Alikay Naturals growing and growing
Cosmetics company celebrating 12 years in business; powers outreach
Rochelle Graham-Campbell and Demond Campbell, renowned entrepreneurs of Alikay Naturals, are celebrating 12 years in business.
Demond Campbell, co-owner of Alikay Naturals, told The Sunday Gleaner that when his wife started the business in 2010, both of them were pursuing tertiary education. “When Rochelle started the business, I offered assistance whenever I could, but as the business grew, I gave it my full attention,” said Campbell.
Both Jamaican by birth, the couple migrated to the United States, and as luck would have it, met two years later in Florida. Now they are working together to build Alikay Naturals.
Graham-Campbell was excited as she shared that the brand had partnered with The Harriet Hall Foundation, a non-profit organisation, for their annual Alikay Cares Foundation Back to School Drive, a charity event for schools in Jamaica. Under this initiative, the foundation works with participating schools on the island to raise funds for school supplies and daily lunches for girls. Collaborating with Black Onyx World, the main goal is to provide resources needed to help mould vibrant and driven young women and prepare them for a brighter future. Campbell said the inspiration for this initiative stems from his days in high school where he had to share his school bag and lunch money with his friend, and the fact that both he and his wife are from humble beginnings.”I hope to fill the void for kids in Jamaica that are less fortunate,” he told The Sunday Gleaner. With this initiative, he hopes to inspire others to give back, and pour into the children as they have.”We believe that pouring into these children who sometimes may not have that opportunity will give them the ability to pursue their dreams as well,” Graham-Campbell said.
Alikay Naturals, a brand recognised for its high-quality organic hair and cosmetic products, started after Graham-Campbell’s search for affordable hair products as a college student produced little options. The brand’s tropical scented products, packed with rich natural ingredients, serve as a great reminder of the Caribbean and the ingredients were inspired by Graham-Campbell’s grandmother, Elsa, who is known as the ‘Jamaican Herbalist Lady’.
Traditionally, like Elsa, many Caribbean citizens share the common belief that herbal plants can cure and heal any ailment, internal or external. Elsa, whom Graham-Campbell affectionately calls ‘Nana’, often used items from her backyard, “Whenever someone was injured, my Nana would go home, mix up herbs or some type of oil and go and treat them,” said Graham-Campbell, adding that she was fascinated with the idea and incorporated those ingredients in her hairline.
“Alikay Naturals connects me to my Jamaican roots in all sorts of beautiful ways … it introduces people worldwide to unique products they may be unfamiliar with,” she said, noting that her husband incorporates the cultural side in the brand by educating the consumers on social media about Caribbean culture beyond a tourist perspective.
A graduate of South Florida University, with a bachelor’s degree in business marketing and a minor in finance, Graham-Campbell said her mother, Marlene, was a source of inspiration. She calls her, her Shiloh (peace), and credits her matriarch for her success because of her mindset, determination, and resilience. Graham-Campbell said her mother attained her dreams when nobody believed in her. She is also a great emotional and mental support for the couple and has taught valuable life lessons. “My mother taught me to always focus on my family, which is my core or nucleus …which helped to shape the way I approach life as an adult,” said Graham-Campbell.
As Alikay Naturals continues to grow, there are plans to build their official headquarters. There are also plans to expand into a lifestyle brand. With their recent production of different categories of products such as baby care and feminine care products, they want to provide both natural hair products and solutions for every aspect of their customers’ lives.
For Graham-Campbell, catering to her customers also comes with caring for others and highlighting the importance of placing value in themselves. “Self-care is not only about hair and beauty products; it is also about self-love because it means you are taking the time to take care of yourself,” Graham-Campbell said.