Djanillie’s Beauté launched in late 2019 and it didn’t take long for the fledgling company to run into its first major hurdle, the COVID-19 pandemic. Founder and CEO Djanillie Joseph knew she couldn’t stop before the brand got fully off the ground, however. The Haitian-born business owner has entrepreneurial blood running through her and a never-give-up attitude.
Now, with 2020 about to end, Joseph recently celebrated Djanillie’s Beauté’s one-year anniversary. How did Djanillie’s Beauté reach its one-year anniversary while hundreds of small and medium sized businesses closed? The company found its niche quickly by offering high-quality hair and beauty products.
Djanillie’s Beauté emphasizes top-quality ingredients that are time-tested, safe, efficacious and vegan-friendly to achieve proven results. The young brand provides an array of products for a diverse range of hair and skin types with an emphasis on black and African American consumers. With a growing segment of clients, the sky’s the limit for Djanillie’s Beauté.
Djanillie, can you start off by telling us how Djanillie’s Beauté was established and what motivated you to open the brand?
Growing up in Haiti my family never used hair products straight from the shelf. There were always concoctions my grandmother would make to help our hair grow faster and fuller. Since migrating to the United States, I have always wanted to dive into the beauty industry and build my own brand; but things never aligned in my life permitting me to pursue that dream. However, after struggling for so many years not getting the results I needed for both my hair and skin, I started creating home-based products for personal use and was amazed by the results. This approach allowed me to live a healthier lifestyle as well and eliminate constant irritations and allergic reactions I used to have to products previously used. In 2018, I decided to launch my company and make these amazing products available to people like me who are simply looking for products providing real solutions.
Have you been an entrepreneur previously or was this your first time to open a business?
The best way to answer this question is to have you take a trip to Haiti. Our women are born entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship is in my blood. I was an apprentice of my mother and my people. As a child I watched my mother run her small business and administer a microfinance program helping small business owners and small farmers in the community, and that has somehow shaped the person I am today. At the center of Haiti, you will see women of all ages at the flea market and on the streets selling their goods and building their small businesses.
Djanillie’s Beauté is proud to be a black owned hair and beauty brand. It is a segment often overlooked by major brands when it comes to new products. Still, the black community is a major consumer of hair and beauty items. The black community is projected to spend $1.5 billion next year on hair and beauty items and Djanillie’s Beauté could become a major player in the marketplace.
Djanillie’s Beauté is a black-owned company. Is there a lack of black beauty brands out there able to appeal to a large segment of people?
We are proud to be black owned and we want to give back, not just to the black consumers, but to everyone that can benefit from our products. The beauty industry has no limits. I believe that it will continue to grow and Black/African Americans are major contributors. Yes, I do believe there is a lack of brands out there that can appeal to the black consumer or there is a lack of advertisement. In 2019, the black community spent more than $1.2 billion in the beauty industry alone and that number is projected to hit $1.5 billion by 2021. Personally, I feel the need for more black-owned beauty brands appealing to not just the black community is necessary.
According to the brand’s website, all products contain “natural ingredients using advanced non-toxic formulation so that every drop nurtures, detoxifies, hydrates, and protects both hair and skin.” How important is it to use natural ingredients? Are more customers only seeking out all-natural beauty care products these days?
The use of natural ingredients is particularly important when it comes to beauty products. Our goal has been and will always be the safety and well-being of our clients. With so many products out there, it is easy to purchase a product that can be harmful to one’s well being. It is extremely important to us that when you choose us over the other hundreds of competitors that you are completely satisfied. We are in the age where information is at the palm of your hands and everyone is overly cautious about what they put in/on their bodies and as a brand, we must take note of that and deliver products that are safe to our customers. I think customers are looking for safe and clean products to use and avoiding products with harmful chemicals like Sulfate and parabens to name a few, while still enjoying quality results.
Born in Haiti, Joseph relocated to Houston, Texas in 2019. Although she now lives in the United States, Joseph’s heart is in Haiti and she wants to help residents as much as possible. Joseph may be an entrepreneur, but she also cares about others and has set up programs to give back to the people of her homeland.
Djanillie, as a person of Haitian descent, you began a program to benefit people living in the country. Can you explain the Rural Farming and Reforestation program and why you chose to start the program?
Hahah, just to be clear, I was born and raised in Haiti. I migrated to the United States at the age of 16, so I would not refer to myself as Haitian descent. I am a Haitian “Natif natal”. This program was a no-brainer for me, as the daughter of a farmer from the rural area of Haiti, I know exactly what these people go through and the help that they need. My father was a farmer in a small town called Roy-Sec and my mother the Administrator of a microfinance program helping farmers there, and for many years I witnessed the drastic impact a small financial push had on these families. Therefore, I choose to donate 30% of my company’s profits to help reinstate this program to support rural farming and give these families a chance at lifting themselves out of poverty. Reforestation for me comes together with farming and this is something Haiti is in major need of at the present time. Aside from the Farming and Reforestation program, we also have a program that finances small businesses owned by women in the rural areas of Haiti and we currently have over 20 small businesses financed by Djanillie’s this year despite the pandemic and we expect that number to double in the next year.
Can you tell us about the growth of the company?
This is our first year and despite everything that is going on in the world, we are growing steadily and looking forward to a bright future as a brand.
What were some of the challenges you experienced when starting up Djanillie’s Beauté?
The biggest challenge for us as a start-up has been the pandemic. It literally changed everything that we had planned for the company and we had to think fast because folding before even launching was not an option. We are just grateful to still be in business and celebrated our one-year anniversary just weeks ago.
Like many businesses in 2020, Djanillie’s Beauté has had to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. The company’s success is down to the high-quality products on offer and the fantastic support the brand has received from happy customers.
This year has been difficult for many SMEs. Has the COVID pandemic affected Djanillie’s Beauté’s business growth and sales?
We are very thankful for our supporters, families and friends. This year has been hard on the entire world and we empathize with everyone especially those who have been personally affected. Just like every SME out there, this pandemic has been particularly challenging for us, also because we are a novice company. Our clients have been with us since day one, trusted us and because of their continuous support we will make it another year and get through this together. There is a light at the end of the tunnel for all of us and we are just grateful right now.
All of Djanillie’s Beauté’s products are available online. Are there plans to expand into stores or overseas in the near future?
We are very thankful and humble for where we are right now, the plan is always for growth. Our plan is to take things one step at a time. The future looks bright for us and again with the continuous support of clients, we will make sure to meet their demands and make our products accessible to them.
Djanillie, how do you come up with the products and ingredients for each item in the company’s product list? What is the process for designing each product?
All ingredients in our products are thoroughly researched to ensure the utmost result to our customers. I work with a team of experts to help craft our products to ensure quality and efficiency.
What are the company’s plans for the future? What will the next year bring for Djanillie’s Beauté?
As previously stated, this is our first year and we have seen steady growth for the brand and looking forward to a bright year ahead.
Djanillie, what is a day in your life like?
Wow, my day normally starts with a cup of coffee because I cannot function without it. Then we move to the super hectic schedule, from three to four business meetings, being my son’s teacher during the pandemic. So, in a nutshell, I work a minimum 16 hours a day between being a single mother and running my business.
What is something most people don’t know about you?
Most people are not aware that I struggled with depression for over a decade. I am a happy person and always smiling, so I never gave people the impression that I was suffering, but there were times I could not even get out of bed. Being Haitian, depression is not something we talk about and it took me a long time to accept the fact that I was depressed.
Can you share two of your favorite quotes with us?
My two favorite quotes are:
“It is easy to judge a man from afar without knowing what he has been through.”
“L’union Fait la Force”
If you had the power to change just one thing in the world what would it be?
I relocated to Houston in 2019, and before that, I was in Boston, lived in West Palm Beach and Southern California. It really saddens me to see the amount of homeless people we have out there. In a country where at the push of a button we can get whatever we want, and we have people with an unimaginable amount of wealth, yet we still have people that are homeless and go hungry daily. And it’s hard to even think about what’s going in my own country, so that is why I am working with the farmers in Haiti in the hope that my contribution will help improve their lives. “Every little bit counts.”
Is there anything else you would like to add?
The two things I would like to remind our customers/clients, is that Djanillie’s Beauté’s focus is to bring them quality products with guaranteed solutions and help the people of Haiti. When you spend a dollar with us, you are not only helping our company grow, you are also lifting a Haitian family out of poverty.
Joseph’s passion to provide high-quality hair and beauty products is one reason Djanillie’s Beauté heads into its second year with a bright future. Making customers happy with the results offered by its diverse range of products is job No. 1 for Joseph. Thus far, she is succeeding. With a positive mindset and focus on giving back 30% of the company’s yearly profits, Djanillie’s Beauté is building something special.
For more information on Djanillie Joseph and Djanillie’s Beauté, please visit https://djanillies.com