MOTHERS have been some of the hardest hit by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Globally, mothers have lost their jobs, largely as a result of care-giving demands as many were forced to leave their careers to be at home for their families.
Despite the daunting health and economic challenges posed by the pandemic, Aisha Huggins-Hunte, a 29-year-old wife and mother of a three-month-old baby is determined to succeed for her family.
For Huggins-Hunte, who hails from Cunupia, failure is not an option. She is the founder and owner of Berly Essentials, an all-natural beauty product for hair and skin.
Hunte explains that having a baby during a pandemic has definitely changed everything in her life. She says juggling the responsibilities as a parent and her business has brought a whole new meaning to multitasking.
“I must say, as a new mom to an infant, and a business owner, my new role has brought out some characteristics I didn’t know I had. It has truly tapped into my management skills,” she said.
Hunte says as each day is different and presents different challenges, she has learned to take one day at a time.
“I literally have to make a conscious decision to stay passionate and make a deliberate effort to try and not get overwhelmed by the demands of both roles,” she said.
Hunte’s desire to have her own business started when she was a child. While other children her age enjoyed playing with their toys, Hunte saw an entrepreneurial opportunity.
She said, “I always was inclined to have a business. So much so, that even as a child I used to sell my story books or anything I considered valuable to residents in my neighbourhood. It eventually fuelled this passion into another passion of mine, which is natural hair care. By formulating home-made products which have worked tremendously for me as well as my family and friends, it was only fair that I shared it with the public.” Balancing motherhood, and her beauty business has not been easy for the “mompreneur”, who says her faith in God has got her through some difficult times.
She said her husband David’s unwavering support at home and with her business, gave her the time and opportunity to make the necessary changes to keep her business afloat during the pandemic.
Caring for one’s hair has always been a passion for the busy mom who turned her idea into the business in 2017.
Hunte has managed to get her natural hair care product on the shelves at Pennywise, one of the leading beauty supply chains in Trinidad and Tobago.
The savvy businesswoman says she is happy that the company’s slogan “Care for yourself Naturally”, has resonated with the public, since the aim is “to spread the message of safe, non-chemical and clean beauty care”.
Hunte hopes that one day it becomes a household name in haircare.
She enjoys giving women in Trinidad and Tobago that extra bit of confidence to wear their natural hair with pride.
While Hunte is able to dazzle her family in the kitchen with her culinary skills, it is her intuitive skills in blending all natural ingredients to make her hair and skin care products that have made Berly Essentials a success.
She said, “Our Sweet Almond and Avocado Oil Hair Moisturizer is our cash cow. We carry two sizes: 8oz and 16oz. It is formulated to hydrate and restore dry hair cuticles, prevent knots, tangles, and breakage. It adds moisture to dry hair. It defines and enhances natural texture while promoting hair growth and shine.
“We also carry our Revive and Repair Hair Oil Fusion, which soothes and stimulates the scalp, penetrates, nourishes, and locks in moisture, reduces breakage, and promotes length retention.
“In our skincare line we carry our Turmeric and Charcoal Face and Body Scrubs. They are used to exfoliate and remove dead skin, leaving your skin soft and supple.
“We manufacture and sell wholesale to retailers. We keep our prices reasonable to stay competitive with the other brands on the market.”
Hunte says undoubtedly great customer service has been absolutely vital in keeping Berly Essentials afloat.
“When customers give us feedback on how much they love our products and how much it has helped them, it really keeps us going. It’s very fulfilling when you can offer something that improves people’s quality of life… even in a little 8oz jar of moisturiser,” she said.
Thanks to their loyal customers, Hunte says Berly Essentials will be expanding its range of products very soon.
“We are currently working on a leave-in moisture mist, shampoo and conditioner. We are also looking at having our products retailed regionally and eventually internationally,” she said.