Keisha Hill, Gleaner Writer
I have a little bit of a craft obsession. I am not what you would consider good at it, but I still love cracking out the scissors and glue, colouring fabric, stitching, and painting - yes, I would thrive as a kindergarten teacher in the craft section.
Spurred on by the excitement of finding use for my jar collection, I have been fascinated about how to make natural and organic personal-care products from scratch. Recently, after visiting the Ital Livity Expo held at the Twelve Tribe of Israel headquarters in St Andrew, my interest was further piqued after meeting Lisa Wright, operations manager of Earth Elements, local manufacturers of natural and organic products. With the products on display well made, elegantly packaged and pleasantly perfumed with the scent of fresh cotton candy, coconut, and lemon grass, it will come as no surprise to you that I visited the company's manufacturing location in Spanish Town, St Catherine.
Upon my arrival, the soothing scent of incense sticks with hints of vanilla musk created a warm and relaxing atmosphere
you would literally fall in love with. Presented with my safety cap and overalls by Dian Williams, founder of Earth Elements, I was put to work making my own batch of 'Keisha's Whipped Shea Butter'. It was pretty straightforward - mix, pour, and add the fragrances, then leave to set. It was a lot easier than I had expected, and at the end of my mini-lesson and demonstration, I had created my very own natural and organic personal-care product.
Most of the products displayed
in the company's store located in Savannah Plaza on Constant Spring Road
are made in Williams' outlet in Spanish Town. When she started the
company, she did so on the premise that she would use a pure and simple
approach - in direct opposition to the mainstream factory production of
most of the products now on the market.
personal-care products market is growing at rapid pace across the world.
Rising concerns for health safety, increasing green consciousness and
growing consumer's awareness about the hazards in synthetic chemicals,
such as parabens, phthalates and aluminium salts, has fuelled the demand
for organic personal-care products," Williams said. She makes the
incense sticks from a unique blend of rare natural herbs, flowers,
resins, natural oils, and forest products that are free from chemicals
and toxic materials and offer a safe and natural experience.
The whipped butters are preservative-free and do not
contain petroleum-based chemicals (mineral oil, petrolatum, paraffin),
chemical emulsifiers (DEA, MEA, TEA), chemical preservatives (parabens,
urea), propylene glycol, artificial colours and stabilisers.
all of our own products in small batches to ensure freshness,
consistency, and perfection. Because we have chosen not to include
harmful chemical preservatives in our whipped butters, they have a shelf
life of approximately four to six months after opening," Williams
Earth Elements' luxurious skin-softening scrub
treatments are also specially formulated to smooth and moisturise the
skin. The exfoliating Jamaican sugar and a special moisturising blend of
avocado and jojoba oils will leave your skin silky smooth. They are
also enriched with ginkgo biloba, papaya, and pineapple fruit extracts,
which are a great source of natural vitamin A, C, and
According to Williams, their Eco-Soy Candles are a
favourite of environmentally conscious persons because they are made
from a renewable source and not petroleum. "Burning soy candles does not
increase the CO2 level in the atmosphere," she
said. "We rebottle products we buy in bulk like shea butter from Ghana,
argan oil from Morroco, extra virgin coconut nut oil and cocoa butter
from Jamaica. We get the best oils and butters from all around the world
from the most reputable and sustainable produced suppliers. We package
more than 20 different oils in various sizes to meet every pocket. Our
raw black soap from Africa is famous among the schoolchildren, as it
helps with their acne and we have prices as low as $100," Williams
Earth Elements began after Williams shipped
some personal items, and among them were incense, fragrance oils,
candles. When the barrel was opened, the fragrance permeated the air and
a few of the customs officers left what they were doing and came over.
"One asked where was my store, and then a light bulb turned on inside my
head. Why not sell all the things I like - and I can see and smell them
every day. At the time, I thought everyone liked all these things too,
but over time, I came to realise that I am in a niche market," Williams
Bestsellers also include African Shea Butter and
Jamaican Cocoa Butter, as these are fantastic moisturisers for the
skin, and African Raw Black Soap. Prices range from just $200 upwards.
So organic is now a lifestyle! Earth Elements
manufactures in small batches and there are designated days for this
process. "The Earth has contributed some of the finest ingredients for
skin care, it does cost quite a bit to get it to our customers, but we
package our products in sizes affordable to all," Williams
For more information, visit there website:
Photos by Errol