A year ago, despite the unstable economy, Muffetta Kruger started an eco-friendly household product company which she named Muffetta's Natural. While getting the company off the ground was no easy task, she stuck it out, and today, her products can be found in supermarkets and wholesales islandwide.
Kruger reminisced that the past year has been tough, but she feels truly blessed to be living out her dream. After years of being in the corporate world and still feeling dissatisfied, Kruger decided to become her own boss.
Motivated by her new venture, she set out on a journey to develop products using local herbs which are less compromising to the environment and one's health.
"All our products are made from all-natural herbs without the use of artificial colours, harsh ammonia, strong irritants or petroleum-based chemicals," explained Kruger.
She notes that Jamaica has an extraordinary variety of herbs with tremendous benefits, which she has harnessed and added to her products.
"Throughout our research, we have come across some fantastic herbs which are under-utilised, but, thankfully, we have been able to incorporate them into our products, and, so far, the response has been great."
Despite developing her products which has been doing well, one of Kruger's challenges is that, though Jamaica born, she has been living in the United States and operates from there.
"It is very difficult trying to operate a business from overseas, but despite the challenges, the company is still here and it has a lot of growth potential."
For Kruger, the greatest joy is that she is finally doing something that she is passionate about and at the same time being able to give back to her country. Since, she launched Muffetta's Natural, Kruger she has built a factory in her hometown Clarendon.
"I believe that, through our factory, we can contribute to the rebuilding of the Jamaican economy by providing jobs for individuals. It also allows us do the necessary research in an effort to meet the demands of our customers."
Kruger noted that, unlike other companies, their products are all made locally, by Jamaicans with local ingredients. They also smell great and are very effective. To date, products range from cleaners (glass, all-purpose, stove, bath, pots and pans) to mosquito spray and fruits and vegetable washes. The company also sells black African soap and has added the "miracle herb" neem to some of their products.
"Neem has so many different uses and we are excited about incorporating it in our products. We use it in our mosquito repellent and that is very effective and lasts up to four hours before reapplying and also in our garden spray."
Kruger says her reward is that customers love the products and are recommending it to friends and family. They are now a member of the Jamaica Manufacturers' Association.
Kruger is looking ahead to 2013, which should be an exciting year for them.
"Our next step is to focus on growth by a lot more marketing and get the products into more stores so that consumers can start enjoying the benefits of natural 'cleanings' made here in Jamaica."
Muffetta's Natural products are available in supermarkets islandwide and are distributed by Amalgamated Distributors Limited.