Despite the COVID-19 Pandemic, and its accompanying challenges, 2021 has ended on a high note for local company Jaydees Naturals, following the company’s emergence as the winning presenter at the MicroPitch Caribbean competition on December 16th, edging out 179 Regional hopefuls, for the top spot.
This win comes at the end of a whirlwind year that has seen the company placed as a finalist in local and Regional contests, expand its social media reach in the tens of thousands and increase its influence on natural hair practitioners through the efforts of CEO Jodie Dublin-Dangleben, who is very satisfied with the company’s results this year.
“While I am always pushing myself to do more, to be better; I must say I am really happy with what has been accomplished at Jaydees Naturals over the course of 2021. I worked very hard on my various presentations for the competitions we engaged in, and these results just encourage me to do more,” says the company head, who started Jaydees in 2010 when she decided to grow out her natural hair but found it a challenge to source safe, natural products that worked with her hair texture.
She began experimenting and came up with a few products that worked for her. This was the genesis of Jaydees Naturals – “Nature’s Secret to Sustainable Beauty,” where the company incorporates local and Caribbean indigenous herbal remedies to formulate all natural, eco-friendly hair and skin products, using fruit, leaf and flower extracts, dried herbs, glycerites, essential oils and macerations. These formulations are preserved with only natural and safe preservatives.
This core value of being an earth-friendly company has enabled Jaydees Naturals to take part in several competitions/ challenges in 2021, where she presented her concept for package-free shampoo bars and their beneficial correlation to single use plastic bottle reduction. This won her the National Development Foundation of Dominica’s (NDFD) Green Summit competition in June, followed by top-three placement at the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States’ (OECS) ‘Island Ideas Challenge’, in September where over 700 businesses from around the Region submitted sustainable event, business or project ideas. With her MicroPitch submission, in December, her win included US$4,000, individualized mentorship with a specialize coach, two free months use of the Fygaro e-commerce platform as well as participation in a 3-6 month accelerated growthwheel programme.
Following the top 10 presentations and subsequent announcement of her win, Floris Vermeulen, the Southern and Eastern Caribbean Representative for the European Investment Bank said that it was well deserved as the international panelist were convinced by Mrs. Dublin-Dangleben’s “passion for [her] business, creativity and strength of [her] pitch.”
She is also this year, reaping the benefit of a Euro $15,000.00 Direct Support Grant from Caribbean Export, which she applied for in 2020. With these funds, the company now has a larger production area and has purchased specialized equipment which should result in a two-fold increase in production by March 2022- meeting the increasing demand for the popular products.
The Jaydees Naturals product line includes the flagship Whipped Shea Butter as well as a Moisturising Leave-in Conditioner infused with local guava leaf and passionfruit extract and a Moisturising Black Soap Hair, Face and Body Wash that has gained its own reputation for cleansing without drying.
The most recent additions to their product line are the Turmeric and Clay Face and Body Mask made with local turmeric powder, Tumeric and Lemongrass Body Wash and Clarifying Shampoo, Sorrel and Hibiscus Conditioner, Cayenne Edge Regro Balm and Stinging Nettle Growth Elixir which is a maceration of over 34 herbs and oils. The Growth Elixir sold out the same day they were launched in 2020. Presently, customers (affectionately known as Jaybugs) can select from three types of emulsified body scrubs: turmeric, spirulina and herbal.
Coupled with its retail business, the company has over the past five years embarked on much needed natural hair educational workshops and provides free hair consultancies via WhatsApp and its social media pages (Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, TikTok), where customers are advised on catered regimes for maintaining healthy hair and skin. According to Dublin-Dangleben, more and more women are becoming interested in self-care and use of natural products for their daily regimens.
“We have noticed an increase in clientele from women suffering from cancer, men and women with various scalp and skin conditions and those who have successfully completed their chemotherapy. We stress on the importance of using natural products more than ever especially when most commercial products, including lotions, antiperspirants and hair products have been linked to cancer.”
This increase in persons seeking information has certainly translated into yet another ‘win’ for Jaydees Naturals as in 2021, over 20,000 persons followed the company’s TikTok page, while there are about 9k Jaybugs on Facebook and Instagram combined. These followers (both men and women) span the globe and frequent the pages to get information on best practices, protective hairstyles and everyday care tips.
This year saw the third staging of #AfroDayDominica, an activity she hopes will continue to inspire her Jaybugs to love and honour their natural tresses.
“Afro Day is definitely a growing movement, and I am excited to see it become bigger and better as the years go by. This year, the Jaybugs, really engaged in the activity, sharing pics on social media and most importantly really embracing their natural beauty.”
Dangleben-Dublin is the current PRO of the Dominica Health and Wellness Association, and member of the Dominica Craft Producers Association (DACPA) as well as the Dominica Association of Industry and Commerce (DAIC) and represents the National Cooperative Credit Union (NCCU) on the Green Climate Fund board. Both she and her company Jaydees Naturals are definitely a force of influence in the beauty and wellness sector in Dominica and the soon the world.
Here’s to an even more successful 2022!
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