Faith and a second chance were exactly what Claudine Campbell-Bryan needed to restore her hope of becoming a successful entrepreneur.
After a few failed attempts at entrepreneurship, the mother of two received her confirmation of a second chance after visiting a church service one evening and was handpicked from the congregation.
The speaker delivering the sermon called her to the front of the church and said, “God has given you ideas for business over the years, but you have not acted on them, and He is giving you one more chance,” she shares in an interview with JIS News.
While she did not take any immediate action, she could not ignore the declaration that was made over her life.
On her way to a Board meeting at her primary job one day, she questioned, “God what am I going to do?” In an instant, a voice said “candles”.
With no prior knowledge on candles except “if I get a candle, I light a candle and sing a sankey”, she got excited and called her husband to tell him that she had a new idea for yet another business.
Mrs. Campbell-Bryan sat in the boardroom thinking of a name for her business and almost instantaneously, ‘Scentre Yourself’ – a name that she knew would, one day, be recognised internationally – permeated her thoughts.
She did her research, and an all-natural, handmade line of soy wax candles was born in 2018.
Having received positive feedbacks from her clients, her offerings quickly expanded to add a skincare line that includes soaps of various kinds, a beard-care line for men, lip balm, body butter, body scrub and more.
Prior to this, her entrepreneurial pursuits had led her down the path of cosmetology, which she did, merely because she could.
“I remember seeing someone doing nails… . I love nails and so I started doing it. I also did hair and make-up but of course I did not seek council from God for any of those crafts. I just did them because I was good at doing them,” Mrs. Campbell-Bryan notes.
In 2018, she did some research into producing pampers because she had two sons who were using the product heavily. She did her research and was able to secure an overseas supplier.
She even had the product passed by the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ). However, it did not take long for her to realise that “the amount of money that I would invest and the price that I would be selling it for would not make much sense.”
While the market may seem saturated with numerous natural skincare product options, what sets Scentre Yourself apart is the pride that Mrs. Campbell-Bryan puts into making, packaging and personally delivering each product that she sells.
“I pride myself in giving the best… I don’t short-change. If it isn’t good for me, it’s not good for the customer. For example, if I make a line of candles and when I look at it and it’s not the best quality, I don’t sell it. I would keep them or give them away,” she says.
An even greater satisfaction for the entrepreneur is when her clients use her products and they share their experiences with her.
Even though the primary goal of any business is to generate profit, Scentre Yourself goes beyond that. The God-fearing woman of purpose uses her product line to motivate others.
“It’s an inspired business, so it is not just to sell products but also to change lives. Right now, I offer soap and candle-making courses, which I call my empowerment sessions, where women, for the most part who don’t have jobs or want to augment their income, come and we share on different topics, including spirituality, health and so forth,” Mrs. Campbell-Bryan says.
She encourages persons to know that “you can use what God has given you to create wealth for yourself. Outside of that too, I also want persons to know that every moment of life that you can take to centre yourself, take it.”
“Do not go into a business because someone else is doing it and it looks like it’s profitable, because you do not know what struggles they would have gone through,” Mrs. Campbell-Bryan advises.
She encourages aspiring entrepreneurs to “do your research. Look at the market and see where you can sell your products and try to bring a product that is different from what someone else is offering. The market is big enough for all of us, so just do the best that you can with what you are doing”.
“Ensure that you seek help, you need it. One of the things that I will say is read and research because many entrepreneurs do not know about the BSJ, which will assist persons who want to export their products; the Development Bank of Jamaica that offers loans and grants to fund your business; the Jamaica Business Development Corporation, which provides assistance with taking your business to the next level; and the Companies Office of Jamaica to get your business registered,” Mrs. Campbell-Bryan tells JIS News.
She hopes to use her business to continue to advance the lives of others and will be looking to partner with overseas suppliers and distributors for future business success.