Jess Karam Oley and Brandon Karam were both born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. Their enormous Lebanese family and extended family are still prevalent in the city.
Jess attended elementary and middle school at St. Luke's Catholic School and she graduated high school from Texas Military Institute. Jess received her Bachelors of Science in Psychology at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. Immediately after her graduation, she headed back home to San Antonio to attend law school at St. Mary's University School of Law. Jess graduated with her J.D. from St. Mary's in 2003 and began working as a trial lawyer with her father, Richard Karam, who had an established practice in San Antonio. In 2006, Jess met her husband who lived in Dallas, Texas, and he recruited her to move to Dallas where they lived and raised their family from 2006 to 2018.
Brandon attended elementary school and middle school at St. George Episcopal in San Antonio. Brandon graduated high school from Tom C. Clark High School. Brandon attended Rice University for college and graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering. After college Brandon was accepted to George Washington University Law School and received his J.D. in 2010. Brandon worked Pro Bono for two non-profit organizations in Austin, Texas, the American Diabetes Association and the Rain Forest Partnership. In 2011 Brandon joined a large law firm in Austin, Texas, to practice Intellectual Property law. In 2013, Brandon had the opportunity within his law firm to move to Dallas, Texas, and continuing practicing law. It was Brandon's move to Dallas and a "welcome" dinner at Jess's house that set the wheels in motion for the creation of Pristine Sprays. Brandon and Jess left their bustling legal practices to build Pristine.
CREATION OF PRISTINE STORY (on website):
Jessica is a mom of three, which means that, at one time, she wiped four butts daily. She is essentially a butt wiping expert! Several years ago, her newborn daughter was suffering from severe diaper rash and skin irritation. She tried nearly every brand of diapers and wipes, but the problems persisted. Even the wipes labeled as "natural" would cause abrasions on her daughter's skin because the synthetic fabric in the wipes was rough. She consulted her pediatrician who said "ditch the wipes." So, she did. She was relegated to washing her daughter's bottom in the sink with warm water and mild soap after every poop! It worked, but this method was not sustainable for a busy mom.
To boot, her son (4 years old at the time) was learning to use the potty on his own. She had given him "flushable" wet wipes (as opposed to dry toilet paper) to help with the monumental task of wiping. But, he was flushing the wipes. And, guess what? They didn't flush, they clogged. After a flooded bathroom and yard, she ditched those wipes too. "I needed another option that did not contain harsh chemicals and that was friendly to my plumbing and the environment. I did not find any other wiping options that are easy and functional for a busy mom and a new potty user. But, I did find tens of thousands of other parents with the same issues!"
At the same time, Brandon was an adult wet wipe user. He didn't pick up the habit, he just . . . never really quit from childhood. One day, he developed a skin irritation. It persisted for some time until he realized it was his wipes. He too had to ditch the wipes, but the comforts that wipes provided were not easily forgotten. Brandon transitioned to wetting toilet paper and paper towels in the sink, something that every adult wipe user has begrudgingly tried in a pinch. Anyone who has tried this knows that it simply doesn't work, but there was no other option! He consulted with Jessica, the butt-wiping guru, and they were surprised to find that they both had similar issues with wipes, and they both needed an alternative.
"We found that there was no mainstream alternative to wet wipes. So we created one!"
They knew they wanted a spray solution that would work with toilet paper for Brandon and Jessica's son. But the spray also had to be gentle and work for diaper changes too. Jessica explains, "we were incredibly selective with the ingredients we chose. I am a self-proclaimed naturalist and a diligent label reader, and I have a laundry list of ingredients that I absolutely will not use on me or my family. We approached the creation of Pristine the same way when choosing ingredients. We chose only the highest quality and most natural ingredients that we had thoroughly researched and deemed safe for ourselves and my kids."
They created and tested hundreds of different formulas, literally mixing batches in their kitchens with hair nets, beakers, and boiling pots of water. After months of R&D and testing, they developed a spray formula that is effective enough for a grown man's rear-end and gentle enough for a baby. Pristine is now proudly manufactured in the United States.
Since the inception of Pristine, Brandon is happy to report that he can maintain his superior personal hygiene habits by discretely carrying a bottle of Pristine in his pocket, and he has not had another bout with skin irritation.
Jessica is thrilled to announce that her daughter has not had even one instance of rash or skin irritation since she began using Pristine several years ago. She now has a new baby girl. "I only use Pristine to change her diapers, and she has NEVER had a rash or skin irritation!" Jessica's son is now an expert butt wiper - no more itchy, stinky rear-end, and no more skidmarks on his undies!
Sure, conversations about poop, the potty, and wiping can be uncomfortable and embarrassing, but Brandon and Jessica are unabashedly excited to share their experiences and product. Brandon, says, laughing, "is it weird that we are super proud of our butt cleansing spray? To the world of adult wet wipe users, parents, and kids, we've got your back...side!"
WHERE IS PRISTINE NOW:
Since its inception, Pristine has been head quartered in Dallas, Texas. However, being San Antonio natives Brandon and Jess wanted to move their business to San Antonio. “San Antonio is home for us, and it is exploding with opportunities for small businesses.” They made the move official in December 2018.
Both Brandon and Jess are elated to be back home and operating the Pristine headquarters from their hometown!