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November 10, 2012
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Racquell Brown: A woman on a mission

Racquell Brown, managing director of Irie Rock Yaad Spa, showcasing her line of natural skin-care products. - Contributed

Entrepreneur Racquell Brown, owner of Irie Rock Yaad Spa, is a woman on a mission. Having single-handedly launched her line of natural skin-care products, Brown is now looking to expand her business to even higher heights.

Brown's Irie Rock journey, which was born out of her love for natural products, started four years ago while working at a local company. "They were making people redundant at the organisation I was working with, and at the time, I wasn't one of those persons," she said. "But the whole experience got me to thinking, 'What if I was going to be one of those persons soon?' I was thinking about this for a while and said, 'I need to stop toying with the idea (of starting my own business) and get it done'."

Made redundant

Six months later, Brown started her own line of products under the Irie Rock Yaad Spa brand, and a year later, she was made redundant by her employer. Since then, the businesswoman has been focusing solely on getting her company into the local and export markets.

Operating from Spauldings, Clarendon, Irie Rock is now available in Superclubs resorts islandwide, as well as Riu hotels, Half Moon, Rose Hall Country Club, Jamaica Grande, and the Ritz-Carlton. They are also available at a number of pharmacies across the island.

The all-natural, all-Jamaican skincare line features a range of mood-boosting scents, namely: Papaya Path, Mango Walk, Coconut Sensation, Vanilla Bliss, Citrus Fields, Coffee Delight, Pineapple Express, Watermelon Fresh, Jamaican Cocoa Butter, and the charity line Passion (I Dare U), the proceeds from which are donated to a different charity each year.

Tourists

"Hotels are currently my biggest customers, as well as spas and gift shops. Those products usually only reach to the tourists, and I would like to expand to locals and push that as a core market," she said.

Following the success of last year, Irie Rock Yaad Spa was once again an eager participant in JAMPRO's Business Linkages Event at JAPEX 2012, which was held at the Sunset Jamaica Grande in Ocho Rios from September 30 - October 2. This year; Brown introduced a new product to the Irie Rock lined dubbed Tea Tree. According to Brown, the reaction was great from interested buyers and passers-by.

"It was very good, not complaining. Got some real interest. The difference between shows like the Business Linkages event and a little expo is that persons that are here are really here looking for goods and a chance for good linkages," she said.

Brown applauded JAMPRO's ongoing efforts to facilitate her spa line, noting that the agency provided her with constant feedback, updates, and invitations to a number of useful and informative trade events.

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