A desire to find skin care products that would not harm her children led Yanique Barrett to establish her own line, made from natural ingredients in 2012.
Her Ravishing Botanics brand, located on off Shortwood Road, offers soaps, deodorants, shampoos, lotions, body butters, conditioners, lip balms, body mists and a range of other skin care products. And all of this was inspired by the fact that her children developed allergies from products made from synthetic chemicals.
“My children have eczema and every time I used available commercial products, their allergies would be triggered,” Ms. Barrett explained. “I started researching how to make skin care products that would not harm them, and that was how Ravishing Botanics came about.”
She then began making basic skin care items for her family and friends.
“Everyone I shared my products with, especially those with skin issues, kept saying to me you need to do this as a business because these are good and it doesn’t affect my condition,” she stated. “I wanted to work for myself, so when this opportunity came along, I took it.”
The mother of two left her full-time job as a nurse to focus on her new business.
The actual name of the business came about as Ms. Barrett sang part-time, using the stage name ‘Ravish’. She modified her stage name and added ‘Botanics’ to highlight the fact that she used only natural products when the business was being registered.
Ravishing Botanics now employs four persons and Ms Barrett plans to grow her operations even further, for it to become a household name.
Yanique speaks about her soap and body mists.
Ingredients are sourced from overseas as well as locally.
“We have the facilities here to make things like essential oils. We also have the best plants,” she stated. “So, I am surprised we aren’t making them here and I hope at some point we do because this would bring down the costs.”
Ms. Barrett says demand for her products have been high, based on the numerous orders she has received from hotels and shops across the island. She has also learnt to adjust her prices to suit the pockets of her customers.
“Not everyone can afford soap for $1000. So, I do smaller items for lower prices,” she said. “I also buy in bulk to reduce costs.”
Yanique prepares the mixture for her one of her products made from Aloe Vera.
Her products go through rigorous testing to ensure the safety of her customers.
“I test my products every month. My customers also come here and watch me as I work and so far I have had no complaints. It has been more compliments and more orders,” she said.
She explains that there is still room for growth in the local natural cosmetics industry and plans to seek support from JN Small Business Loans (JNSBL) to assist in purchasing additional raw materials to expand her operations.
“JNSBL has been helpful to me,” she explained. “They gave good advice and came at a time when I needed them most. I was able to finance the bulk purchase of raw materials, allowing me to expand production cost effectively.”
Thelma Yong, Deputy General Manager of JNSBL lauded Ms Barrett for her decision to enter into the natural cosmetic industries.
“More and more people are choosing natural products when it comes to their skin. Yanique should be commended for carving out a niche for herself in this industry. We are confident that her business will continue to grow and we wish her all the best,” she said.
To market her brand, Ms. Barrett attends Expos, trade shows and does displays at major hotels. In addition, referrals and social media have also played a part in her success. And, she has plans to develop her website so customers can place orders directly.
“I see myself manufacturing cosmetics to supply a global market,” she says. “The industry is one that can grow and I hope to be in it for years to come.”