Graduate Spotlight: Janada Ajeroh
Brand: Mint Organic Care
Hero Product: Bar Soap & Candles
Training: Natural Skin and Body Care Product Making Course (Certification 2014)
Location: Abuja, Nigeria
About Mint Organic Care
Mint Organic Care is a handmade bath, body and aromatherapy house located in Nigeria’s capital city of Abuja. We currently make over 40 products (excluding accessories and gifts) with an emphasis on non toxic ingredients and eco-luxury packaging. Gifting is a huge part of what we do and we are slowly making our way into daily household products and home goods.
Locally made and fully natural. We use the finest and purest ingredients from around the world to produce chemical and toxin free body products.
What inspired you to make your own products?
After living in the United States and completing graduate school, I moved back to my country of birth Nigeria in order to test the waters and live the reality of what I’d spent so many years in school studying (economics and policy). I’ve always had super sensitive skin and wasn’t able to find anything in the market that worked for me or with trusted verifiable ingredients. I decided to learn to formulate basic products for my skin based on local available ingredients. My close friends and family loved them and eventually persuaded me to make them available commercially. I should add that since then, the natural and handmade cosmetic market in Nigeria has blossomed enormously, and there are so many wonderful brands and products to now shop from.
What was the hardest part of starting your business?
The most difficult part of this journey was and still is procuring the right ingredients that are certified, sustainable and trusted. Trying to minimize importation and searching for local products that are certified organic/ toxin free is still a challenge. It becomes even more challenging as we grow and have a larger customer base. Covid also facilitated major gaps in ingredient and packing procurement, but as a business we’ve learned to plan way ahead and purchase in bulk as much as we can afford.
What are you most proud of?
I’m most of or product integrity and packaging.
How did your training at Joan Morais Cosmetics School help your business?
Joan Morais’s natural natural skin and body care gave me all the tools and information I needed to build a healthy skincare line. it also gave me a standard to abide by, which isnt always easy to maintain here in Nigeria. But I’ve carefully followed her teachings and FDA guidelines from the onset, which helps tremendously as we plan to set up the business in the United States in the next two years. I’m constantly referring back to my course notes and always learn something I either didn’t completely understand then, or have fresh perspective on.
What equipment or ingredients did you first start out with?
The very first product I started making and fell absolutely in love with was bar soap. I first figured out what natural butters and oils we have locally in Nigeria, and then devised all my formulas using what was available. As such, our bar soaps and products at large are heavy on ingredients such as Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, Moringa, Palm Kernel and Olive Oil.
What advice would you give to someone looking to start their own beauty business?
Primarily, I think its important to educate yourself as much as possible on skincare products with both a proper course like this and with independent research along the way. Also take your time in testing your formulas in small batches to avoid waste (natural ingredients can be expensive!). I would also suggest starting small and local with whats readily available and building from there. Consistency I’ve found is above all the most important tool in building a successful business.
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