By Leina Ussin
Many of us have a morning or nighttime routine we abide by daily. Stretch, shower, moisturise, caffeinate, yoga, etc. It’s a routine we’ve created that gets us through the day. A routine that we believe is bettering us in some way, shape, or form.
Though no one can really argue with the stretching and showering portion, the skincare routine can raise a few eyebrows.
In today’s day and age, more and more skincare regimens are popping up all over. Companies promoting products that hydrate better, or moisturizer your skin longer, or even create a natural glow. Products we find ourselves buying just to keep up with what we believe is best for our bodies.
Imagine spending that money, using that product, and not seeing any positive results? Picture believing you’re supposed to wait weeks to months before you can see a change in your skin? Or, that natural glow is only temporary, and you find yourself reapplying the product more and more throughout the day?
Many of us can attest to this, and can also agree that we just switch to the next newest and flashiest product and hope that it works far better.
For local New Orleans native, Janay Coffil, taking the time to test out products, wasn’t an option.
In 2016, Janay found herself trying to find the best products to assist her daughter with her dry skin. After discovering that many lotions contained a high percentage of water, Janay did what we New Orleans ladies do best – hit the kitchen.
Within that year, Janay managed to create a body butter that not only helped her daughter but would soon put her on her way to becoming an up and coming business owner! And here is where Handmade by Oochie was formed!
Ussin: Prior to creating your own body butter, did you have any previous experience in skincare?
Oochie: No, I didn’t have any experience in skincare outside of the usual washing your face with soap and water; and moisturizing with lotion. I owe all my current knowledge to plenty of research and testing.
The true beginning of the body butter was a DIY I ran across and became intrigued with. Applying it to my daughter’s skin became the domino effect of everything else. We were amazed by the results and the quality was of a product handcrafted in my kitchen, located in Uptown New Orleans, LA.
Ussin: Where did you get the inspiration for your company’s name?
Oochie: Because my social media names always included “Oochie,” or “Ooch,” that’s what everyone started to know me as; and the product has always been handmade. I put them together and “Handmade by Oochie,” was born. It was simple but perfect!
Ussin: Did you ever think creating a Body Butter intended for your daughter would turn into the business it is today?
Oochie: Honestly, I never saw it as a business. Only a made-to-order hobby that made people’s skin happy, including my own! At the time, I was working for an environmental company in Downtown New Orleans as an administrative assistant. Never in my wildest dreams did I see this happening.
The demand grew once the formula was perfected, and I started to receive more raving reviews about the consistency of my Body Butter.
Some customers even said that it’s the best moisturizer that they’ve ever experienced. With a little help from my business partner, we put pen to paper and started strategizing.
Ussin: What made you decide to expand your Body Butter and share it with others?
Oochie: My expansion initially came with supply and demand. I had at least 40 people that were consistent, loyal customers. Their feedback and willingness to share with others helped me realize how amazing my products were to others as well. We discovered that so many people are now taking a more natural approach to skincare.
Ussin: Were you scared of starting your own business?
Oochie: Definitely! It was super new for me, and the fear of failure delayed the expansion of my business. Once I connected with a business partner that helped me recognize that my dreams and visions were obtainable, there was no stopping Handmade by Oochie!
Ussin: Was there ever a moment you wanted to give up? And if so, what made you push through?
Oochie: “Build your own dreams, or someone will pay you to build theirs.”
You can put the same energy into yourself, and your business, as you do any major company. There were so many moments that lead to me wanting to give up, but why take the easy route?
I made a promise to myself after being laid off from my last place of employment that I will never work for anyone else other than myself.
Ussin: Are there any Handmade by Oochie products we can expect in the future?
Oochie: The future of Handmade by Oochie Organic Handcrafted Cosmetics is bright! We’re currently in the lab creating a men’s line, a facial system, and natural hair oils! So, make sure you are staying tuned!
Ussin: What experience or lesson would you like your daughter to take away from this? Has she shown any interest in taking over the business?
Oochie: Be your own boss! Create your own opportunities because the possibilities are endless. I’ve shared with her this is a family business and I want her to learn the ins and outs of managing it.
Her current focus as a high school freshman is to concentrate on her studies. In the meantime, she’s very much a part of the entire process.
Ussin: How important do you think it is for younger generations to see entrepreneurs and business owners succeeding right now?
Oochie: I feel that it’s highly important because starting their own business is the path to financial independence, breaking generational curses, and a flexible work-life balance. This will create an array of things, including POWER!
Ussin: Where would you like to see your business a year from now?
Oochie: A year from now, I would love to have naturally healed and educated a variety of people that share different demographics.
This year, we plan to take our products from the city of New Orleans to households all over the country. We’ve gotten our first major expo under our belt, and now we’re ready to roll!
Ussin: As far as you’ve come, who would you like to thank for your success?
Oochie: I’m humble, and have a long way to go. But, growth is inevitable and I am thankful for those who have been consistently cheering me on, giving me honest feedback, and sharing life-changing testimonies.
It highlights how powerful I am, as well as the product I produce. It feels amazing to be a natural healer and share my gift with the world.
Ussin: What advice would you give other entrepreneurs/business owners who are just starting?
Oochie: It’s going to be challenging, but the end results are rewarding. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it! You won’t always be able to do everything by yourself, so it’s imperative to have a strong team and support system. You only have to be right once!
Now, using body butters is definitely a personal preference and something you have every right to look into before making another switch in your skincare routine.
But, as a current and continuing customer of Handmade By Oochie, I’d be lying if I said her Body Butter isn’t worth giving a try! I too have made a conscious decision to pay more attention to what I am putting in, and on, my body; and knowing all her ingredients are natural, was a plus for me. Supporting a fellow female business owner from New Orleans was just a bonus
Check out the testimonies from other satisfied clients. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed with the butter love Miss Oochie is out here cooking up, for a moisturising routine for you!