Wed | Apr 1, 2020

Growth & Jobs | Irie Rock products withstanding the international test

Published:Tuesday | May 22, 2018 | 12:00 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin/Gleaner Writer
Racquell Brown, founder of Irie Rock, tells why her products are so special.
Racquell Brown shows off products from her Irie Rock cosmetics line.

An appreciation for local skincare products by the Jamaican populace has made the cosmetic industry ripe for business.

This is according to Racquell Brown, managing director of Irie Rock cosmetic products, who indicated in an interview that the standard and potential for growth within the industry has developed significantly over the years.

"When I started in the industry about eight years ago, we had very few players and the players mainly focused on the spas, they were not a lot of retail brands. Over the years, with the contribution of great local manufacturers, we have been able to somewhat transform the Jamaican public perception on what great skincare is," she said.

"It is no longer, because it comes from 'forin', means that it is better than local products. What I have found out with Jamaican consumers is, if they don't get results and if they are not convinced that the products they are purchasing are of the best quality, there will not be much support," she said.

Brown said despite the hurdles, her eight-year-old company has been able to create quality products which has captured many consumers locally and internationally.


"We have a lot of players in the industry, which is good because it creates a lot of competition, it creates a standard within the industry. I can honestly say that Irie Rock products can stand against any international product. We ensure that the ingredients that we use are of the very best," Brown told The Gleaner.

The managing director encouraged other young entrepreneurs to not be daunted by the challenges, but to believe in their talent and keep pushing.

"I remember sending off that very first batch of products and jumping up in my mother's kitchen when I saw how good the reception was. We had them (client) for about a year and a half; however, soon after they called me and told me that they were going with somebody else. A sunken feeling of defeat came over me because they made up a good 80 per cent of our sales," she recalled.

"You have to find your way of motivating yourself. If you find yourself getting to a space where you are discouraged, you have to find a way to drag yourself out of that space. As an entrepreneur, I have to come to realise that there will be many alone times, but you have to pick yourself up; the longer you're there, the less productive you are and that benefits no one."