The hair care market is big business.
There are so many new hair products that keep hitting the shelves these days that it can be daunting if you are looking for a product to fix a particular problem, whether lack of moisture, breakage, you name it.
And then, there is that moment when it seems like your hair goes “ah ha” and you’ve hit the hair jackpot with that one key product.
Enter – The Mixtress J Cosmetics.
Created by single mother, Jiselle Lamont, The Mixtress J Cosmetics has been around since February 2016.
Lamont worked at a couple of places, the longest stint of which was at Clico from 2005 to 2014.
She said “After they let us go, I worked a couple of places after that, then went in full time in February 2016 with my business.
“Truthfully, I have always been a “kitchen scientist” as I loved taking care of my hair, whether relaxed or natural, always preferred using natural ingredients to do so.”
“When the whole hullabaloo with Clico started in 2009, I was already experimenting with my creations, and at that time I was searching for something to get into, should we lose our jobs.”
Lamont said her family urged her to sell her products, but she didn’t feel like they were ready.
She said “I explored other avenues, including cosmetology/hairdressing, and that was so not my field. I create hair care products, but I CANNOT do hair to save my life!”
We asked Lamont if she had any challenges in getting the business off the ground:
“I can’t say that I had any great challenges in actually starting up my business. As I was working, any financing to purchase raw materials and other production needs came from my salary.”
Learning it all while she grew, Lamont mentioned the many failed batches that she had while she tried to perfect her formulations.
“I didn’t throw them all away so I had some pretty interesting things go in my hair, lol! Eventually though, through hours and hours of research, experimenting, and lots and lots of patience, I finally got the hang of things.”
“My first line had 4 products, one of which became my superstar, the Irish Moss Leave In Conditioner, and was the product for which my brand became known, and still is today. Customers loved it, and when used with the Honey Shea Twist n Seal Butter, is a dream combo.”
Word of mouth spread and soon Lamont’s customer base grew.
“From there I introduced my products to Body Beautiful on Ariapita Avenue, and I’ll be forever grateful to Allison Goddard for giving my products a chance!”
“My customers are mostly female, between the ages of 17 to 55, and most have naturally kinky, curly, or coily hair. This is not to say that other hair types can’t use the products, especially some of the newer products like the Green Tea & Hibiscus Leave In Detangler or the Green Tea & Hibiscus Moisture Milk as they are lighter than the original products in the line.”
“My products can be found on my site www.themixtressj.com or at Pennywise branches nationwide, and also at BC The Beauty Loft in San Fernando.
Getting into Pennywise was actually quite easy. Lamont said she simply sent the company an email, got called in for a meeting and they later agreed to cart her products.
“There are distinct advantages to shopping online including online only discounts/sales that you won’t find in stores, no contact shopping especially in these dangerous COVID times, and the convenience of having your items delivered to your door! One drawback is that online shopping isn’t instant. Items usually take 2 business days to get to the customer after shipping.
“My products are in a niche, but even within that niche, there is a lot of competition coming from other small local brands, bigger local brands, and of course, from international brands that offer similar products. But as I always say, there’s room in the market for everyone, and I believe that once someone gives my products a chance, they would be a repeat buyer, because I put a lot of careful thought and research into my products. Every ingredient I choose plays a specific role, and is chosen with careful consideration.
“I formulate with an end result in mind of what I believe the customer would want when they use my product. I love what I do, and I strive to do it very well. I stand behind every item I put out there, and I make it a point to address all customer concerns and queries. I want to make sure that I have happy and satisfied customers at all times.”
Lamont said she would love to branch out into skincare, as that is also a passion of hers.
“I am in the process of collecting feedback to see if it would be a viable direction to go. The thing is I have so many product ideas in my head, but at the end of the day, it all depends on what customers want to see and would be willing to purchase.”
“COVID has had a negative impact on my business, so much so that I considered giving it up and finding a job. Then, I thought about it and told myself that I can’t just give up, that I have to find a way to keep going, because at the end of the day, what message am I sending to my son, that it’s ok to just give up when the going gets tough? That’s not good enough. So although it’s difficult times right now, this too shall pass.”
Lamont said “Working for yourself is wonderful, but don’t get caught up in the romance of it. It is 10 times harder than working for someone else and, at times, can be way less rewarding. You need to be committed, and need to love what you do, and not look at it as a way of just making a fortune, because when things get tough, you’ll fold. If you want to start something, do it for the right reasons, and make sure you give your best effort.”