By Rachel Phillips
When the existing insect repellants on the market didn’t satisfy her needs, Gina Grillo decided to take matters into her own hands.
In 2008, after contracting and battling Lyme disease, Grillo discovered that there was no good, natural insect repellent on the market.
With newfound incentive, she decided to make one herself.
Grillo already had experience in producing and selling all-natural products, having established a business called Grillo’s Pillows & Specialties in 1996. Personal matters drew her away in the early 2000s. But her struggle to find a product that could safely and effectively protect people from insects and the diseases they carried inspired to her return to the fold.
After years of research, Grillo was able to relaunch and rebrand her business in 2016 under the name Grillo Essentials, with her natural insect repellent as the catalyst.
Grillo Essentials, based in Greenwich, now produces a range of all-natural insect repellant products that are available in both stores, and online. The name is a clever play on the word “essential,” referring not only to the oils used in many of her products, but also refers to the necessity of her products as protective agents against insects, and the basic need for self-care.