By Christian Portilla The Miami Herald
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) For women in business who need a little inspiration, meet the unbelievable Barbara Jacques. Jacques is the founder of Jacq's Organics, a natural skin-care company which she launched after being diagnosed with a tumor during pregnancy. After the diagnosis, wary of chemicals, she decided to start making her soaps, masks and lotions at home -- essentially turning her home kitchen into a lab. The rest is history...
The Miami Herald
When Barbara Jacques found out she was pregnant, her life instantly changed. Not only was she carrying a baby, but doctors also discovered she had an ovarian tumor, a complication that led her to take better care of her health and her unborn child's.
After researching favorite beauty-care products, she determined most of them contained chemicals, some which may have led to her ailment. Determined not to expose her baby and unsuccessfully finding what she was looking for on the market, she decided to start making her soaps, masks and lotions -- essentially turning her home kitchen into a lab. Fortunately, she gave birth to a healthy baby girl, and her tumor was removed.
It's been two years since Jacques quit her job to launch Jacq's Organics, a natural skin-care company. On Sunday, Jacq's Organics will co-host a green beauty event at The Bodhi Tree House in Miami. The event is aimed at bringing awareness to the popular and ever-budding "green beauty industry," a health-conscious movement putting chemical-free products on the market.
"I've had a lot of support. The business is growing. It's definitely been a life changer. I've always wanted to be an entrepreneur, but I didn't know how," Jacques said. "My husband [James] was the one that saw how creative I was, so he kept telling me to do this full time because it came naturally to me."
The line now features soaps like the bestselling Carrot Con Leche, a bar with ingredients including coconut oil, organic rice milk, shredded organic carrots and essential oils. Jacques also creates masks, serums toners and lip products, all sourced from natural ingredients. She recently made a lime and cactus soap bar, foraging the plant from a neighbors lot.
She's carefully perfected all of her recipes through trial and error, taking up to a year to develop. Jacques of Dania Beach uses local ingredients from neighboring farms.
Shelah Rhoulac began using Jacq's Organics products after suffering from skin breakouts. Since then, she's noticed improvement in her skin.
"I use the products every day, and I now have a regimen I follow and my skin has cleared up a lot," Rhoulac said. "I was lucky because Barbara and I met and she taught me how to use the products and everything made sense to me."
Jacq's Organics is just one of several independent skin and soap companies in South Florida. Other lines include Mi-Me Handmade Bath & Body Products, Wild Medicine, and Sakura Soap Co., to name a few. These local companies feature products that don't use animal byproducts and are not tested on living creatures. Also, the products are not hazardous to users or the environment.
Sunday's beauty gathering, called Awaken the Goddess Within, will be for like-minded women and green companies, featuring natural products, makeup artists and beauty experts. For Jacques, it's about educating women on their product options and health, using ingredients that are safe.
"I've learned after going natural and organic that beauty starts from the inside out. I've realized it's not only what you put on your skin, but also what you put into your body," she said. "We want to create a sisterhood and give women an afternoon of coming together. This will be a launch to a series of community events we have in the works to teach people about green beauty."