#Womentrepreneurs

INDIRA WEECH

When Indira Weech returned home to the Bahamas after living in Europe, she started a movement.  Determined to offer tourists an authentic Bahamian experience, Indira decided to forego traditional souvenirs, opting for soap, which she dubbed the “useful souvenir”.

Her handcrafted, skin-loving bars, formulated with indigenous botanicals and Caribbean scents, provide the perfect way for visitors to the Bahamas to take home a little piece of paradise.  And her focus on using natural ingredients and sustainable packaging has been at the forefront of her eco-conscious living in the Bahamas, inspiring others to be more mindful of how much they throw away.

From just soaps in 2004, BahamaSpa™ has expanded to a full body and hair care range, including body scrubs, butters, creams, lotions, massage oils and shampoo bars. And at the root of the company’s success, is Indira’s passion.  As she tells it, she’s obsessed with formulating products that are good for both the user and the environment.

Among the most popular of her skin care items are the Sea Salt Scrub, an exfoliating scrub and soap in one long-lasting fragrant bar, and the Ocean Bath bars that include natural exfoliating seeds, sea salt and coconut oils.

“I never stop learning and growing, enrolling in many courses and researching our ingredients, changing formulas to ensure that we are current,” said Indira.

In an interview with, The Tribune:: “I was introduced at a very early age to the world of skin care, cosmetics, fashion and beauty by my aunt who was kind enough to invite me to Paris in Summers starting at age 11. My parents are both creative and I grew up in a home with lovingly attended gardens, which I never dreamt would inspire my love of trees and interest in plants because as a child I was not aware of the influence it had on me,” she said.

“Becoming an entrepreneur was natural for me as I could not imagine myself in a 9 to 5 job. I knew I had to carve a niche for myself where I could express all of my creativity. This business has afforded me the opportunity to show all my creativity, from formulating recipes and making products, to branding, packaging and marketing. I love what I get to do every day.”

Starting out, Indira was fortunate enough to meet a soap maker who was passionate about the craft but had little time to invest in it. Indira instantly recognised that this simple idea of making natural soaps could be turned into something special.

“I began by changing anything that was not Bahamas or island-inspired. I chose tropical fragrances and changed the branding to incorporate my passion to protect the environment. I eliminated as much plastic as possible and chose simple packaging that was earth-friendly and biodegradable, but very attractive and special. Anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I absolutely love our country. I take the Bahamas with me wherever I go. I love nearly everything about us,” she said.

“I have been fortunate to live in several countries and there is no place that’s like our paradise. It was an obvious choice to incorporate Bahamas into my brand. I want the world to know where bahamaSpa comes from.”

JEILYNÉ SANTANA

Jeilyné Santana is a young, thriving, Puerto Rican designer with years of experience in the fashion industry. Her work has been highlighted for the audacity in her designs, with her collections focusing on Prêt-à-Porter, bridal and Award winning swimwear line. Jeilyné’s designs are defined by their sophisticated style.

All of her pieces possess an exquisite and unique personality. Patterns, illustrations, embroidery, and lace are key elements of her collections. Her unique style and talent brought about a wonderful opportunity in February 2016, when she became the first Puerto Rican designer to present a showcase in the DC Fashion Week and in 2017 she was nominated and awarded in the Caribbean Style and Culture “UP & COMING DESIGNER Award”

Jeilyné has a unique way of envisioning fashion, resulting in a continuous evolution of her style. As she shares her styles and designs with the world, she strives to give the gift of inspiration to her clients, encouraging them to never stop embroidering their dreams.

Jeilyné Santana proudly creates each pattern and design with care and meticulous detail in her studio, offering only the best quality products to her clients.

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