- Posted in All University
- Category: Campus News
For alumnae TEHMA SMITH WILSON ’00 and her two friends, MICHELLE DAVENPORT JOHNSON and RONAE BROCK, the challenge of finding healthy and safe skin and hair care products for themselves and their daughters gave birth to their company, Earth’s Enrichments.
“My partners have six daughters between them and they got tired of looking for products that the 16-year-old could use, but not the six-year-old,” she says. “(There was a need for) products with all-natural ingredients they and their daughters could use without worrying about the adverse effects of the chemicals on the skin and hair.”
Since 2012, the Baltimore-based company has manufactured and sold United States Department of Agriculture Organic Certified and natural hair and skin care products, including bar soaps, sugar scrubs, bath salts, body balms, and lip balms, which contain no parabens, sulfates, phthalates, petroleum, preservatives, or artificial coloring and fragrances. The USDA certification means their products contain 95% or more organic ingredients.
According to the company’s website, prices range from $3.99 for lip balms to $24.99 for scrubs. Gifts sets are available for $32.97.
Recently, the company introduced a line of hair care products, including shampoo and conditioning bars, hair growth oils, hair pomades, and dry scalp anti-itch serum from $9.99 to $14.99. She says they also have plans to offer a natural deodorant as well, which Wilson believes will be helpful for women atrisk for breast cancer since the aluminum and other ingredients in commercial deodorants can be a contributing factor.
“It’s a niche market and it’s certainly bigger than when we started in 2012,” she says. “As people become more health conscious, they’re not just concerned about what they put in their bodies, but what they put on their bodies as well.”
And the buzz is growing.
So far, the company and its products have been featured in the Afro Newspaper, both The Baltimore and Annapolis Times, The Washington Informer, Organic Spa Magazine, on Radio One’s Larry Young Morning Show, and during news segments on Fox 45 and WBAL TV (NBC affiliate, Channel 11).
Wilson, who received a bachelor’s degree in physics from Lincoln, an entrepreneurship and new ventures MBA from Pennsylvania State University and a Juris Doctorate from Temple University Beasley School of Law, remains a practicing attorney. She says it was her professional background and that of her partners’ that has been essential for the “grassroots” business effort.
Brock, who is a product developer, worked at Personal Products Company and McNeil Consumer Products Company, both subsidiaries of Johnson & Johnson. While Johnson, who handles the manufacturing of their products, has a background in both manufacturing and government contracting, and once served as a vice president of a military supplier.
“We have a (manufacturing) location space, and we have people to work with her (Johnson),” Wilson says. “As we grow, we’ll bring more people in to help with the manufacturing and shipment.”
While Wilson wouldn’t offer sales figures, she says that they have seen a doubling in sales each year. Currently, Earth’s Enrichments products are available regionally at Whole Food’s, and in natural or health foods markets in Maryland, Washington, D.C., Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Tennessee, and online through their website and Amazon.com.
To learn more, visit: earthsenrichments.com.