Saturday, July 22, 2017

Branding: ETTENIO: Reflections of A Jamaican Entrepreneur's Bold Beautiful Journey

Growing hair care/beauty products manufacturer/purveyor Ettenio has rapidly become one of the best-rated and most talked-about entries in the beauty and personal care space.

The product family (already number over 50), which is set to expand even further with the impending introduction of a children's line, reflects presents for founders Antoinette Davis and husband Selwyn, both an intense labour of love and an eye-opening journey into the multi-faceted and, at times, confusing and trying world of entrepreneurship and commerce in Jamaica.  

The Power of Inspiration

·        So how did the Ettenio story begin?

·        APD: Well the idea for Ettenio’s  eco-luxury line was conceived because there was a growing need among consumers for high performance 100% natural personal care and beauty products;  In fact, I myself was searching for top ranking, high quality products that delivered results.
I found out that those products could only be found overseas, and getting them here posed tremendous challenges and so I went to work exploring the possibilities of making my own line of products

·        Where Did You Start?

APD: My kitchen became my manufacturing lab; Countless days were spent formulating and reformulating products and many sleepless nights researching ingredients and their efficacy.  Those activities also comes at a cost- because I experienced multiple family challenges, and numerous marital conflicts. However, through sheer grit, hard work, mental toughness and perseverance I managed to launch my first hair care line under the sub- name- The Classics.

·        How did you feel about that and when did you believe that this was a business that was really going to make it?

APD: That was a proud moment for me. Walking into a store and actually seeing a product that you design on a shelf was indeed an achievement.  Since that time, I have been able bring to market several new hair, body and skin care lines including Nurtured, Daily Essentials, Style and Define, and our skin care line- Rewind. In addition I have been able to roll out a divinely scented and exquisitely handcrafted body care line which is a "must- try" for the discerning consumer.

The value of Recognition

      Apart from the consumer response, what was reaction form the business world?

APD: In 2014- in as little as two years, our bold inventions and persistent efforts were glowingly recognized.   We received the Jamaica Observer’s Under the Dryer Award for favourite made in Jamaica Hair Care line. This award is geared at toasting local manufacturers of consumer products who, through their innovation, raw talent, and enterprising spirit are helping build Brand Jamaica

Then, in 2016: Following our re-branding effort we were recognized in the National Bakery 2016 Bold Ones of Manufacturing initiative for our use of natural resources, tax compliance and labour market impact.

Again, with much persistence, perseverance and my passion for excellence I decided that it was time to renew and refresh Ettenio’s brand identity and to refine the brand’s positioning in order to bring focus to our operations and to achieve competitiveness on an international level.   I must tell you there were very long days and sleepless nights of painstaking packaging and brand concept reviews with my team, my husband and the marketing consultant. But again we managed to pull it off because I kept my eyes focused on the big picture and the bold results. Today, we have a brand vision and bold packaging that reflects the clarity of our brand and is in sync with our core purity message.

And so, what of the Future for Ettenio?

·        APDAs always will continue to be a market disruptor and a visionary-
·        includes breaking new grounds & charting bold paths for future growth. We are actively pursuing new market development opportunities for example- Caribbean (recently visited Bahamas and Trinidad, and in negotiations to seal distributorship deals), England and Europe (Heading to London in August to expand into that market), the USA and North America. We are releasing the Kids' line very shortly and additionally, we are exploring other targets, including products formulated specially for men and also for teens (acne-fighters, etc).

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