My name is Bernice, but most call me Denise which is my middle name. “Cringe”, I know right. I’m a 35 year old mother of 7 beautiful kids, and wife to my husband (middle school sweetheart) for 10 years. I’m a Licensed Practical Nurse, but have always been very crafty from my teens, up to adulthood. I started making soaps over 15 years ago as a hobby, not knowing that I would be the mixtress that I am today.
How long have you been natural?
I have been completely natural for 3 years and 5 months. I have been making hair care products since 2012 for public purchase. I did the Big Chop on 3/13/2013. I must say my biggest challenge during the beginning stages of my hair journey was finding products that would keep my hair moisturized.
Where do you find the inspiration behind your products?
My biggest inspiration behind my products, is definitely my three daughters. It still amazes me how different the products work for each of them. I also take inspiration from my love of nature, and the beauty of being an African American woman.
How was Product Junkie Naturals Created?
Every product brand that Walmart carried, I tried it. Nothing worked. So, about 9 months into my journey I was thoroughly disgusted with not being able to find products that worked for me and my girls. I also had to deal with one of my daughters dealing with a ton of allergies. After really looking at the ingredients in the products that I had been using, and researching different oils/butters I decided to try making my own Shea Butter mixture. It worked! My hair stayed soft and moisturized for days. Talk about being super excited. It was at this point that I really got deep in the researching of product making, with the intention of making products for my family. At what looked like super speed hair growth, some of the nurses began asking me what I was using for my hair, and I told them it was just some homemade hair cream. By this time, I had learned how to make basic leave in conditioners as well. What started as a personal journey for healthier hair, changed with the purchase from a fellow co-worker that had asked for a sample of my butter concoction.I was off a few days, but when I went back to work she walked up to me so calmly, that it was scary.
She said to me, “Oh my God, I don’t know what you put in that hair stuff, but I love it!”
After 2 years of product research, and a ton of raw ingredients later we officially started selling products to the general public. So, in a nut shell Product Junkie Naturals is a natural hair care line born from my frustration with the lack of Coconut Oil and Nut free products on the market for natural hair care. I also wanted to provide products at an affordable price, and at the same time give enough product that someone could get more than 2 uses out of. I know the difference that our products have made for many families. It still warms my heart when those same few who ordered before the fancy labels and bottles still order today.
What advice do you have for others who want to start a small business?
Never give up. many start, but never finish. Do your research, and know what it is you can do for your target customers.
What’s your favorite product in the collection?
I would definitely have to say the Rhassoul Clay Wash. I absolutely love how clean and soft it leaves my hair.