My Island Muse: Jheanell Adams

bellejheanell_oldnavyrockstarjeansWho is Jheanell Adams?
Wow! Great question, I’m still figuring that out myself (laughs). Originally from Kingston, Jamaica, my family and I moved to the States when I was ten years old. We first settled in Florida then later relocated to Long Island, New York. When I was seventeen, I moved back to Florida and I’ve been settled here ever since. You can also say I’m the little girl from a tiny island, who loved whipping up do-it-yourself facial recipes, that I would then try out on my friends. I’m very fortunate to come from a family of entrepreneurs. Back in our native Jamaica, my mother owned a drapery company and my uncle also owned a business. My mother was my first introduction to entrepreneurship. I watched her set her own hours and run her business and her life the way she wanted to. Unfortunately, when we immigrated to the US, life changed for our family and my mother became an “employee”. I remember how strange it was to watch her go to a job she wasn’t passionate about. More importantly, I remember how the quality of our lives changed in terms of the mother she was able to be as an entrepreneur, versus the mother she was as an employee. Now that I’m a mother, I know that I need to be in control of my time in order to give my son the quality of life I had growing up in Jamaica as the daughter of an entrepreneur.

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What inspired you to create Jolie Bloom.
Jolie Bloom is inspired by my daughter Jolie who passed away three years ago after her premature birth. My daughter’s passing was a really difficult time in my life but it was also a defining moment. After that experience, I knew I had to find a way to channel the pain I was feeling into positive energy. It was then I decided that I would create something in her memory, I just didn’t know what that “something” was going to be. It was only after my son was born that I regained my power and focus. I prayed extensively about what I could do to honor her memory. That’s when the idea of Jolie Bloom was born. At first I thought it would be a site that offered different brands of natural skincare products,  however when that didn’t pan out, an inner voice kept telling me that I needed to make my own products. Initially I was so scared to put myself out there in such a personal way, so admittedly I kept stalling the launch of Jolie Bloom. One night I had a vivid dream where I saw the Jolie Bloom logo. When I woke up the next day I sketched it and gave it to a friend who is also a graphic designer. Even after making those strides, I continued to drag my feet with the creation of Jolie Bloom. Finally, God told me I had two months to get this done. I quickly set to work formulating the products, as well as  finalizing the logo, packaging  and website designs. From there, Jolie Bloom was launched on July 2nd 2014. I have to say that Divine Intervention as well as the memory of my daughter has greatly assisted me on this path.

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Describe the range of products consumers can expect from Jolie Bloom and in your opinion what is the “must have” product?
Right now we offer soaps, soy candles, body butters and a body lotion that’s quickly becoming a customer favourite. All products are handmade and created in small batches. The Summer Time Shine: Essential Oil Lotion is a recent addition that has received rave reviews from my customers. It is formulated differently from a lot of the lotions available on the market, in that it does not contain water. With every use the skin receives a great deal of moisture leaving you with a natural glow. The Royal Oats Shower Bar is another customer favourite that’s also great for people who suffer with eczema. Finally, my Caribbean Coconut Shower Bar is like a vacation in the shower. Skin definitely feels better after use and it smells amazing. I’m looking forward to the new year as I’ll be expanding the range of products currently offered.

What advice can you offer to women on choosing skincare products?
Be mindful of ingredients. Your skin is your largest organ, always remember that what you put on the skin is absorbed directly into the blood stream. It’s equally important for women to be mindful of the skincare products they use on their children. I have a one year old and I’m very particular about the products I use on his skin. I’ve opted out of reaching for those traditional skincare products for babies and instead use my own products as all my ingredients are organic. I’ll be visiting Jamaica next year and during that trip I plan on spending a lot of time in the bush learning and sourcing new ingredients for Jolie Bloom.

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Can you share one Jamaican beauty secret passed on to you through the generations?
One thing my grandmother always told me is that it all starts with food. I believe whatever you put in your body impacts the skin. It’s important to eat properly and healthy. Honey was also a major skincare product for me growing up. As you know, honey has powerful antibacterial and antioxidant properties. I remember being lathered with honey as a child because I had terrible skin.

Favourite place to visit when in Jamaica and why:
Devon House Ice Cream shop. Whenever I’m in Jamaica I have to make a stop there, it reminds me so much of my childhood. They also make the best grape nut ice cream I’ve ever tasted. It’s also the place where my parents took their wedding photos.

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If you had once piece of advice to share with Caribbean women what would it be?
Let’s support and uplift each other. When we support one another it makes our journey a lot easier. Our community gains nothing through division and jealousy and it’s extremely unproductive. I believe when one of us wins we all win. We also need to support our men, our men are subject to a lot of negative stereotypes. I love my people and my culture, we are an amazing and unique bunch. Caribbean people also have an insane work ethic and that work ethic is what keeps me going and pushes me to do my best with Jolie Bloom.

What’s next for Ms. Jolie Bloom?
Next year I’ll be on the hunt for interns. I have a number of things I would like to accomplish and I can’t do it alone. In addition, I will be expanding my product range so look out for a Jolie Bloom body scrub amongst other things. I’m also putting together a beautiful gift set, that will be available for Valentines Day. and I hope to wholesale my products as I’d love to see them in stores. Finally, I’ll also have international shipping available in the upcoming weeks.
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