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ABQ naturopath gets a shot at Walmart distribution

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Star Ridsdale learned Thursday morning that she will join a nationwide Walmart competition in hopes of getting her arthritis pain cream stocked on Walmart shelves. At left is Nico Vassol, manager of the Walmart store on Eubank. (Roberto E. Rosales/Journal)

It all started with her mother.

Star Ridsdale, a licensed naturopath, was looking for a way to ease her mother’s crippling arthritis pain so the elderly Minnesota farmer no longer had to spend $50 an ounce to get only limited relief.

The product Ridsdale came up with — Pain, Anxiety and Arthritis Care — got a big boost Thursday when it was approved to compete for shelf space at Walmart stores nationwide.

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Local businesswoman Star Ridsdale will pitch her product at a Walmart competition next month. (Roberto E. Rosales/Journal)

Ridsdale, who is CEO of Southwest Therapy & Rehab, was invited to pitch her product before managers at the Walmart location on Eubank NE. She was told she was competing with other local contenders, but she learned to the fanfare of cupcakes and balloons that she already had been chosen and would be making her way to the national competition next month.

Walmart’s annual, daylong Open Call event is “an exciting and unique opportunity for American entrepreneurs to come to Walmart headquarters in Bentonville, Ark., … to potentially get their product in the hands of millions of Walmart customers,” according to a news release.

Ridsdale’s cream, which contains hemp and emu oils, as well as camphor and eucalyptus oil, sells for $6.24 an ounce — lower than similar products Walmart carries.

The product’s real test came when Ridsdale tried it on her mother.

“She loved it,” Ridsdale said. “And it just snowballed from there.”

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