Jessica Echendu is a young Nigerian entrepreneur who has taken her passion for skin care into formulating and sourcing for the best of organic African skincare products. She is successfully running Organics Par Jessica, a growing skin care brand birthed and based in Lagos, Nigeria. She’s sharing with us today her experience as an entrepreneur, her motivation and the challenges she faces.
Please, can you introduce yourself?
My name is Jessica Echendu. I am a 24-year-old graduate of law currently running an organic skincare business.
What do you do?
I run Organics Par Jessica where I produce and stock locally made African skincare products.
How long have you been an entrepreneur?
I have been an entrepreneur since 2013- my second year in the university.
How and why did you get into the organic skincare business?
I used to have really sensitive skin when I was much younger. I would react to regular beauty soaps and most medicated soaps were too harsh for me, so for a long time, I had to stick to using baby skincare products. A friend of mine introduced me to black soap while I was in school and I fell in love!
That is where it all began. I started sourcing for locally made black soap and from researching online, I started to explore natural oils too. It was like I had been introduced to a whole new world where all my skin problems were reduced to nothing in little time. People around me started to notice that my skin looked better and of course, everyone wanted in on the secret. That was how Organics par Jessica was born.
Can you describe your experience making your first organic skin care product?
The first skincare product I ever produced was a body butter mix. It was a very exciting experiment as I was very eager to try my hands at it, after months of research.
What’s your favorite ingredient? And why do you love it?
My favourite ingredient is turmeric because it has endless benefits and can be infused in almost any type of product.
What’s your skin care routine like?
My skincare routine is very very extensive. On a typical day, I cleanse with black-soap, tone with the rosewater toner, prevent acne breakouts with the acne serum and moisturize. I also do weekly and bi-weekly rituals that include exfoliating, steaming and using face and body masks. I share videos of my routine on Instagram- @par_jessica.ng
What’s your ultimate skincare tip?
DRINK WATER. A lot of people tend to overlook this, but you need to stay hydrated to achieve clear healthy glowing skin.
What’s the creative process like for creating a new product?
Creating a new product is a process I take very very seriously. It takes a long process of research, balancing, and trials. A lot of thought goes into creating a formula, picking the right name for the product, and choosing the right packaging.
What was your biggest fear when starting a business and how did you overcome it?
Failing. I didn’t want to make products I wouldn’t be able to sell
What was the biggest rookie mistake you made when you were just starting out?
Not pushing my business. For the first few months when I started, I didn’t push my products as I should have. This slowed down the growth of my business and I’m glad I’ve learnt from it.
Do you have any mentors and whats the best advice you’ve gotten from them?
I have a lot of people that support me. The best advice I’ve gotten from anyone is to take things “one step at a time”.
What are the challenges you face running a business in Nigeria?
I would say sourcing for capital and handling logistics.
With all these challenges you face, how do you stay motivated?
It’s easy to lose focus or motivation if you don’t have a plan… I have learnt to face challenges head-on from past experiences and to never lose focus no matter how difficult things get.
What is your favourite part about running your business and what’s your least favourite part?
My favourite part of running my business is sorting out customers’ orders. Knowing that the package I’m handling will be received with joy and satisfaction makes me happy. ..My least favourite part is handling logistics.
What has been your biggest accomplishment since you started your business?
My biggest accomplishment since I started has been attaining over 85% satisfaction rate from all my customers.
What’s unique about your business?
What makes Organics Par Jessica unique is the love that’s put into the formulation of all our products.
What’s your brand’s Target Market/Audience
Organics par Jessica’s market audience is the authentic African, both male and female – young an old. Anybody with the love for beauty and natural skincare who is not interested in compromising their skin tone to achieve healthy glowing skin.
What are the goals for your business and/or brand in 5-years’ time?
In 5 years time, Organics par Jessica will be one of the leading African skincare brands promoting beauty in every skin tone.
Do you have any advice for a young Nigerian like you, who wants to start a business in Nigeria?
Take everything one step at a time. As long as you’re willing to work towards it, you can achieve it.
How can we reach you?
Organics par Jessica is on Instagram as “@par_jessica.ng”, on Facebook as Organics Par Jessica and the phone and WhatsApp line is +234 70 535 74874