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Peta-Gaye Samuda's NextJen

Published:Monday | February 7, 2011 | 12:00 AM
Jencare mastermind, Jennifer Samuda. - Winston Sill/Freelance Photographer
Products from the NextJen line. From left: bath gel, firming lotion and youth retention anti-ageing collagen milk. - Photo by Keisha Shakespeare-Blackmore
Jennifer Samuda.

Barbara Ellington, Lifestyle Editor

Come February 13, the eve of Valentine's Day, Jencare Skin Farm will simultaneously launch a new line of special products at both its Jamaican headquarters and the Fort Lauderdale, Florida branch.

Jencare has seen many firsts in its 28 years of operation, but what makes the event special is that clients and friends will get to meet the emerging new face of the company, Peta-Gaye Samuda, daughter of owners/founders of the innovative day spa, Lloyd and Jennifer Samuda.

Manager of the Florida branch, Peta-Gaye represents the next generation of the company and, to signal her intent to follow family tradition, she has conceptualised and developed her own line of cosmetics, appropriately named NextJen. Her mother, Jennifer, told Flair that her daughter did not wish to compete with her, so she is working alongside them and the multi-award winning company is the manufacturer of her products.

Though geared towards a more youthful market, NextJen has something for everyone.

Naturally, the parents are happy with their daughter's decision to come on board with them and were quick to point out, when asked, that Peta-Gay made the decision on her own. "We did not push or influence her, she does what she wants to do but we are happy that she decided to join us," her mother notes. Flair spoke with the Florida-based Peta-Gaye in an email interview.

BE: What influenced your decision to go into the family business, were you encouraged/forced by your parents?

PGS: It's our family business and one I grew up in. The notion of my parents encouraging or forcing my decision making is amusing, because that is not their nature at all. They have always been my mentors and my inspiration, in all facets of life. They are both very encouraging, supportive and even nurturing with respect to the desires of both my brother and I, in whatever direction and avenues we take our lives. However, with Jencare being such an integral thread in the fabric of our family, an affinity for the business naturally developed. When you couple that with my belief in the Jencare philosophy of enhancing body and mind in a world currently filled with such negativity, a career in this business was a no-brainer for me.

Growing up in a home where both parents were so dedicated to working hard, what lessons did you learn?

It made me appreciate the level of success that can come from hard work. I wouldn't say it's necessarily automatic, but I'm somewhat predisposed to mimicking that level of dedication and work ethic. I have learnt that fulfilment does not occur passively. It takes dedication, determination, and heart. At the risk of sounding clichéd, I must add that hard work towards helping others on even the smallest level, is most rewarding. I look at Jencare Skin Farm as a company designed for the needs of others, and, although we are a skin care company, the services we provide are not on a superficial level. Our services and products help our clients to relax, unwind, and re-energise themselves, so that they can put their best foot forward on any given day. The 'best you' is the goal, and it's an important one.

Were you spoilt, or did you have to earn privileges?

Anyone who has met my parents know that they complement each other like no one else I have ever seen. I have been spoilt a little, and have had to earn my privileges from each of them at times. My mom is like a lion in the true sense of everything that that animal symbolises. She is very protective of her children and, for that reason, I believe she has spoiled me somewhat. At the same time, my dad is such a man of logic and reason that he encourages quite the opposite, at times. I say 'at times', because he too has spoiled me and, coincidentally, when he does so, my mother becomes the person of logic. It's weird, but I have always had a balance because of the dynamism they both have.

Your mother describes you as: accurate, detailed, determined, hard-working, intelligent. what do you think about her assessment of you, and how would you describe her?

Are you sure you didn't ask her to describe herself? Because that's all mom right there, and they are all the characteristics I have hoped to have one day.

What are some of the differences between doing the business in Florida versus Jamaica ?

In terms of how we do business as a company, nothing has changed to any appreciable degree. Jencare will always be a Jamaican company at its core, and we are very proud of that. We are aware that we have a broader spectrum of clients in Florida, from various cultural and ethnic backgrounds. However, the ethnicities are not very different from the clientele in Jamaica, because we are certainly 'out of many, one people'. I absolutely love Jamaica, so I find it a little difficult to contrast the two regions. However, I can say that in Florida we try to bring a little piece of home to our customers there, who seem to enjoy that.

If you had not gone into this business, what other career path would you have pursued?

I would choose a career path that is geared towards helping the well-being of others using science. I am a strong advocate for men and women feeling good about themselves. I have a strong fondness for chemistry and medicine, and I will pursue them to the fullest, concurrent with my duties at Jencare.

What do you find to be the most challenging and the most rewarding/pleasurable aspect of your work?

The most challenging aspect of work is encouraging both men and women to take better care of themselves and not to allow external opinions to lead them into not using anything at all or using products that may prove disadvantageous in later life. The most rewarding/pleasurable aspect of work is engaging with a customer who is genuinely pleased with the results obtained from Jencare.

Describe your typical day.

My typical day begins quite early. I am a 'morning' person. I wake at 6 a.m., and as much as I'd like to say that I go to the gym regularly, I can't say that just yet, but soon. I am still completing my studies at the moment, so that typically sets my daily schedule. I usually check with my staff in the morning to see if there are any concerns or issues to be immediately dealt with, complete my schoolwork and then head to Jencare. Very often in the evenings I will have lengthy chats with my brother about the company, our plans, and goals for it, and it reminds me a lot of the talks our parents have had. He is such an integral part of this business as well, and I like to think of us as mimicking the 'dynamic duo'.

How would you advise young persons in your age group who are contemplating a business career?

It is definitely a rewarding pursuit. The key is to genuinely have heart for whatever it is that you set out to do, formulate a plan, and execute it. Don't be afraid of making mistakes, but make sure you learn from them.

What do you do for fun, and what has been your biggest surprise to date?

I'm still young, and I like to do what young people typically do. The people who know me would laugh while reading this, because I am known to remind everyone that I am young, as I approach what I call the 'new 20s'. For fun, I really enjoy catching up with my friends.

My biggest surprise to date is my mom taking my NextJen line seriously. It started off as an exciting phone call filled with a list of ingredients, after obtaining my MSc in chemistry, and here we are.

What is the most important lesson that you have learnt from Jencare?

I have learnt what the strength and dedication of a dynamic Jamaican duo can achieve. Oh, and patience ... lots of patience!!!