August 2023 Health/Wellness
Joelanda (Ms. Lane)
Jo a n d N o r a ' s S o a p C o .
Candles, Soap, & Skin Care
What inspired you to start your entrepreneurship journey?
My entrepreneurship journey was inspired by my ability to freely and creatively express myself through my own interpretations of art. One of them being the art of healing, which is why I began making skincare products and candles.
What does your company name "Jo and Nora's Soap Co." represent?
Our name represents love and originality. I named the company after both my nine year old daughter and myself. I wanted to create something that was wholesome and authentic like we are and like our products are.
What kind of products do you sell?
Jo & Nora’s sells an array of different products. We started out making natural and vegan bar soaps. Eventually, we expanded into creating body butter, creams, serum, exfoliating scrubs, candles, and so much more!
Can you describe some of the health benefits your products provide?
Our products provide benefits that aid in maintaining healthy skin. Its healing properties have the ability to not only improve skin conditions, such as eczema, hyperpigmentation, and acne; but it works as an emollient remedy for hydration and retaining moisture.
Do you have a favorite product in your company?
Yes! My favorite product is our body butters. We’ve combined some of the most hydrating butters and oils and whipped them to perfection. The way they absorb into the skin while leaving behind a glow is amazingly satisfying. What’s even better is the different scents they come in!
What is your favorite scent?
My favorite scent honestly depends on how I’m feeling, what mood I’m in, in that moment. That can be sweet and floral like peony, and lavender or natural, and earthy like tea tree and rosemary.
Your candles are stunning! Without giving away your trade secrets, can you describe what your candle making process looks like?
Thank you! My first thought or description of the candle making process would be “tedious". Having to properly and strategically measure the soy wax at the right temperature, while constantly stirring and adding other ingredients can be a hassle. I will also admit how therapeutic the process is and how it subconsciously teaches me patience. You certainly have to have it when making candles!
Have you been able to attend any events or pop-up shops?
Absolutely! My first pop-up shop was at a Black-owned beauty supply store here in Houston a couple of years ago. It was the best experience of my life and small business journey. It introduced me to a community of like minded entrepreneurs who shared a common passion. Creatively building while breaking generational curses.
You have a visually appearing Instagram page for your business? Why is storytelling important to you?
Yes, I have a visually appearing Instagram account. I use a minimalistic approach when storytelling. My strategy is to not only market our products, but to create realistic, and aesthetic content that engages our audiences. To display how to incorporate our products into their everyday life, the benefits of using them, and how consistency is important.
Can you leave our readers with one skincare tip?
My skincare tip would be that whatever routine you adopt, do it consistently. Remember that you don’t need heavy, harsh, and harmful products to maintain/achieve healthy skin. Most importantly, love the skin you’re in and be gentle with yourself. Always.
"My skincare tip would be that whatever routine you adopt, do it consistently. Remember that you don’t need heavy, harsh, and harmful products to maintain/achieve healthy skin. Most importantly, love the skin you’re in and be gentle with yourself. Always".
Are there any challenges you've had to overcome as an entrepreneur?
Yes, I have experienced so many challenges as an entrepreneur. There are times where I don’t receive any orders for weeks and even months. It was a shocker when I first started my small business journey because I became accustomed to a bi-weekly salary. I had to make a decision to resign from the law firm I was previously employed in order to pursue Jo & Nora’s full-time. I knew it required all of my energy for it to truly succeed. I struggle still, to pay bills, and other expenses. I am here, making it, because of God's grace, my sweet daughter, supportive family, and friends who encourage/motivate me.
What are some words of advice you can give to future CEOs who want to start their own health and beauty company?
My advice to anyone who dares to follow their passion will be to keep going no matter what anyone says to discourage you. Understand that there will be sacrifices and adversity that you’d have to face. You’re going to make tons of mistakes, learn from them, focus, and give it all you’ve got!
"My advice to anyone who dares to follow their passion will be to keep going no matter what anyone says to discourage you. Understand that there will be sacrifices and adversity that you’d have to face. You’re going to make tons of mistakes, learn from them, focus, and give it all you’ve got".
Facebook: Jo and Nora's Soap Company
B u t t e r e d G i r l s
What inspired you to start your entrepreneur journey?
Generational wealth, a better life for my family, and a product that can change lives by giving people the gift of glowing, and hydrated skin are what motivated me to create my brand.
Can you describe what your hand making process looks like? How long does it take to make one product?
All of my products are handmade with love. I start by melting down my shea butter. Once it’s all melted, I place it in the freezer to get firm. I remove the shea butter from the freezer and use a mixer to whip it. As the shea butter whips, I add olive oil and coconut oil, which makes the shea butter light and fluffy. Watching the shea butter double in volume, while humming the newest track by Ari Lennox, is my therapy session. As soon as I get a perfect consistency, it’s time to color and scent.
Piping is my favorite part of making shea butter because I get to play with colors. I see the beautiful and colorful outcome of the colors that were put together in the piping bag. My shea butter scrubs go through pretty much the same process, except I add sugar. The sugar scrubs are scooped into their jars with different colors at a time to give you a pretty pattern. I add a little swirl at the top by mixing the colors by hand. One batch can make me about 8 jars of shea butter. It takes me approximately 2 hours. Time could be shorter, but I’m such a perfectionist.
Do you have a favorite product in your company?
As much as I love shea butter, I would have to say the sugar scrubs are my favorite. Why? The way they leave my skin silky smooth, and hydrated that I don’t need the shea butter until later on or the next day.
What is your favorite scent?
My favorite scent would have to be Honey Fig. It’s a sweet light smell, but has a nice musky flower smell to it. It makes me feel like I’m laying in a field of daffodils. I love flowers.
What are some of the skin and health benefits of shea butter?
Hydration is the number one benefit from using shea butter products. It keeps your skin moisturized, glowing, and gets rid of dry patches all year around. It has anti-aging properties that keep your skin young and firm. Shea butter promotes collagen production leaving you with healthy skin. It calms and soothes itchy, dry, and irritated skin from eczema and psoriasis. It heals skin from cuts, burns, and restores skin’s elasticity.
"Hydration is the number one benefit from using shea butter products. It keeps your skin moisturized, glowing, and gets rid of dry patches all year around. It has anti-aging properties that keep your skin young and firm".
Why should body scrubs be added to someone's bath or shower routine?
Sugar scrubs are a plus if added to your shower routine. Not only do they make you feel like you’ve just come from a spa treatment, your skin will be rejuvenated and hydrated like never before. Using a sugar scrub after washing up will restore all the moisture soap takes away from your skin. Exfoliating frequently gets rid of dead skin, cleans dirt out of your pores, and gives you glowing radiant skin every time. The best part is you can take the scrub to a nail appointment. Yep! I know after I get my feet done, and they apply their oil five minutes later my feet are ashy. Have them apply the scrub and watch your feet stay moisturized all day.
Are there any challenges you've had to overcome as a CEO?
Yes! Working a normal 9-5 is easy because when you clock out work is done. Being a CEO means work comes home with you. Sometimes it’s hard to balance work with personal life, especially since I have 5 girls. Yep! Never a dull moment. Managing a business, and a family, can be challenging. I get it done because I love my family. I love what I do. Now I make time for both, and I even get to squeeze in a little me time.
Can you leave our readers with skincare tip advice to keep their skin healthy
SKIN HYDRATION! I cannot stress this enough! We always hear the saying that our body is a temple, and watch what we put in it. But what about what we put on it? Beautiful, glowing, and hydrated skin builds confidence. When you have amazing skin selfies don’t become a task, they become “I don’t take enough selfies” or “ #NOFILTER'' because you love the skin you're in. Last, but certainly not least, SELF- CARE! When you care about your body it shows. If you want to buy a hair mask because you want healthier hair buy it! Like a Perfume and feel like you need it now get it! Seen one of my products and wonder if you could also be laying in a field of daffodils ADD IT TO YOUR CART SIS! Self is wealth.
"SKIN HYDRATION! I cannot stress this enough! We always hear the saying that our body is a temple, and watch what we put in it. But what about what we put on it? Beautiful, glowing, and hydrated skin builds confidence".
What are some words of advice you can give to future entrepreneurs who want to start their own handmade body and skincare company?
Love what you make and make what you love. It has taken me five years to finally roll out my business. I've had my days when I wanted to quit because of no sales, bad customer interactions, or not feeling like I’ll ever get my product to the right people. There were better days when everything just seemed to fall into place. Put the work in because nothing falls in your lap. Trust the process because the results are worth it.
Outside of your business, what are some other hobbies that you enjoy?
I love to paint, cook, and do TikToks with my girls. I have a small garden of spices I’m growing. I'm a history and politics nerd.
Facebook: Buttered Girls