Jhalesa Lewis Couldn’t Find the Right Feminine Products, So She Created Her Own
There are times when you search for products to help you in your everyday life, but then there are times when you hit a brick wall.
For Jhalesa Lewis, she faced problem after problem trying to search for the right feminine products, so she decided to create her own.
With Salt.xo, Lewis made sure that her products would use natural, handcrafted ingredients. As she embarked on the journey of entrepreneurship, challenges sprang up. She became pregnant. Lewis turned her one-bedroom apartment into a warehouse because her business was growing. Luckily, her now-fiancee assisted in keeping the company going.
BLACK ENTERPRISE spoke to Lewis about creating Salt.xo, how she managed to utilize social media to create a fanbase for her products, and why she only uses natural ingredients.
What motivated you to start Salt.xo? How have you managed to keep the business busy during the coronavirus pandemic?
I started Salt.xo when finding a solution to organic feminine hygiene was scarce and far between. I was attending UCF (University of Central Florida) at the time, and I would always ask girls in my class about their hygiene routine and most of them used products that would literally throw off their pH balance. I wanted to create a natural solution to feminine odor, yeast infections, and BV (Bacterial vaginosis). As a woman, I’ve experienced all three, but I never knew what I needed to do to prevent it. I wanted to feel confident after taking a shower so I took it upon myself to start researching herbs and natural oils that would combat those things I tried to avoid. I wanted to disrupt the taboo of discussing feminine hygiene and issues we have.
I managed to keep the business running during a pandemic by always providing quality products with skin-loving ingredients. Our customers appreciate our authenticity and openness. Our products work! That’s what sets us apart from most companies.
What steps did you take to start the online aspects of Salt.xo and how did you grow your audience to turn them into customers?
I began selling my products on Facebook because that’s the only platform I used at the time. In 2018, the Salt.xo page had 200 followers so I built it up with word-of-mouth. I would take orders in a notebook and write down every order and do everything by hand. That changed when I discovered Wix, then we grew to Shopify. Mainly everyone that tried Salt.xo ended up becoming a returning customer. They couldn’t believe how well our yoni soap worked. It was a miracle worker for them.
Why did you decide to only use natural ingredients in your products?
I was heavily into natural soaps, and I knew the only soap I wanted to use on my body had to be made of natural essential oils. I wanted to give my future customers something they’d be proud of and free of worry.
How do you determine which products will be made and sold? What are your bestsellers and why do you believe they sell as well as they do?
I enjoy creating products that will create skin solutions. My best-selling product is our Yoni gel, Rejuv oil, Citrus detox bar and Erotica gel. By far, our yoni products sell out every time we restock.
As an entrepreneur, what suggestion would you give anyone looking to start their own business?
Remain true to your brand! If you have a great product, stick to it! Don’t allow competition to discourage you. There is enough room for everyone to win and excel. Start with something that’s true to you, and you’ll reap the benefits shortly after. Remain dedicated to your vision and build a team that can help you for the long haul.