Saturday, April 20, 2024

Pride and industry


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Cheggins, a small manufacturing business offering a line of skin care products, is a mere seven years old. But that has not stopped its directors from creating a special  line for Barbados’ 50th anniversary of independence.

Managing director Cheryl Wiggins, her son and assistant director Jermaine Worrell, as well as her husband Stephen Wiggins, who is a director, all have a hand in ensuring the Christ Church business delivers its products with Pride.

This new line (Pride) is an addition to her extensive range of products which include body butters, lotions, bath gels, body scrubs, and an insect repellent.

“From working in a spa I fell in love with the products and started to do the courses and just started to create the products. I didn’t have a background in manufacturing but I did all of the courses for manicures, pedicures, the skin care, facials and massage and then from taking care of the products at my workplace I fell in love with them and went from there,” she said.

Using her savings, the businesswoman stepped out on her own and her workmates were among the first customers. It was they who spread the word about Cheggins and then the calls came from recommendations and the business grew.

Did she imagine she would have reached this point so soon?

“To be honest with you, no, because when I started out I didn’t look at the big picture. I was saying to one of my sisters ‘I would do this on the side in case anybody wants a basket’ but she said to me not to look at it so but on a big scale. I really wasn’t looking for it to take off like this,” she disclosed.

Wiggins noted that she started out making coffee scrubs after “a lot of young people” asked her how to “firm up their legs” and she knew coffee was the right ingredient to firm the skin.

The businesswoman said that customers can request items which were made specifically for them.

Ingredients are almost fully locally barring “one or two” to come up with combinations such as mango passion, coconut and pomegranate.

She added: “We try to use as much local fruits as we can. We experiment with the ingredients. We try taking the oil from the fruit and see how it goes from there and keep developing as we go on.”

Every product made is tested before it goes to market and she uses therapists to help her determine if they are up to scratch.

After deciding to launch the business, her intention was to have her products used in spas and regular consumers.

“We have about five spas and we cater to about two villas. We make shampoos, conditioners and lotions for the villas and I also supply Sandy Lane with products,” she shared adding, that she hopes to take products to the international market.

Her Pride line includes a body mist is created from the oil of the Pride of Barbados flower, a scrub using local sugar and a body butter.

“We’re in the process of doing a lotion because customers are asking for it. The idea just came, I would not lie to you, it just came and I said it would be really nice to do something local for our 50th anniversary and I just went ahead.

“The response has been fabulous.”

She does not only cater for women. There is a line of products for men and she recently added Million Bucks to Macho Man and Romance in Paradise. She also has products for younger people.

Knowing that the skin care market is dominated by international brands, Wiggins said she has not received any negative feedback, instead, consumers are happy with Barbadian products.

“People are happy to find something that is locally made and the response I’m getting is that it’s a good product and I will support you and not Bath and Body works. We also have scented candles and we use coconut shells to [hold] the coconut candles.

“In the next two to three months, I’m looking to make roll-ons, that is next on the agenda. I do courses online … and I never stop trying to develop and expand my product line,” she said.

For those who want to know the difference between a butter and a lotion, Wiggins said the butter is more moisturising and is perfect for retaining moisture for those who work in air conditioned businesses. Lotions do not moisturise as deeply. (Green Bananas Media)


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