It comes as no surprise that Black women are the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in the United States. According to the Federal Reserve, Black women are the only racial or ethnic group with more business ownership than their male peers. This is a bracket social justice educator and entrepreneur, Sade Jean-Jacques, is proud to be a part of.
Jean-Jacques is the CEO and Founder of Pascale's Body Care — an affordable, high quality, multi-purpose organic skin care line for “Black women and people of color in mind.”
As a social justice educator and new mother, Jean-Jacques never imagined what started off as a solution to a skin problem, growing into a business. “This all started in 2013 when I couldn’t find products in stores to clear the breakouts on my face. For so long I struggled to find products for my sensitive skin,” Jean-Jacques said. “I decided to make my own body butter at home instead.”
Based in Connecticut, Jean-Jacques' skincare line consists of all natural homemade body butters and lip balms. From the soothing Lavender Body Butter to the cool and tingly feeling of the Peppermint Lip Balm, her products are what she says keeps her customers coming back for more.
Pascale is a name Jean-Jacques shares with her mother and the representation of their self-care journey. “My mother would search for high quality and high priced skin care products for me but they all had short term results,” Jean-Jacques said. “Now that I have a daughter, my focus is to make my products accessible, long lasting, and affordable to people of color.” Part of her self-care journey focused on how systems of oppression impact health outcomes and exploring holistic approaches to wellness.
Jean-Jacques uses her brand as a platform to educate people about the misrepresentation of Black women in the mainstream beauty and hair care industries. As the Associate Director for Multicultural Education at Quinnipiac University, the issue of diversity and inclusion are top priorities.
“I want to challenge people to be responsible consumers because we often see big companies in the news not getting it right in terms of diversity,” Jean-Jacques explained. “Many of these products are not made with Black women in mind. There is a history of anti-Blackness, whether its hair relaxers or skin lightening creams. There are markets in our communities that don’t have quality products on the shelves.”
When the brand launched in 2016, Jean-Jacques had no idea where to start. There was another side to running a business that she had to learn. “I had no idea about registering a business or sales tax permits,” she said. “I had to work backward.”
To execute this plan, Jean-Jacques earned a spot on a 6-week incubator program with “Collab,” a statewide accelerator for Connecticut entrepreneurs. It provided her the resources she needed to sustain and expand her business. Her brand was featured at New Haven farmers’ markets, Black Wall Street, and Raw Connecticut, just to name a few.
Jean-Jacques will launch new products along with a website in the Spring. She is also a contestant in the FedEx Small Business Grant Contest, with hopes of winning a $50,000 grant to expand her line beyond the Connecticut area.
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