tablets, because they're waterless like you said, Maya, we can take these to travel anywhere. You can take 'em camping. You don't have to worry about the packaging because they'll file degrade if you accidentally leave them behind. But, um, the way that you use it, you take a little tablet.

[00:27:36] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:You put it in your mouth, you crunch it a few times. It is solid, but it's not; I mean, it does have like a soft crunch to it. I wouldn't say it's like a, it's not like those mints where, you know, you crunch, and they just don't dissolve. It's kinda like a, I don't know if that makes sense. Like a soft crunch kind of like it's, yeah.

[00:27:55] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:Um, so you, you wanna keep him away from moisture because if you, if they do contact water, they can become mushy. They still can be usable, but yeah. Anyway, so you put them in your mouth, you wet your toothbrush, crunch them a few times. You brush, brush, brush, brush. And it's actually, um, the combination of the baking soda an a natural ingredient called Quillaja Saponaria, I don't know how to say it very well.

[00:28:20] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:Let me do this again. Okay. Quillaja Saponaria Extract. and baking soda. Those two ingredients actually help cause the foam in the mouth. So really easy. It does take time to get used to some people like them. Some people it's weird for some people, cuz it's, many of us are used to the paste, you know? But for me, I, I love them.

[00:28:45] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:And for some people they, once they go back, they, they, they use this, and they won't go back. But again, it just depends on the person.

[00:28:53] Maya Acosta:Now you talked about another product that I'm interested in, and this is the lotion bars. Mm-hmm. , and I have this ritual every single evening because I, I learned a little bit about reflexology and those pressure points on the feet, and as well as the hands.

[00:29:08] Maya Acosta:Mm-hmm. , I just have this ritual that I've done for many years, that I'll sit and relax at the end of the day, and I put a little lotion on my feet, and I pressure points, and I massage my feet, and then I do my hands and so and so when I'm thinking that's the hardest thing to travel with, Dr. Ann Lotion.

[00:29:27] Maya Acosta:Mm-hmm. , because you run the risk of lotion exploding or, you know, the, from the pressure in the plane. So there's all of that hassle. And, of course, I always have to have lotion after a good shower. Um, yours are, you said they're lotion bars? Mm-hmm. and I've never seen those.

[00:29:45] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:Yeah. So, um, let me open one up. So again, they're in these biodegradable paper jars, and it's lotion in solid form. And yeah, so this is what it looks like. This is the, the lavender one. It's wrapped up in a vegan waxed. So this is what it's shaped in a flower. And you can see it have little lavender flowers in there. But yeah, it, it has a higher beautiful, it has a higher, um, I put a, a tiny bit of canal wax, which is a Wax and mm-hmm.

[00:30:23] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:It has only just a few ingredients, um, depending on which flavor or which scent you get, the lavender just contains, uh, can wax, she butter, coconut oil, and lavender oil and blossoms. And so what you do is you kind of melt it in your fingers, in between your fingers, a little bit. You pinch a piece off, or you can actually take the whole thing and just kind of, you know, put it in your skin for a little bit, let that warm up, and then you just kind of apply it.

[00:30:52] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:And so it goes on really smoothly. Um, it's great for people with dry skin initially. Um, you definitely, you definitely wanna keep it out of the hot sun, though. You, you know, it's, you don't have to worry about it exploding in the airplane. Um, but yeah, I would say as long as you keep it out of the hot sun, it is such a great essential to take with you to traveling as well or to use at home.

[00:31:16] Maya Acosta:Yes. Uh, that's exactly why I think, um, because you've taken such consideration and into how you package mm-hmm. and, and how you lay out all of your products, I think they would be beautiful gifts for anyone who's just interested in trying something.

[00:31:30] Maya Acosta:That's a little bit, um, first of all, not only cleaner product but supporting a small business, I think, is very important. Sometimes we get into this routine of picking up. Nearest closest to us, our local pharmacies and stores, and we forget that there are people that are creating great products from their home.

[00:31:50] Maya Acosta:And so I really like what you're about and what you've been doing, and I was impressed because I follow you on social media. And by the way, I've been highlighting. The importance of brand awareness. Mm-hmm. and why it's important to have a presence online. And I wanna say more specifically Instagram because I'm, I'm a huge user of Instagram.

[00:32:12] Maya Acosta:But that's a great way that you've been showing us what's been going on with Happi Hippo Plant Organics. Tell us about some of the things that you've been doing in terms of where your product is now located in terms of the physical stores and how you've been highlighted. Now I've seen you. in magazines I've seen you be involved in, what would you call that?

[00:32:34] Maya Acosta:Like a contest to be featured. There are all these things that you're now involved in.

[00:32:40] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:I would say it's been so fun. I, you're right. With my company, it has come a long ways. I am so humbled and. Very excited that my brand has carried in over 40 stores nationwide. I do believe a lot of businesses and just people, in general, have been so supportive of small women-owned businesses.

[00:33:04] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:Um, I definitely take pride in taking a percentage of sales. Um, so all my customers are part of what I do for, in terms of, um, giving back. And, and people seem to really jive with that, and they agree with that. So percent percentage of sales go back to planting trees, other environmental causes, animal welfare causes, as well as humanitarian ones.

[00:33:29] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:And so I feel like a lot of people and business. Just love that. And so, yeah, so now I'm in 40 stores. I do have my own website and Etsy shop as well, where people are constantly purchasing from that as well. And I think, um, having a presence on Instagram helps. I've been featured in several different magazines, including Ask Us Beauty, a magazine which.

[00:33:55] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:So honored and humbled to come for, because I get to be on a team of other doctors and beauty experts and just talk about, um, how, how this brand helps contribute to, you know, um, the value of other people. Because I not only want to give out products that are safer for humans. The planet, but I also want to give value by educating my patients and customers on just overall wellness, you know, with oral health, uh, diet and all those different things.

[00:34:32] Maya Acosta:Well, I am impressed. It's wonderful to see how you've grown. Now in terms of the physical stores, the brick and mortars, where are you found, you said 40 stores nationwide.

[00:34:44] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:Um, so I have local stores in here, in Northern California. I'm in Safe Mart, which is a, a pretty large store. Most of the other stores I'm in are privately owned, like natural food stores.

[00:35:00] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:I'm in, like, a grocery store called Sunrise Grocery store. If you wanna know the whole list. My shops are listed on my website where if you were in Florida, I have a couple of sustainable shops. They're actually called Refilleries, where you actually can go and buy, let's say, soap. From, you know, you can use your own container, and they have these big dispensers where you can get the soaps from.

[00:35:26] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:So yeah, I would say most of my businesses that carry my brand, yes. Aside from the few larger grocery stores, most are natural food stores or sustainable refiller shops.

[00:35:39] Maya Acosta:Oh, this is wonderful. It's so exciting. I'm gonna check out the ones in Florida so that the next time I'm in Florida, I can look for your product as well.

[00:35:48] Maya Acosta:You know, this is a lot of fun, so I like the things that you stand for. So you said, I just kind of wanna reiterate that one of the first things that you took and to consideration is the exact the ingredients that went into your products so that you can avoid those allergens, the things that affect people's skins.

[00:36:06] Maya Acosta:I was talking about how I just can't have a lot of heavy perfumes, and you avoid synthetic, uh, ingredients, especially. We know that a lot of synthetic perfumes are added to all sorts of products, personal care, and household products. And so yours are food grade, so your essential oils, that's one way that you help to fragrant or add fragrance to your products.

[00:36:31] Maya Acosta:Mm-hmm. . And then number two, you took into consideration. The planet, our environment. So the sustainability portion of it is very important to you. And I love your packaging. I don't know if it's changed much from the first time you sent me a box, but I could see that that was definitely, and by the way, I wanna mention that your toothbrushes are biodegradable.

[00:36:53] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:Oh yes. Thank you for bringing that up. Yes. So these are my toothbrushes. Children's toothbrushes as well as adult ones, one in soft and one in extra soft. The shaft of the toothbrush, which is this part here, is made of bamboo, but my bristles, I will say they are made of nylon, which is not biodegradable.

[00:37:16] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:There are other biodegradable options; however, as a dentist, Those other options are not viable. They're not. I mean, for me, I told you guys about how our enamel can erode with acids, but they can also erode with certain materials. And so some of these materials is made of bore hair or other things that are actually porous and very abrasive to the teeth, which is why at this time, the nylon bristles are not biodegradable.

[00:37:46] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:But I'm definitely constantly looking into. Different options. If it's something better, I will use that because I wanna make sure, you know, I have the best for people and the planet in mind. But yeah, if you wanna compost these, you just remove the bristles, and then you throw the bamboo shaft into your compost bin or reuse them for your garden.

[00:38:06] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:You can use these as labels. But yeah, for the most part, they are far degradable. 

[00:38:11] Maya Acosta:That is so cool. And how long does a bamboo toothbrush last? Well, the bristles itself. Mm-hmm. . And I wanna add to what you just said, is that we tend to think that heavy brushing will do the job, but that's causing damage, is what you're saying, correct?

[00:38:26] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:Yes. A huge misconception and I'm guilty of it as well. It actually wasn't until I entered dental school that I realized that all these years, I had been brushing too aggressively, and my mom would buy us. Medium toothbrushes. And so what happened is I developed a gum recession where, um, I had been permanently brushing away both my gums and my teeth.

[00:38:53] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:And so a dentist recommend using a soft. Bristle toothbrush. You actually, as long as you're brushing your teeth on a regular basis, friends, you do not need to apply a lot of pressure. You just need gentle pressure, you know? Mm-hmm. along those, you know, if you're doing it on a consistent basis just like this, you will be able to remove the plaque debris very successfully. So, yeah. Um, mm-hmm. . Good point Maya.

[00:39:18] Maya Acosta:That's a good point. And when I think of the nails, you know, you get a manicure, and when there's filing happening, the cuticles are affected. And that's that thin layer of skin. Mm-hmm. . So if that happens to our cuticles when we're having a manicure, imagine the gum line from the aggressive brushing.

[00:39:36] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:Right, right. And you know what, I like that you bring up nails because when we file the nails, nails can grow back. . But our enamel, unfortunately, it strengthens to an extent, but it doesn't grow back the same way our nails do. It's yes, nothing like that at all. , right? I like your analogy about the cuticle thing. 

[00:39:54] Maya Acosta:Right. Thanks for correcting me in that, or at least, um, making that point. I did ask how long does a bamboo, the bristles on that bamboo toothbrush last, like, how often should we replace our toothbrush.

[00:40:08] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:Ooh, great question. So as a dentist, I recommend that we change out our toothbrushes every three months. Why? Because over time, our bristles fray and they cause the bristles not to be as effective.

[00:40:26] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:Um, and not only that, but it's the yuck factor called bacteria. Ew. As we all know, bacteria. They grow and grow. And so if you can imagine, gosh, if you've had a toothbrush for a year, think of what's growing on that toothbrush. It's, it's pretty yucky. So, so yeah, it's, it's for safety reasons, health reasons because you wanna make sure you have a, a fresh toothbrush.

[00:40:49] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:Make sure when you store your toothbrushes, store them upright. Some people store them laying down next to the bathtub. You wanna keep them as dry as possible because moisture bacteria loves moisture. So make sure you store them upright. A really another good tip to help, um, keep your, keep brushes cleaner. But yeah, every three months, Maya. Change 'em out.

[00:41:10] Maya Acosta:Yeah. Great stuff. And then I was adding, to your point, the third point, before I forget. So we talked about how important it was for you to have, um, hypoallergenic, I never say that right, but hypoallergenic products. The first point was that we were talking about was just you took into, into consideration the ingredients to make sure that they, um, are natural and not of allergen that do not cause allergic reactions to the skin. And then, of course, we just talked about, um, better for the environment. And then, finally, I like that all your products are vegan and cruelty-free. Mm-hmm. . So I really appreciate that Dr. Ann, because a lot of times, like, we just have this mentality, and I don't know if it's how.

[00:41:52] Maya Acosta:things are mass manufactured now that the easiest thing to do is the cheapest. The cheapest and the easiest thing to do is to use animal byproducts or some something that involves animals. And you've shown with your product line that's not necessary. Mm-hmm. , you don't have to involve animals. In the process of creating healthy and really effective products for your skin, for your lips, your toothbrushes, and your toothpaste can all be cruelty-free, and for those of us that are ethical vegans, that's really important to us.

[00:42:24] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:I just wanted to bring this one point really quickly too, in addition to being plant-based, because many of these plant-based ingredients like cocoa butter, shea butter, they're naturally high in antioxidants. So when you mentioned it's good for your skin, yeah.

[00:42:40] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:It's naturally reversing aging, you know, and a lot of other products that contain petroleum which is oil-based. It's like, well, you know, petroleum, that's not really great for the environment, but that lux in moisture, whereas these other ingredients add moisture. So anyway, I just wanted to, since you mentioned yes, that it's good for the skin thing, I was like, oh yeah, the antioxidant factor is huge.

[00:43:04] Maya Acosta:That is true. Thank you. And so before we move on to, as we're wrapping things up, we're gonna, The rapid-fire questions, Okay. That you answer quickly. It just allows us to kind of lighten the conversation, but also, we get to know you a little bit better. Before we do that, I wanna make sure that you are offering our listeners a discount.

[00:43:22] Maya Acosta:Mm-hmm. . So we'll add a link to the actual website, and then please tell us about, there's like a coupon code that people can use. How much is that for? And what is the code?

[00:43:32] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:Yes, I would love to offer our listeners a 15% discount code. The code is H as in Henry, L as in Larry, S as in Sam, 15, and it's good for both my website and Etsy shop.

[00:43:47] Maya Acosta:Ooh, that's right. I need to make sure I add your Etsy shop link as well. I'm so excited that you're on that platform too, on the app. Thank you. . Awesome. Thank you, Dr. Ann, for this discount, and I really encourage everyone to go out, give this product a try. Happi Hippo Plant Organics, or consider gifting, uh, gift.

[00:44:06] Maya Acosta:You have these, what did you call 'em, like gift packages. You know, consider buying a gift, you know, for someone that you love. Just introducing them to a new product. Okay, Dr. Ann, are you ready for a couple of questions? Yes, I am. Okay, awesome. And you can feel free to answer them quickly or to elaborate.

[00:44:23] Maya Acosta:Okay. Just another way of getting to know you. All right. So this is a fun question to ask because everybody has their routine first thing in the morning, and God knows I go straight to work like I'm working. As soon as I wake up, I have my coffee, which is not good for my teeth, but okay. So when you wake up in the morning, what is your number one priority?

[00:44:43] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:I love to start my day with reading a passage in the Bible and really meditating on what it means. For example, this morning, I read in Proverbs nine, and the part that really stuck out to me today this morning was basically it said, give instruction to a wise man, and they will become wiser. Correct. A wise man, and he will love you.

[00:45:12] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:And so the point of, of that, how I took it is that Life is lifelong learning. I don't ever wanna feel comfortable or become prideful of feeling that I think I know everything. I definitely welcome. I love it when my customers or my coworkers tell me, Hey. Maybe you should do this differently, or, you know, I just love feedback.

[00:45:35] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:I really do believe life is about growing. And so I also, in addition to meditating on a passage, um, I will just list out all the things I'm grateful, just like, Lord, I'm thankful for you, Maya, for being, you know, spending time with you on this podcast. I, I also pray for people and situations that come to heart, and so when I put my mind and make that my focus for the morning.

[00:45:59] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:It helps really set the outlook for the rest of my day and to be more intentional and more grateful. 

[00:46:07] Maya Acosta:Yeah. So, oh, that's so beautiful. Thank you for sharing that. I know that your faith is so important. I'm a Christian too. I think I've shared that with you. Mm-hmm. , and I love that is truly a driving force for everything that you're doing because I really believe that God has really kept you and has opened up so many doors for you, and I'm, I'm just so happy for you. Oh, thank you so much, Maya. Okay, here's the other question. Now, I didn't see you highlight this one in blue, cuz some of you did highlight in blue, so I wasn't sure. But you wrote in debt about this.

[00:46:37] Maya Acosta:I asked because I cannot imagine what it's like to be an entrepreneur, to develop a company from scratch. Mm-hmm. . So I asked, what is the hardest thing about starting the Happi Hippo?

[00:46:48] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:Yeah. The hardest thing about starting this company is not knowing what I was doing, and so I would say it's the trial and error. I made many mistakes, some of 'em very costly, and I, gosh, Maya, I do tend when I'm passionate about something.

[00:47:08] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:Thankfully, my husband kind of kind of reminds me, Hey Ann, maybe you might wanna, you know, hold back a a few, not just here. I'll give you an example. When I wanted to make labels for my lip balms, I knew what my logo wanted to be. However, I didn't really consider, you know, like the color schemes and maybe like certain wording on my labels, and so I ended up making like thousands of these labels playing, like putting so much money into these.

[00:47:39] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:When they came back, I'm like, oh shoot, I got really happy with these because, in the long run, I wanted to reduce the price point of each label, but then because I acted out in. An excited, unwise rush. I ended up throwing a lot of money out the window, so friends, yeah, I would definitely recommend going. In retrospect, I would've probably paid a little bit more per label, knowing that I was satisfied with those before I spent thousands of dollars with labels, right? Yeah.

[00:48:11] Maya Acosta:So do you, I was gonna say that's an expensive lesson, but no. Does it help to be, I don't know if you are in a group, but does it help to be in a group of entrepreneurs who are sort of at the same level of learning or being in a group of where you can be mentored or mentoring in business?

[00:48:33] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:  Yeah. No Maya, that is such a great question because for the first year, Maya, I did everything myself, and I feel like, I know, actually, I know if I would've had the mentors and the women business. Um, so right now, I'm a part of women-owned business groups, lots of other programs that are out there for free.

[00:48:54] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:I would've saved myself so much grief and mistakes. But yes, it is so important to have mentors, to guide, and for people who've kind of, it's good to have people in kind of like in your level who are doing it with you because things can get discouraging and just knowing that someone else understands.

[00:49:14] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:Makes it helpful, but then also to have big sisters and big brothers, I guess, in a sense that they've been doing it for a little bit longer, and many people I've found are so willing and so happy to be my teachers in that way. And likewise, now I find myself mentoring people who are starting out, and so it's the small business community is awesome. So I definitely highly recommend doing that if you're gonna start a business.

[00:49:39] Maya Acosta:Absolutely. I'm becoming more and more passionate about supporting small businesses, even in my own area, so I'm partnering with a local business. She has these delicious and very healthy, organic, no added sugar, plant-based snacks that are like COA bites and also date truffles.

[00:49:56] Maya Acosta:And yeah. And so we're doing an event at her location because I need the venue, and she could use the promotion to bring people into her store. And I love that idea of doing that instead of going to a commercial place, doesn't need our help. But then, also, we're supporting one another because we're vegan, right?

[00:50:16] Maya Acosta:So we have sort of a similar mission. So speaking of good things and, you know, things that have happened this year, what would you tell us is the best thing that has happened for you this year? 

[00:50:29] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:I'm so grateful for so many things, Maya, but I would say something that sticks out. To me is, I mentioned it earlier, is becoming an ask us beauty partner.

[00:50:39] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:Mm-hmm. , they have a magazine and a podcast, and so I get to be on a team of other doctors and beauty experts, and so it's like, wow, my stuff has to be in a magazine. I'm like, I can't believe it. It's just something, I don't know what it is. It's just something Seeing your baby. Yes. In media or on the news, or in magazines.

[00:50:57] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:It's so crazy. I still can't believe it to this day. It's amazing. And then I was a winner for a regional pitch competition. I honestly had never done it before. It was my first one ever. I submitted a video, and I just was honest about. The mission behind my brand and I actually was a winner, and I received grant money for it as well as a year's worth of business training. So that's pretty cool. Oh, really fun. 

[00:51:26] Maya Acosta:That is a dream right there. One year of business training. Mm-hmm. to take you to the next level. Oh my goodness. That's wonderful. Okay, thank you. A couple of other questions cuz I know you've given me so much time already. I was wondering, I, we talked about food in the past, and we did a live demo that I'm gonna send people to where you taught me how to do these delicious spring rolls.

[00:51:48] Maya Acosta:I wanted to ask you if you still have some, a favorite meal, and it looks like it's, it might be what we did together. So tell my listeners, what do you enjoy? What is your favorite?

[00:51:58] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:I loved doing that cooking show with you, Maya, a while back. My favorite meal to this day is still spring rolls, hands down, or any variation of it.

[00:52:10] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:I'm Vietnamese. I grew up eating it, and when I say spring rolls, The cool thing is being plant-based. There are so many options, whether it be rice, paper wrap, or lettuce wraps; whatever I have at home, I just roll it up, and it's so quick, so delicious. Key thing for me is the sauce. I make variations of peanut sauce, almond butter, sauce, daini sauce.

[00:52:35] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:You know, soy sauce, it's just amazing. It's, I don't get sick of it. I can eat it every day. 

[00:52:39] Maya Acosta:Same here. And as a matter of fact, I've been traveling lately, and I always go to the stores that I've never been to or try something new, and I'm always looking for some new product like I said, something that I normally don't have.

[00:52:52] Maya Acosta:And I found a package of, like, Smaller, you probably can't see this because of our video, but smaller spring rolls, wraps like the little ones. And I said, oh my God, I wonder if I can make a tiny one. Like so, I'm gonna send you a photo after we hang up so that you can see what I'm talking about. Oh yeah.

[00:53:09] Maya Acosta:Cause I have 'em in the pantry. Okay. So and then one last question and, and. I'm gonna ask this one because even though we work hard on taking care of our health, we do get sick from time to time. All of us do. And so I always wonder how what people do when they're feeling under the weather; what would you say is your routine?

[00:53:28] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:When I feel under the weather, I love sipping on hot teas. We have variations of many, many different teas. I would say my go-to would be camomile or peppermint tea. I love snuggling in my couch with my big, big, big heavy blanket and just watch just down-to-earth Funny movies such as Will Ferrell movies or Disney movies. Just lounging out on the couch.

[00:53:57] Maya Acosta:I love that. Oh my goodness. I'm so glad that not, you know, my husband's not a fan of Will Ferrell and the other day I put on Elf Again and because I love to laugh and I just, that child in me can identify with Will, you know, saying Santa Santa's here, you know, Oh gosh. Oh, are Santa's coming? Like, oh my God, I love his movies.

[00:54:22] Maya Acosta:This has been so much fun. Dr. Ann, I wanna put all your links in the show notes and, but again, I just wanna say if you have, I don't know if you have two separate websites, one for Happi Hippo Plan Organics and then one for yourself. But feel free to share whatever you'd like right now. Sure. Yeah. So I have two websites.

[00:54:40] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:One is the Etsy shop, so it's just um, Uh, four slash shop. Slash Happi with an I Hippo Organics, and then my website is happi with an I Hippo Plant Organics with an S at the end. So it's

[00:55:02] Maya Acosta:Well, Dr. Ann. Thank you so much for this time. I know that you stay busy, but it's so meaningful for me that you came on the show.

[00:55:09] Maya Acosta:Once again, I've been wanting to get you back on, and this is a great time of the year, so I'm gonna encourage my listeners to go to your links and purchase some of your products, and I know that they will really enjoy them. Thank you for joining me today. 

[00:55:21] Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung:Well, likewise. Thank you. It was such a pleasure. I always love hanging out with you, Maya

[00:55:26] Maya Acosta:Thank you. Let's recap my conversation with Dr. Ann. As always, I enjoy having her on the show, and I have so much fun speaking with her. So Dr. Ann is a dentist, entrepreneur, and founder of Happi Hippo Plant Organics. During the pandemic, as you know, a dentist always has to cover up. She began to notice that she had a rash on her face.

[00:55:47] Maya Acosta:And thought that perhaps it was due to her mask. Later on, she discovered that this painful rash was actually a allergic reaction to a lip balm that she had previously used. So no amount of medication actually took care of the problems. So she decided to create her own lip balm at home using plant-based ingredients, and with her sister's encouragement and in determination, she developed a business offering eco-friendly, natural, and non-toxic.

[00:56:16] Maya Acosta:Dental and body care products. From toothpaste, tablets to lotion bars to bath soaps. Dr. Ann puts her heart and soul into each product considering sustainability, packaging, and her customer's health. Whether you are looking for a gift or switching to cleaner products, you will wanna try out Happi Hippo Plant Organics.

[00:56:38] Maya Acosta:So I'm gonna add all the information so that you'll know where to go. And, like I said, she has an Etsy shop. About Happi Hippo Plant Organics. Their ingredients, products, and packaging are each thoughtfully selected and put together to be simple, clean, sustainable, and eco-friendly. So their motto is for a happy you and a happy planet.

[00:57:01] Maya Acosta:The company gives back to replenishing the planet by planting trees with a percentage of their proceeds. Dr. Ann took into consideration the environment, like I said, by offering eco-friendly ingredients and packaging. These are vegan-friendly and hypoallergenic products, and if you have sensitivities like I do, you will love these products.

[00:57:24] Maya Acosta:I mentioned the importance of supporting small businesses. One way to support small businesses is to shop locally. And buy products directly from small business owners. Additionally, when shopping from small business owners, uh, customers can better understand the products that they purchase. You can also shop them online like she has a couple of websites.

[00:57:46] Maya Acosta:Many small businesses have their websites and online stores where customers can shop from their homes. And Dr. Ann has an Etsy shop, and I'll add her link as well. So Dr. Ann is an example, an excellent example of how to give back to the community. It's organic and non-toxic products that prioritize the environment and animal welfare, and she also gives back by donating to planting trees to support the environment.

[00:58:13] Maya Acosta:I would love to hear from you guys. Tell me what you think about this episode, Dr. Ann. Is so much fun. We talked about how we also did a cooking show together, one episode that was a lot of fun. I'll see if I can link it as well. And my friends, I hope that you enjoy this episode, and let me know what you think about her products if you try 'em.

[00:58:33] Maya Acosta:Thanks again for being a listener. You've been listening to the Healthy Lifestyle Solutions podcast with your host Maya Acosta. If you've enjoyed this podcast, do us a favor and share with one friend who can benefit from this episode. Feel free to leave us an honest review on Apple Podcast that helps us to spread our message. Thanks for listening.