Grandmother's sage advice, "talk to the plants," motivates engineer to start health and beauty business
Roseau, May 20222: Many of us from the Caribbean region can attest to witnessing or even helping our grandmother make time-tested home-grown recipes for various skin and hair ailments in the comfort of the family kitchen. Well, Dominica's Jodie Dublin-Dangleben is no different, we maybe a little, since she parlayed this knowledge to a successful hair and skin care line- Jaydees Naturals, serving customers across the island and now with the launch of her website, to DHL locations across the globe.
In 2014, she was seeking products to manage her transition from processed to natural hair. Admiring her grandmother's beautiful skin and full head of hair, she asked for the secret to which her elder replied, "talk to the plants."
And so she did. She started off with one product- a Whipped Shea Butter, loaded with essential oils, that could be used on both hair and skin. At the same time, she started a Facebook Group "Nature Isle Girls with Natural Hair," where she shared hair care and styling tips with members, some of whom also purchased her products.
"With the Whipped Shea Butter I was so surprised at the demand, when I started. My customers were calling it hair crack and its like they just had to have a continuous supply. I think from there I knew I was on to something."
To date, Dublin-Dangleben has created over 10 products all featuring local and Caribbean indigenous fruit, leaf and flower extracts, and dried herbs such as passionfruit, guava, hibiscus, sorrel, stinging nettle, and lemongrass . Formulated with these as well as glycerides, essential oils and macerations, the products are also proudly preserved in a safe and natural manner and are highly sought by customers both in Dominica and abroad who she affectionately calls her Jaybugs. With the mantra, “Nature’s secret to Sustainable Beauty,” Jaydee’s Naturals is guided by both science and ethics to create products that are organic, earth-friendly and honor her grandmother’s wisdom.
Dublin-Dangleben has been recognied both in Dominica and the Region for her entrepreneurship and innovation, most recently at the inaugural CaribbWIIN (Caribbean Women Inventors & Innovators Network) Conference and Awards ceremony in Antigua which brought together global female pioneers, leaders, entrepreneurs, influences and their amazing Caribbean counterparts to discuss issues relevant to innovation and sustainability and build partnerships through networking opportunities. “This recognition truly resonates with me as it recognizes not only my influence on both men and women where skin care is concerned, but as an engineer by profession, I really appreciate the recognition of my innovativeness and my efforts to find solutions to common skin and hair issues through my products.” In June 2021, Dublin-Dangleben won the National Development Foundation of Dominica’s (NDFD) Green Summit competition for her concept for package-free shampoo bars and their beneficial correlation to single use plastic bottle reduction. With this concept, she placed in the top three of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States’ (OECS) ‘Island Ideas Challenge’, that September; where over 700 businesses from around the Region submitted sustainable event, business or project ideas. This was followed with her win at the Caribbean MicroPitch competition in December. Jaydees Naturals also benefited from a Euro $15,000.00 Direct Support Grant from Caribbean Export. Having developed a strong customer base, who trust her knowledge and expertise in the field, Dublin-Dangleben is finding herself in the influencer sphere, as her tutorials have gone viral on TikTok and YouTube with views in the tens of millions. She hopes that the website, www.jaydeesnaturals.com, which serves as a one-stop shop of products and information, will give more exposure to her brand. Apart from being a successful female entrepreneur, Dublin-Dangleben is a mentor to young entrepreneurs and gives back to her community through scholarships and donations. She has sells handmade jewellery from Dominica's indigenous people on the Jaydees Naturals website, in effort to support rural women and promote Kalinago craft and heritage. Dublin-Dangleben is a member of several organisations such as the Dominica Health and Wellness Association, 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. Visit www.jaydeesnaturals.com to purchase products, merchandise, gift cards and signup for the Jaydees Naturals VIP email list.