Let's talk about Judith for a second. This lady hand makes everything! That includes her soaps, her labels, her packaging, if you see it on her site, she's put her love into it. She is full time small business owner, has "package free option" for environmental sustainability, a great sense of style, and is totally humble and down to earth. Basically she is the small business owner dream package.
We love Good JuJu Herbal and all the ways it can benefit your skin (or even your pups) and all the great ideas that are behind this company.
Where does the name Good JuJu Herbal come from?
My name is Judith and my entire life I have been called JuJu by family so that is what sparked part of it. I also was living in Asheville at the time and would often hear the term “bad juju” (JuJu refers to energy) tossed around so I wanted to do a play on that. I wanted to create something that really does make people happy. I wanted to create a brand that yes puts out thoughtful products but also gives people a certain feeling. So Good JuJu Herbal just seemed to stick
What drew you to creating organic body products?
I started making organic body products because I had to fill a need for myself. I have always struggled with sensitive skin (i.e. lifelong eczema) and have been in a constant push pull battle to keep flair-ups down my entire life. But at 19/20 I had a strange onset rash that was full body and very painful. I went to four different doctors and was told “this is just eczema” or other silly things like “Maybe it’s the season change” until finally I was diagnosed with contact allergies to 17 common chemicals found in household products, beauty products, etc. 17 chemicals doesn’t seem like a large number but these are chemicals found in over 85% of products and growing. So this ruled out everything I was using, all dermatologist recommend products and also a lot of handmade products (lots of handmade products still use preservatives or fragrance oils). So I decided I could just do it myself and that next week I taught myself how to make soap, which was the starting point of Good JuJu Herbal.
What makes your body products different? What about you guys stand out?
What makes Good JuJu Herbal different is that the entire product line is made for people with the most sensitive skin ever and offers many unscented options. Also that the products are extremely versatile. For example you can also use the bar soap to wash your hair, or make laundry soap. Every product has multiple uses because I know how hard/expensive it can be to have extreme skin issues and not be able to find good products or having to drop 100’s of dollars just to be able to have a normal, healthy hygienic routine.
Good JuJu Herbal is also an eco-conscious company. We give a portion of all sales annually to environmental charities (currently giving to Friends Of the Smokies). We are currently on track to become solar powered with-in the next year and we offer a package free option on all orders. We currently pack all orders with mostly reused/recycled packing materials and try to be as zero waste as possible to reduce waste but the package free option gives the customer the option to have their order sent without any extra labels/packing.
How do you push yourself to discover more and go further?
What pushes me is my customers. It’s getting emails and reviews and message from people saying they have been struggling for years with their skin and this is actually working for them. The stories that especially melt me into a giant pool of mush is when I get emails from Cancer patients who have been through Chemotherapy and have extremely thin and fragile skin and the products help ease the pain of that. Or moms that have children struggling with eczema and cry at bath time because it’s painfully and now everyone is less stressed and sleeping better because of a simple bar of soap. It blows my mind, makes me so happy and pushes me every day.
What is the hardest thing about being owning this small business in the RDU area?
Honestly, I don’t think there is a downside to being in the Triangle. I have lived all over the state and I love the triangle the most. It has allowed my business to thrive. The community here is amazing, the amount of pop-ups and opportunities have been more than I ever expected.
Describe your office space and what your most productive time to work is.
I work out of a small workshop in Chapel Hill that my Fiancé and I built about a year ago when we bought our house. We live on 6 acres in a tiny 600 sq ft house. We are both pretty minimalistic so we liked the idea of Good JuJu being away from the house instead of an in home studio like our last house. I love being able to drink coffee, get dressed and walk through the woods to work. It is very peaceful.
As far as productive time I work best outside of business hours. I usually work from 6am-8pm. I wake up really early to get started and work past 5 because I get the most done from 6-8am and 5pm-8pm. It’s very strange, I know but I feel a lot of pressure/stress during standard business hours of 8-5 so I am most creative and feel relaxed outside of those hours.
What is your favorite product you’re currently selling?
This is a tough one to answer. It’s a tie between the soap and the skincare line. I am so proud of both. The bar soap formula is something that took a lot of work to get perfect and the soap now has a huge customer following so I am really proud of that. But I am also equally as proud of the skincare line. I put so much pressure on myself for a year to develop it and make it perfect. It really represents what the company stand for at it’s core. Something that works for everyone, that is wholesome, natural, effective and affordable. The feedback and results I have had people send me has been amazing. I’m just really really proud of it.
What’s the most tedious but necessary task in owning a business? How do you hustle through it?
For me, social media. I feel a lot of pressure about posting, putting out the right content, being informative but not boring, posting so I am fresh on people’s minds but also not spammy. I really struggle with it. I am a pretty private person so being active on social media (even if I am posting as Good JuJu) is a lot for me. It is so necessary though. The people you connect with and the way you can cultivate your brand is really unique and interesting.
I hustle through it by scheduling posts. I take all of my photos for the week and stock pile them and sit down a write captions all at once so I don’t feel the pressure during a normal work day.
What are some goals you have for your business?
I have so many goals, big and small. Right now my goal is to grow Good JuJu Herbal online, to really focus on my customers and keep that the focus of the business, because to me the connection to my customers is the most important part. Another goal is to expand outside of NC. Ultimately I want Good JuJu to be premium sensitive skin skincare in the south east, with a steady team of 5 or 6 people working in a really happy, fun warehouse space that doubles as a small store front (maybe).
What piece of advice would you give to someone just starting out in their small business?
Oh man. I’m about to rip off Nike but my advice is to just do it. It is scary, it will continue to be scary at every step, and seriously one more time, it’s never not scary but just do it. Put it out there 100%! Whatever you are making or doing, just get started and put it out there. It’s so worth it. Owning a business is not for the faint of heart the highs and lows can be extreme but you find out so much about yourself and the connections you make are incredible and so so so so so worth it. Also putting out ideas, making products, running a business makes you have to stand in your own power, and that is bad ass.
What do you use most for marketing? What is your favorite social media platform?
Instagram is a personal favorite. I love the stories feature. I do a thing called Skincare Sunday with customer testimonies and then follow it with an Instagram story about a Good JuJu Herbal product. It’s nice for people to be able to see me talk about the products, how they are made, and what you use them for etc etc. I think Instagram connects so many people and is always changing and getting better.