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T. Monique Hevener
T. Monique Hevener CitrisSan
T. Monique Hevener CitrisSan

I would like to introduce myself to you as the CEO and founder of CitrisSan®. I'm a native of Richmond, VA. Born and raised right here in the River City.  CitrisSan® was created out of a need for hand sanitizer in the community.  At the height of the pandemic, there was a shortage of hand sanitizer across the nation.  Frustrated and somewhat disappointed that we couldn't find hand sanitizer anywhere, aka (liquid gold), I decided to make my own.  And CitrisSan® was born.  I knew that if I was going to make hand sanitizer, it must be as close to natural as possible and because of my love for citrus fruits, it also had to smell like citrus.  So, I played around with different formulas and mixtures and failed many times.  There was a time I created an entire 5-gallon bucket of hand sanitizer and had to repurpose it for for tent weights by pouring it into 1-gallon jugs because the final product wasn't accurate.  The formula must be precise, as the FDA regulates hand sanitizer in the USA.  I was aiming for 60% ethyl alcohol to ensure that it was effective.  I had to figure out how to get the proper percentages of ethyl alcohol, isopropanol, and other ingredients to make sure it had the proper percentages.  So, after some research, I stumbled upon a tool called a hydrometer. A hydrometer measures density of a liquid and is a tool that most home-made brewers use to test the alcohol concentration in their home-made wines and beer.  I purchased a hydrometer,  Ph strips, petri dishes and other tools to make sure my product was effective in eliminating germs on the hands.  It took some time to get it right, and many, many, failed attempts, but I was determined. I refused to quit, I wouldn't give up, and after several months, I had the perfect formula. 

Then, I decided to sell my hand sanitizer at the local farmers market because I knew that there was a desperate need and I needed to reach people.  I stood up a booth, a tent, and a table.  I only had two products at that time, and only two hand sanitizer scents.  At the market, I sold quite a few; people loved the smell, the consistency, and the smoothness on their hands. Two years later, I have three signature hand sanitizer scents, bar soaps, bath bombs, hand creme', and citrus inspired soy candles.   

 

Introduction
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I have always been a science nut and in high school,  I placed first in the science fair.  The project I chose was plants. I had to determine if snails could survive without plants. So I placed snails, plants and sand in several jars of water and some jars without plants.  The assumption was that the snails in the jar with plants, sand, and water would live longer because the plants would be a source of food.  Well, surprisingly, the snails in the jars without plants lived the longest.  This project proved that snails didn't need plants to live and also snails were able to get nutrients from other sources.

 

​My dad was so proud of me on that day when I walked through the front door from school and told him I'd won the science fair.  I was one of only 2 black students in my entire High school in Waterboro, Maine, and I won.  I was happy too, and very proud of myself. I really didn't think I would win. I just knew that I had fun with the project and loved science.  I really didn't care if I'd won or not. 

​I know that if daddy were here today, he would be so proud of me.  He always encouraged me that no matter what I wanted to do, to put 110% effort into it, and that is exactly what I've done with CitrisSan®.  

 

Each batch of CitrisSan's® hand sanitizer is tested at an accredited laboratory for accurate alcohol percentages and also tested for the presence of methanol (wood alcohol) to ensure none is present in our product. 

College Affiliation 

UR Alumni  School of Professional & Continuing Studies 

University of Richmond 2010

Bachelor of Applied Studies Information Systems Technology 

 

Minor

Law and Technology