Woman starts nutrition business with last $6,000
How do you go from having your last $6,000 to creating a multimillion-dollar business that has positively impacted the lives of 25,000 people in three years?
The Healthy Woman Ja founder Nichelle Nembhard will tell you that it's a mixture of grit, determination, intuitive business savvy, and a knack for finding solutions. Started in 2020, The Healthy Woman Ja was built from a moment of desperation. Nembhard, who grew up in Rivoli, Spanish Town, St Catherine, in very humble circumstances, had just left her job at a call centre and was down to her last $6,000. She was tired of watching her mom struggle to provide for her family on only $30,000 a month, with half of that going to rent. Nembhard had an important decision to make. Would she spend this money on food, or would she use it to start a business? She made the bold choice to step into entrepreneurship, and in her words, "Once I made the first sale, I decided not to go back to working for someone else." She hasn't looked back since.
The Healthy Woman Ja offers 100 per cent, all-natural, gluten-free, non-GMO products and nutritional herbs to help women struggling with reproductive and health issues, such as infertility, polycystic ovarian syndrome, difficult menstruations, depression and fibroids. When she started, Nembhard was selling primarily yoni products, before expanding to include supplements and teas. She has literally become a student of her craft, reading up on herbal and health products so that she can reliably provide her clients with the best and most effective remedies for their ailments.
"At first it was just a business opportunity, to be honest," she said. "But after people started coming in with their stories, and you see where you're changing people's lives ... it's a good feeling." She has developed an empathy for the women who seek out her products, noting that some of them have been trying to get pregnant for years. A quick glance at The Healthy Woman Ja's website and Instagram page will reveal reviews from women who have, since using the products, experienced drastic improvement in their sexual and reproductive health. Some have had successful pregnancies after years of trying.
"Quite a few persons want to give me the godmother title," she chuckled. Nembhard also shared that she benefited from the use of her products after discovering that she had a hormonal imbalance.
"I lost over 30 pounds, the imbalance stopped, and my skin cleared up," she said.
Nembhard said that many of her clients tried doctors and medicines, and that The Healthy Woman Ja was "a last resort".
Despite its name, The Healthy Woman Ja offers a fertility pill and tea for men, but Nembhard admitted that it's primarily the women who will buy for their partners. She expressed gratitude that the business has allowed her to improve herself and her family, while serving others. One of her proudest moments was the day she was able to teach her mother the business. She has also moved out of the inner city, and is looking towards a brighter, more comfortable future.
Her role models are Amazon's Jeff Bezos, because he "is making so much money, yet doesn't make a physical product", and local entrepreneur Star Dawkins, who she admires for successfully growing her herbal health business.
Nembhard has her sights set on similar success for The Healthy Woman Ja. She is currently expanding her business with the purchase of equipment that will allow her to meet increasing daily demands. Her ultimate vision is to run her own herbal pharmacy.