News & Features

Herboo expands to the Caribbean, US
Published: Tuesday, January 3, 2017 3:29:44 PM

 Published by: Jamaica Observer | December 23, 2016

Herboo team members (from left) sales representative Yonne Fagon with chief operating officer Kamla Williams, Alshadane Wright, CEO Javin Williams (front), chief research officer Kamal Smith and sales representative Tamaya Henry (Source: Observer File).

A little over a year ago, founder of the Herboo organic shampoo company, Javin Williams, expressed the desire to start exporting his locally made product to the Caribbean and the United States.

Fast-forward to 2016, the two year-old company is closing the year with a bang after securing markets in Florida, the Cayman Islands, Barbados and Japan.

Herboo Enterprise’s expansion got underway shortly after being named the Jamaica Observer’s Mogul in the Making winner in 2015. Not only has the company expanded its footprint into new markets, but it has also added 10 distribution outlets locally.

“The competition gave us a lot of exposure and now we are in 15 outlets across the island, up from the five we had. We were also doing production in my mother’s kitchen, and after we won someone saw us in the paper and invited us to their factory,” Williams told the Jamaica Observer in a telephone interview on Wednesday.

“So we have our products manufactured in a factory and this has not only allowed us to have standardised mixture for all the bottles but has also improved productivity,” he continued.

Interesting times are ahead for this small company which started from a scalp condition that Williams suffered. The two-in-one shampoo has grown into a popular hair product since entering the market in 2014 and now has monthly demand for more than 5,000 bottles in Florida alone.

Herboo has also expanded its product line to include an organic hair and body oil.

“We have developed a new product which is the Herboo hair and body oil, made from local coconut oil, castor oil, other organic oils and Herboo’s special blend,” Williams told the Caribbean Business Report.

The company produces over 500 bottles of the hair and body oil product per month and has also increased production of its deep cleansing shampoo to 1,000 per month, up from 600.

Herboo Enterprise has the capacity to produce about 25,000 products per month, but is currently unable to ramp up its volume due to having little working capital.

Williams is now seeking venture capitalists to assist in growing the business.

“People heard about the product and what it is good for but whenever they needed it they would have to come to Jamaica to purchase it. One customer in Florida buys it through the Fontana Pharmacy website, so there is the demand. It’s just that we can’t fill it right now because we don’t have the financial support,” Williams said.

The company plans to introduce the Herboo line of body wash, lotion and hair moisturiser during the first six months of 2017.

“For the rest of the year we are going to watch the demand and pivot basically, so if the customers say they want a shampoo only, then we will produce the shampoo and conditioner separately,” Williams reasoned.

Prior to being awarded the Mogul in the Making winner, Williams, his sister Kamla Williams, and Kamal Smith, all Northern Caribbean University (NCU) students entered the National Business Model Competition along with fellow team members, Kemesha Maxwell and Alshadane Wright, and were awarded $2 million after winning the competition.

Following the win, the team also entered the International Business Model Competition which took place in Salt Lake City, Utah, and earned eighth place against 42 international teams.

Herboo Enterprise was awarded the Best International Team award and won a total of US$6,000. The team has also entered the First Heritage Cooperative Credit Union Business Plan competition, which assisted them in organising the business model.


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