The Campbells – looking to master the cosmetics industry
When it comes to getting their dreams in line, Moses and Loria Campbell are making an art of it.
The couple from James Hill, Clarendon, is forging ahead with their goals of farming and using natural products to produce cosmetics.
Rural Xpress caught up with them recently in Tollgate, Clarendon, where Loria's husband was one of the graduants of the Jamaica Rural Economy and Ecosystems Adapting to Climate Change (JaREACH) funded Farmer Field School (FFS) programme.
While she proudly sat by the exhibition booth showcasing the products they both worked on, he sat among the graduates to collect his certificate for the more than eight months of intensive training he got to help him get the most from his field in the climate smart training.
Starting James Hill Production Marketing Organist (PMO) came about when the couple starting brainstorming.
"We were thinking of finding a way to use what we have and, at the same time, creating an income for ourselves," said Loria, adding that in the middle of all that her husband was introduced to the programme by Dorothy Artwell from the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), who she said saw his zeal and the potential he had.
So in between their farming sweet potatoes, vegetables, and other crops while fitting in his training, the two started developing the first product from James Hill PMO which was hair oil - only thing it didn't quite work out that way!
"We wanted to do something quick and natural so with my husband, who has a background in herbs, we decided to go for lotion, but in trying to prepare lotion, we ended up making hair oil," she said with a reminiscent smile.
Unfazed, she said they worked out the kinks and perfected it, sometime after, they eventually developed the lotion from natural products.
The couple admits it's not an easy task making the business work as the challenges are many.
Among them it's effective marketing and sourcing the raw materials to make the cosmetic products, some of which they have to get from overseas.
"That's frustrating 'cause by the time you factor the shipping and other cost, it cuts into your bottom line," said Loria.
The Campbells, who dream of one day employing a few people from their community when the business takes off, said they could do with some help from the government in making their goal easier.
"We could do without the governmental red tape - and we need better framework for our business ... sometimes it's just one problem after another," they said adding that the frustration alone is a reason why a lot of people shy away from going into their own businesses.
For them though, giving up is not an option. They are presently looking forward to the expansion of their business - developing even more products, getting into the local stores and later on exporting to the international markets.
"In five years, we expect to be the number one cosmetics-based company in Jamaica," they said.