Late last year I had the pleasure of meeting an entrepreneurial family from Grenada and Jamaica (toot toot!! #teamJA!!) who are committed to bringing the healing properties of nutmeg to beauty counters worldwide.
Karen Welch and her husband Tony work hand in hand with their children to produce their brand Albertha’s Garden.
As part of my Mind Your Own Business series, I asked Karen a few questions about her business venture, her aspirations and how she and her family balance business and life!
BPL: What inspired you to start your business?
KW: Albertha’s Garden was inspired by the problems we faced finding suitable skin products to aid our daughter’s eczema and care for our son’s skin after he contracted a melanoma at the age of 5. We wanted to be certain we were not using products which would make either of their conditions any worse and the ones recommend by doctors were filled with chemicals. Eventually we made our own products and began to see a noticeable improvement in our children’s skin.
BPL: Tell me more about the brand?
KW: Albertha’s Garden products are all natural and handmade in small batches using nutmeg oil or nutmeg butter as a base ingredient because of the natural preservatives and properties it has. The nutmeg is sourced from our family garden in Grenada. We started off making soaps and eventually expanded the product range which now features Exfoliating soaps, Body Washes, Body Butters and Lip balms in various fragrances.
BPL: The beauty industry is very competitive. What are the unique features of the brand?
KW: Albertha’s Garden products are Paraben, SLS and lanolin free. If you have great skin, our products will keep your skin looking healthy, if you have any skin ailments, out products will help to heal and repair the skin.
BPL: What has been the most challenging aspect about starting your brand?
KW: The most challenging thing has to be running a family home and working part time whilst taking the decision to start your own company. Also, being a woman you are sometimes not seen as a serious business owner because of family commitments. It can be hard to juggle everything, but the rewards at the end make it worth the struggle.
BPL: You truly are a family business! Tell me more about this!
Our products are made at home in our multi-functional kitchen by myself and my husband. Our two daughters support us as much as they can, in manufacturing the products and in developing the promotions and even my 10 year old son gets involved where he can (helping with the making of the boxes and labelling the bottles etc)!
BPL: Where do you see the brand in 5 years’ time?
In 5 years time I would like to see Albertha’s Garden being a main supplier of skincare products to most if not all major department stores in the UK and internationally. I would also like the brand to be one of the recommended skincare products for all types of skin – but especially for people with skin conditions i.e. eczema, psoriasis, acne and sensitive skins.
BPL: What 3 tips would you give to other aspiring beauty entrepreneurs?
1. This is a saturated market but if you believe in your product and believe there’s a place on the market for your product, persevere!
2. Always keep an eye on your direct and indirect competition because you can see who’s setting the trend.
3. Go to as many networking seminars as you can, this helps to get your brand noticed and people like to see the face behind the company.
Like the Albertha’s Garden Facebook Fan page