Today we’d like to introduce you to Tijuana Johnson.
Tijuana, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
As a single mother of three children with sensitive skin; two with eczema, choosing the right products for their skin was always a hassle. Although I was a working woman, I still struggled to make ends meet and had to receive government assistance in order to cover the costs of the medications needed. Over time, those medications seemed to no longer be effective, but also discolored my children’s skin. It was then I began to start reading labels and researching ingredients, ingredients I could barely pronounce and some which could cause more harm than good in my opinion. As I grew older, I began to learn about natural remedies and ways to relieve or even heal common ailments. Knowing that all God has created is good means there has to be some truth to this natural thing! I Googled a few things like essential oils or different herbs that are good for eczema and started making test products and of course, my children were my Guinea pigs. Don’t worry, no children were harmed during this phase. Not long after some trial and error, I realized I had something good! Others took notice and began to make request special products. I have always had a passion for science and enjoyed creating things, so I decided to combine those with the need to find relief for my family and that’s how Bello Bath & Body was born.
Has it been a smooth road?
This journey has been one of the most rewarding yet roughest I’ve ever experienced! The main two struggles have been overhead costs and lack of support. Starting a business with little to no money seems like an idiotic thing to do, but because of my strong faith in the Lord, I felt compelled to move forward even when I didn’t know where to begin or how I was going to make it all happen. Thank God for the internet because that’s where I learned about business plans, how to file a business name and more. Eventually, in 2015, I came across a program available to women who are in business or want to start one. I quickly realized it was the same organization I had been a part of years prior, but with a different name. The name of this organization is WiNGS. I quickly contacted them and enrolled in their financial literacy class as well as the Women’s Enterprise Center, the class for business women.
Unfortunately, a quarter of the way through I began a new full-time job and was going to school full-time, so I was unable to attend the required classes. Even though I could no longer attend classes I continued to do my own research. Then, in 2016, I once again enrolled in the Women’s Enterprise Center, and this time, I completed the program. Even though I had been in business since 2011, there were so many things I did not know and the Women’s Enterprise Center helped fill in many of those gaps. They even asked me to speak about my business and the program in front of several donors and WiNGS affiliates and my business was highlighted as a success story in a United Way grant. All of this and I still wasn’t making a profit, could barely pay my bills and was going through a messy divorce at the same time. When your personal life is running smoothly, it’s a lot easier to concentrate on growing a business. Although I continue to run into obstacles like not being able to keep up with demand, I also continue to persevere and remain positive throughout. God hasn’t let me down, and I’m not a quitter.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Bello Bath & Body – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
Bello Bath & Body is a local personal care product line. Our main focus is to provide products to individuals with sensitive skin and eczema, made with natural and organic ingredients. For those who have fragrance or specific allergies, we cater to them by creating unscented products or products fragranced with essential oils. Our products are handmade one small batch at a time and we are known for our awesome Whipped Body Butters and Lotions and excellent customer service to match. As a company, we are proud of the fact that we are still here! We’re fighting to become a well known and relevant brand in a highly saturated market. We don’t have celebrities shouting us out or a huge marketing budget so the fact that we see new customers daily is a great blessing. At this point, what sets us apart from others is the relationship we personally establish with the customer. Our customers have the ability to come into the store or send us a message and ask questions. Many times, they will come in and ask so many questions I feel as though I’m taking a test. It’s alright because I know what I know, and what I don’t I will find out. Sometimes, they just stop by to say thank you and tell me how a product worked for them. My daughter whose horrible acne has been cleared by these products has been my greatest success story. She now has the confidence she didn’t before. Overall, knowing that I have helped make a difference in a person’s life makes the lack of sleep, the tears, the stress just everything all worth it.
Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I like that our city is so diverse. I love to see all races, sexes, and religions interact and show love for each other. Love is the main thing missing in many communities and for the most part, our city knows how to come together. There are so many things to do, see and eat throughout the city, it’s just amazing! Most of all, I love the increase in small businesses.
The growing traffic, nuff said.
- Address: 324 E. Beltline Rd, Ste 604
Desoto, TX 75115
Inside Grow Desoto Marketplace
- Website: www.bellobath.com
- Phone: (972) 246-8010
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @bellobath
- Facebook: @bellobath
- Twitter: @bellobath1