Lacoda Bath and Sparkles is a true testament of what can happen when drive and opportunity is combined to satisfy a persistent need, in any enabling environment.
Alithea Gibson, the self-taught natural skin care treatment specialist, told Asbert News Network in an exclusive interview, “our business started 3 years ago when I tried a commercial brand soap and I got an allergic reaction. I decided I was tired of getting these different reactions –itching, burning – from these soaps so I told my husband that I was going to learn make soaps.”
Alithea spent some time conducting her research phase which included several successful, though costly, experiments.
“My husband said it would have been an expensive hobby so why not offer people the product because maybe there are people out there who also need the natural alternative after we saw that the quality of the soaps were good,” Gibson reminisced.
Forever challenging herself, Gibson expanded the Lacoda Bath and Sparkles product line to include, “lotions, natural deodorants, sugar scrubs and a range of face masks and the like.”
In fact such novel ingredients like honey and arrowroot are combined to make a baby friendly soap; clay, Hairoun beer, charcoal, breadfruit and neem are all used to produce other interesting concoctions while they offer unique yet complementing benefits.
The longevity of each Locada Bath and Sparkles product, especially the soaps, plus the service standard that comes with the brand goes a long way to set them apart from their closest competitors, we were told. Add to those an information age approach to harnessing traditional knowledge and the Lacoda brand is well poised to be a market leader.
“Our soaps last for a month and more. We give our customers tips on how to use our products so they can benefit even more. We also provide kits for different issues for example, for natural skin lightening we have a turmeric kit which is a big hit. We also have the detox kit, which is a charcoal kit as well as the eczema kits.
“There is no better teacher than our elders and I learnt about herbs and their healing qualities from my grandmother and with my past studies and experience in the medical field I gained some knowledge of the human body.
“This technological age that we are in provides knowledge through extensive research; that plus testing is the combination that has contributed to our business success,” Gibson added.
An enthusiastically grateful parent-turned-client shared, “three years ago, my son had a rash that broke out on his shoulders and down his arms. He complained that it was itchy and we could see that it was inflamed. We made an appointment to see a dermatologist and started him on the Neem soap, in the interim.
“Miraculously, after the first use, the redness disappeared and by Day 2, his rash disappeared completely. There was absolutely no need to follow up with the Doctor as there was no evidence of his prior complaint. That sealed my belief in the potency of Lacoda Bath and Sparkles’ natural products.
“Subsequently, I developed certain allergies that made it almost impossible to find a soap that did not irritate my skin. The mildest soaps still caused severe skin irritations and I turned to the Proprietor of Lacoda’s Bath and Sparkles for help.
“I have since been using ONLY these soaps in my bath regimen and I am thoroughly satisfied with how long they last and the remarkable difference it has made in the texture of my skin. My skin feels more moisturized and I am confident that I get a cleaner wash than with the other soaps heavily laden with fragrances and chemicals.”
Locally “their first economic natural soap bar,” is available across some 33 outlets at a retail price of $5 and is “sold only by the case.” It is undoubtedly the most stocked of Lacoda Bath and Sparkles’ wares. These bars are distinct to the Lacoda specialty soaps which retail at $10. Major supermarket chains like Massy’s and C.K Greaves’ also carry items from the natural healing skin care producers.
Additionally, as they work towards their Vincentian market saturation objective, Lacoda now offers legally employable persons here a chance to share in their financial rewards.
“We have a sales model that we’re introducing where we hope to recruit independent retailers in different villages on St. Vincent. This came about from the COVID-19 pandemic when we realized that people were starting to get skeptical about coming into town.
“We realized that our sales were decreasing so we decided to try and reach people where they are so we adapted the Avon model… catered to SVG. Persons who are interested to be Lacoda Bath and Sparkles independent retailers would come in and sign a contract.
“We would provide them with $50 worth of products; they get 38% commission once they sell the products. Then they would come back and restock and the process goes on.
“We also have 5 sales levels so at Level 1 you’d get the $50 worth of products and every level you’re elevated to come with an additional $25 worth of products,” the owner/manager said.
The goal now, is to expand on the network of 7 sales agents and contract at least “one independent retailer from each village.” Interested applicants may call 17845261744 for details.
Although Lacoda Bath and Sparkles products are not yet officially shipped overseas, Vincentians and other natural health skin care consumers, across the region, would soon be able to directly purchase Lacoda products at their local shopping centers.
In the meantime following their social media platform @LacodaBathandSparkles is the best way to stay connected as this authentic Vincentian skin and beauty venture continues to evolve.