The idea for my business came about in 2014 after the birth of my daughter, Tiffany. Tiffany was born with an open myelomeningocele (a birth defect where there is incomplete closure of the backbone and membranes around the spinal cord) and hydrocephalus. She had to do a number of surgeries as early as four hours after birth and, as a result, her skin started to break out due to the number of medicines that were going through her body.
When nothing seemed to work to clear up her skin, we turned to essential oils and natural butters—this was when we started to see improvements. I’ve always had a creative mind, so I started to think about how they could be utilized in skin and hair care. My passion and knowledge grew and in 2015, I decided to channel them into developing my unique brand—NaturalAnnie Essentials.
My husband and I are from Jamaica and have been married for seven years. We have two beautiful girls who keep us on our toes constantly. Tiffany is three years old and Thalia is four months old. Fun fact—they both have my first name as their middle name (Annya) and thank heavens I did that as they look nothing like me, so the name is all I got! (LOL!)
One fun thing about running a home-based business is getting the chance to, well, be home! Some days it runs super easy, especially when the kids are sleeping; other days I work in total chaos as Tiffany tries to make her own products, Thalia is crying to get her diaper changed, and my husband is making loud noises as he labels containers— FUN, right? I wouldn’t trade it for anything, though.
A great lesson I’ve learned is to always, always have proper documentation for your work. Do not take people’s word for an agreement because most often when money is involved, people will switch up on you. It’s sad, but it’s a part of the business world and as a small business, your business becomes very personal and you don’t want anyone taking that for granted. So always protect yourself with agreements and procedures.
Being a mom makes me want to make all the things for my kids—just knowing all the toxic products out there and seeing how it can be dangerous scares the crap out of me! So I’m always thinking of an alternative to the typical over-the-counter product and I usually end up making a cleaner version of it for my household. Some of these magical potions often end up in my store and my customers love them, too!
Go after what you want! And ALWAYS document your business moves—never go into any kind of “deal” without a signed agreement. I recently had a shop close down and take off with hundreds of dollars in products from me and without the proper documentation, I wouldn’t be able to go after her to get my belongings back!
Enjoy your baby and enjoy being the best mom you can be! Also, stay away from Facebook mom groups! Ninety-five percent of these mom groups are brutal and trust me—you won’t need that added stress.
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Annya was born and raised on the beautiful island of Jamaica and has always been a creative soul, with an eye for all things bright ‘n’ bold. She is a mom of two girls, and is a plant and wine lover—merlot, please! She is a certified aromatherapist who has a passion for taking nature’s most scrumptious ingredients and turning them into divine beauty products you just can’t live without. Follow her on Instagram at NaturalAnnieEssentials, on Facebook at NaturalAnnieEssentials and on Pinterest at NaturalAnnie15. Make sure to check out her soy candles here.
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