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This South Carolina entrepreneur on finding the magic formula for success > Columbia Business Report

When Pixie Paula Dezzutti was a child, her mother frequently cut her hair in the short bowled style known as the pixie cut. Decades later, someone recalled this signature hairstyle and claimed it would suit Dezzutti because “you’re such a little elf.”

The nickname stuck and she adopted it.

She readily identifies as Pixie Paula Dezzutti when giving interviews or speaking, and includes the name in biographies distributed for her many business interests, ranging from financial planning and real estate development to ventures in the liquor industry as the owner of Charleston’s Striped Pig Distillery rich and locally sourced spirits.

Earlier this year, she also branched out into biopharmaceuticals when she became the owner and CEO of Columbia’s Sycamore BioPharma, which makes organic CBD products including pain relievers and sleep aids.

Dezzutti even owns her own recording studio and record label, Pixie Records, as well as Charleston’s SKIRT magazine, which focuses on women’s interests.

Her nickname fits her approach of adding something special to every new venture she undertakes.

“I think it’s important for an entrepreneur to get that pixie dust out,” she said in a recent interview. “Cheer up, go ahead and do as much magic as you want. It’s important for any business or brand to be open to a little magic, to do something different.”

Pixie Paula’s interest in business dates back to her childhood when she sported a pixie cut. Her first earnings were nickels for sweeping her hair at her aunt’s beauty salon. There she met women who sold Avon cosmetics. This made her realize that women could run their own businesses. Dezzutti’s first step as an entrepreneur was selling Avon, and she’s never looked back.

Her early career was in financial planning, and from there she branched out into real estate and other ventures, including running a gourmet coffee shop in her native Connecticut. Because her coffee shop sold gourmet chocolate, she once even had an assignment to make chocolate dog bones to advertise the University of Connecticut Huskies, her alma mater.

Dezzutti’s journey took her to Charleston in 2008 and in 2010 she founded Local Choice, an interesting choice as she doesn’t drink herself. However, she recognized the potential for growth in the spirits industry and also the role it could play both in bringing people together and in local philanthropy.

Always interested in the next big thing, she has become involved in the booming CBD industry and has become an outspoken advocate for cryptocurrency.

Dezzutti’s role as a distillery owner in a male-dominated industry has also made her a passionate advocate for women-owned businesses and financial education for women.

“Women need to realize that everything they do has a measurable impact through commerce, and I want them to shout their impact from the rooftops,” she said. “We women need a bigger collective voice so we can get involved in more big financial deals and move our businesses forward.”

As a single mother, Dezzutti raised nine children as she built her business. She wholeheartedly accepted the challenges and now many of her children are in the business with her, including six who work with her at Striped Pig.

She encourages women not to see motherhood as a barrier to starting a business, but as a motivator.

“Starting your own business can be your salvation because you have more control over your own ventures and you are responsible for building a roof over your child’s head,” she said. “The resources are out there as long as you are not afraid to try. Why not be your own board?”

Reach Christina Lee Knauss at 803-753-4327.

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