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Building a Natural Skin-Care Brand: The bahamaSpa™ Story

by Karen Rollins Apr 15, 2019

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When Indira Weech was a child, she visited Paris, and inspired by the sights, sounds and smells of the city she knew then that she wanted to be a creator.

After living in Europe and returning home to the Bahamas, Indira started to make her dream a reality by handcrafting natural, skin-loving soap bars, formulated with indigenous botanicals and Caribbean scents.

Indira wanted to offer tourists an authentic Bahamian experience as an alternative to traditional mementos; opting for soap, which she dubs the “useful souvenir”.

Her eco-conscious products, made with home-grown ingredients and wrapped in sustainable packaging, provide the perfect way for visitors to the Bahamas to take home a little piece of paradise, while also inspiring them to be more mindful of how much they throw away.

Indira’s business began in 2004 and now bahamaSpa™ has expanded into offering a full body and hair care range, including body scrubs, butters, creams, lotions, massage oils and shampoo bars. At the root of the company’s success is Indira’s “obsession” with formulating products that are good for both the user and the environment.

She says: “If you are going to be successful as an entrepreneur, it can’t just be about money. The days and nights will be long, so you’ll need to find something you’re passionate about, and motivated to keep doing despite the failures you will encounter.”

As well as loving what you do, Indira implores aspiring entrepreneurs to train continuously as she believes knowledge is the key to remaining relevant, improving your product or service and perfecting your brand.

Reflecting on her own entrepreneurial journey, Indira confesses there have been many struggles, including the closure of her business and starting again from scratch. But she believes when entrepreneurs share their story, they should willingly divulge both the highs and the lows, so that those who follow have a true sense of what it can be like.

In the years since she started building the bahamaSpa™ brand, Indira has invested in herself and spent lots of time learning about product formulation and the beneficial properties of plants and herbs.

The investment in continuous education has been worth it as her palm, phthalate and paraben-free products are receiving rave reviews and can be found in luxury spas across the Bahamas.

Matching supply with demand for her healthier, environmentally-friendly skin care products has been challenging, and because many of the tourists who try the bahamaSpa™ range want more than a one-off experience, Indira is now focused on exporting.

She is hopeful that as one of 20 women-owned Caribbean businesses making up the first cohort of participants in the Women Empowered through Export (WE-Xport) programme, she will get the support and expertise she needs to sell her products beyond the Bahamas.

Remembering her initial Parisian inspiration, Indira recalls how she wanted to produce something beautiful and artistic that brought pleasure to its users, and she also longed for it to be on display in one of the luxurious shops she peered into and fell in love with in France.

With support from the WE-Xport programme, Indira is confident that one day she will walk the streets of Paris again and see her bahamaSpa™ products looking back at her from the high-end glass storefronts.

bahamaSpa™ will be part of the WE-Xport booth at the Barbados Manufacturer’s Exhibition (BMEX) in June 2019. The WE-Xport programme is an initiative of the Caribbean Export Development Agency.