By Martha Michael
Sometimes a person has an idea that just takes off with lightning speed. That’s how it was for Jennifer Gerard of Valencia.
“Whitening Lightning started in 2010 as a mobile teeth whitening service,” Gerard explained. “In late 2010, we launched our product line and quickly began distributing in more than 100 countries. I started the business with $3,000 and in just about 12 months, we had already sold $1.2 million.”
What Gerard perfected was a whitening “pen” that can be used at home. The “Whitening Lightning Super Booster Teeth Whitening Pen” is the company’s flagship product offering a more convenient system for professional tooth whitening.
“Our whitening pens and professional home kit allow users to whiten their teeth and get the results they want when they want,” claims the company website. “No hassle, no messy trays, and no sensitivity! Now available in over 100 countries, Whitening Lightning has garnered more attention than ever imagined and shows no sign of slowing down.”
This relatively new product is popular with the Hollywood celebrity crowd. “We provide our whitening for both “Dancing With the Stars” and “The Academy of Country Music Awards,” said Gerard. “We are going into our third year participating in Emmy and Oscar events. We are working on several television projects with our celebrity spokespeople. This is very exciting!”
For 20 years, Gerard was a sales and finance manager for local car dealerships, but found it increasingly difficult to deal with the negativity she felt in her chosen career. A friend suggested a teeth whitening business, so she gave it a try.
“I am convinced that this business is all God’s doing,” said Gerard, an active member of Sylmar Christian Fellowship Church. “In my spare time, I coach other entrepreneurs, kind of as a ministry. I help develop ideas and keep them on track.”
Gerard is vocal about her devotion to her faith. “I love helping people at my church, both through the church and on an individual basis,” she said. “I love to see devoted Christians rewarded for their diligence and faith in God. For instance, I recently purchased vehicles for two families from our congregation.”
Gerard is also actively supporting several local non-profit organizations. Her love of animals connected her with Mardi Rivetti’s “Rescues on the Runway.” Also through Rivetti, Whitening Lightning became a title sponsor of the Miss SCV Pageants.
This summer, the business is a title sponsor for the Old Town Newhall Car Show, and Comics for the Cause, a fundraiser for SCV Youth Project. “We also donated a celebrity Emmy experience for Taste of the Town,” said Gerard.
In addition to the aforementioned non-profits, Gerard is passionate about working with and helping the Domestic Violence Center and Circle of Hope. “Basically, any group supporting SCV – I am on board to help,” she said. “I love this community and, after living here for 34 years, would not live anywhere else. I feel so blessed by the enormous success of my business today and in the future, and it is my privilege to give back to SCV.”
Gerard summed up some of the perks of living in the SCV: “I love the clean family environment and convenience of having everything we need right here in the valley without the traffic.”