Suzanna Kamphuis TotumVos Keene, NH www.etsy.com/shop/TotumVos

Suzanna Kamphuis’ startup, TotumVos, produces and sells multi-collagen chews in Keene. Collagen, if you weren’t sure, is the most common protein found in the body, offering support to everything from bones to skin.

Kamphuis founded TotumVos with an eye to finding a niche in the growing market for collagen supplements. Her motivation to start the company stemmed from a deeply personal inspiration in mind: Her mom.

Kamphuis’ mother, she observes, found herself in an increasingly common plight: “She is 75 [and] eats incredibly well, but has [nevertheless] suffered with bone loss and bulging discs.”

TotumVos’ multi-collagen chews are meant to serve this sort of population, though they also provide the needed boost to anyone else requiring collagen support for whatever reason.

Indeed, as Kamphuis points out, “…[O]ur product has gone out into the world and surprised us by helping people with other issues such as rosacea and fibromyalgia.”

Kamphuis’ entrepreneurial journey began in the late spring of 2017 when TotumVos began a rigorous research and development phase of operations. Development culminated with a hard-earned safety approval from Cornell, and since the fall of 2018 TotumVos has been alleviating ailments for a wide variety of folks.

There’s plenty of room for innovation and growth. Currently, Kamphuis’ chews incorporate multiple types of collagen, including bovine, marine and chicken. Additional supplements are incorporated, too. In particular, TotumVos chews offer varieties that integrate Vitamin C, MCT oil and varieties of whole foods.

Of course, with mom ever in mind, Kamphuis points out that taste is also a primary concern. As with many people, she carefully observes, her mom already “takes plenty of pills every day.”

It’s this kind of inspiration and drive that Kamphuis notices can sustain a startup venture through difficult and uncertain times: “I have a very close friend who didn’t believe that anyone would pay for a product like mine … But I was making a product for my mom… I couldn’t go cheap.”

As far as partnering for advice and support goes, Kamphuis stresses how important and helpful the New Hampshire Small Business Development Center has been in getting TotumVos up and running. Inspiration and expertise are surely a potent combination.