Winner of the 2015 Jamaica Observer's Mogul in the Making competition, Herboo Enterprise, has secured a deal with Cari-Med to promote and retail its products across Jamaica and the Caribbean.
Under the agreement with Cari-Med, the local manufacturer of cosmetic products plans to more than double the number of outlets it distributes to locally and will establish a footprint in five Caribbean territories by the end of the year.
The partnership will also see Herboo's products integrated into Cari-Med's Amazon platform for online sales. Cari-Med is one of the leading pharmaceutical distributors in the Caribbean, representing some of the top international companies.
In 2016, the organic shampoo company secured markets in Florida, the Cayman Islands, Barbados, and Japan and added 10 distribution outlets locally.
Herboo's CEO Javin Williams, while declining to name the new markets, said the company hopes to make a stronger impact on customers with the new distribution deal and repackaged products.
“For them to help push the Jamaican brand is very phenomenal and it's heart-warming. Jamaica has a lot of stores and for us, as a small company to get into all of those stores and do the consistent marketing is very difficult, so having them (Cari-Med) onboard is amazing,” Williams said.
As for the new packaging, Williams believes that it will help boost the brand in both local and international markets.
It's more attractive and has great international appeal. It's very vibrant and colourful; it's easier to use than the old bottles. We are also separating the hair oil from the body oil,” the CEO said, adding that the new logo represents Herboo's mission to connect the world with nature.
Herboo has secured venture capital that will enable the company to acquire raw material at reduced costs and help to increase production. In the short term, Williams is also looking to acquire warehousing space in Kingston along with an office to carry out administrative functions.
Until Herboo acquires its own factory, Williams plans to continue working from the present shared location in St Thomas.
“We are getting bigger. Right now we carry out some of our functions from my two-bedroom apartment,” he said.
In the meantime, the CEO is focused on introducing the rebranded Herboo products that include the Jamaican Sage two-in-one shampoo and conditioner, hair oil, and body oil.
“That's a plant that's very antimicrobial; it helps to get rid of rashes. It basically helps the skin to be healthier. The product also has coconut oil that softens the skin and helps with stretch marks and dark spots,” Williams explained.
He also intends on introducing a line of products to help treat eczema, and possibly acne.
The CEO, who participated in the Scotiabank Vision Achiever 17-week coaching programme in 2015, encourages other small business operators to take advantage of the programme.
“We got some valuable knowledge on how to run and systematise a business. That knowledge we now use in our company,” he said. “Now we ensure that everything is done in a particular way, from how we source raw material to hiring staff, to how we deal with the customer.”