Sat | Oct 16, 2021

Former foster child starts skin-care business out of past trauma

Published:Monday | September 6, 2021 | 12:05 AMChristopher Thomas/Gleaner Writer
Julian Clarke, owner of Keep Faith & Beauty.
Julian Clarke, owner of Keep Faith & Beauty.

WESTERN BUREAU:

Buoyed by the desire to rise above her experience growing up in Jamaica’s foster-care system and enduring bullying because of a skin condition, Julian Clarke has used her past as the inspiration behind creating her own skin-care product business – Keep Faith and Beauty.

The Keep Faith and Beauty business, which she currently runs online and which has attracted a following on Instagram, provides several facial scrubs, toners, and spot-remover products made from natural ingredients. The products, which include a turmeric and honey face wash, a rose-water toner, hair-growth oil, and a dark-spot cream, range in prices from $1,500 to $3,000.

The 26-year-old Clarke, a resident of Green Pond, told The Gleaner that when she started her business in September 2020, it was partly out of a desire to adequately provide for her infant child, as well as to find healing from her bullying experiences.

“During the COVID-19 period, I was in a situation where I could not find pampers for my baby, so I came up with this business to provide for myself,” said Clarke. “Also, from a tender age growing up, I got bullied and had low self-esteem, plus I had a lot of acne on my face, so I dreamed of one day owning a business that would beautify every customer I would come across.”

“Also, years ago, when I was in the child-care system, I was at the Granville Place of Safety in Trelawny, and I got bullied there just the same. As a foster child, I did not have a mother or father to turn to, so I kept those emotions inside and I always prayed and talked to God, and that experience also pushed me to start this business,” added Clarke.

TRAINING SESSION

In addition to creating her skin-care products, Clarke has also launched a five-day training course for young people to learn how to start their own businesses. This initiative is part of her motivational outreach to the youth, including those who are currently in State care.

“I am currently offering a five-day training session where you learn how to start your business, how to make natural products, and at the end of the training, you get a certificate. Currently, the course is for $25,000, and you can start from age 14 and up, because when you are young and you find what your passion is, it is good to work on it,” said Clarke.

“One of my passions is to reach out to young people, because I value young people. Even in reaching out to persons who are currently in the foster-care system, I want to give back my service to them and do motivational sessions with them,” continued Clarke.

The young entrepreneur also had words of wisdom for other young people looking to make their mark in life, starting with the need to motivate oneself to succeed.

“Put God first in everything you do, and do not compare yourself with anyone in the world if you want to be successful in life. To win big, you have to take big risks,” explained Clarke. “I tell persons to start with the man in the mirror, to look in the mirror and motivate yourself.”