by Donella Hosten
There appears to be an influx of young entrepreneurs coming onto the market nowadays, and Marcella Jeremiah is no stranger to business ventures.
With most persons now becoming more aware of their environment and wanting to use more environment-friendly products, Jeremiah, founder and owner of Renee Scentsationz, saw the opportunity to create handmade, scented soy-based candles.
Being an avid lover of candles, and not being able to get the scents she wanted from other candles, Jeremiah opted to go into the eco-friendly business of soy-based candlemaking.
Over the years, Jeremiah has been taking part in various acceleration programmes, locally and regionally. During an exclusive interview with NOW Grenada, Jeremiah shared some of her achievements and aspirations of her business, Renee Scentsationz.
Last year she represented Grenada at the United Nations and took part in a Global Leadership Coalition.
In April 2017 she copped 1st place in the Revenue Stage Category of the Caribbean Tech Entrepreneurship Programme. Her prize included a trip to the Sir Richard Branson Centre for Entrepreneurship, in Jamaica, where she received multiple opportunities to network, go through business plans and learn more about marketing strategies among other things. She described the sessions as intense, but very educational. At that workshop, she was the only Grenadian out of 40 regional participants.
In October, she partook in a 3-day virtual acceleration programme Global Ecosystem Start-Up Programme. Out of 80 regional participants, Jeremiah captured 3rd place.
According to Jeremiah, these achievements are steps in the growing process, especially since Renee Scentsationz only launched in 2015. “We have so much to learn about the business world; it’s not just about buying and selling.” She reiterated that this is all about their growth. “With this new achievement under our belt, it has opened a lot of doors for us, in terms of networking,” and opportunities for more training, financing, grants, mentorship and travel.
Speaking more about the health benefits of using soy-based candles, Jeremiah pointed to the fact that these vegetable-based candles burn much cleaner and last longer than those made from paraffin wax, which is derived from petroleum or coal. “It is very easy to work with and it is safer all around.”
Although she is unable to source any of her raw materials in Grenada, and the items are a bit more expensive, this has not stopped her. “It is more expensive than paraffin to produce, but at the end of the day, customers are buying it because they understand the benefits of it.” Jeremiah and her team at Renee Scentsationz engage in one-on-one consultations to inform clients about the health benefits of their products. “It’s all about education.”
When asked what’s next on the agenda for Renee Scentsationz, Jeremiah revealed that there are plans in the pipeline to launch their e-commerce site, and additional products and fragrances.
As a young entrepreneur, Jeremiah advised other aspiring entrepreneurs to go for their goals, research niche markets and ‘never give up.’ She used the opportunity to thank her team for their support over the years.
Although Renee Scentsationz is not the only soy-based candle making business in Grenada, Jeremiah still prides herself and her business as having great thriving potential. Her products are usually found at certain supermarkets and can also be ordered by contacting her directly.