Raised among entrepreneurs, Shantell Dillon, 28, said she received the foundation needed to venture into the business world from a tender age.
Born and grown in Scarborough, Dillon is the owner and founder of Bee-Youthiful Skin TT – a sole trader enterprise creating hand-made, all natural, spa-quality body products inspired by the beauty of Tobago.
The products, she said depict the beauty of the natural water sources and the trees pollinated by honeybees, and uses eco-friendly and reusable packaging to attract the clients.
Bee Youthiful TT was launched in April this year and has not gone unnoticed.
Dillon was recently the recipient of the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Division of Sport and Youth Affairs, Youth Award for excellence in entrepreneur.
“I feel humbled and at the same time inspired to continue this development,” she told Newsday in an interview last Tuesday.
“Definitely inspired. My goal is to continue with the passion and determination of meeting the needs of my clients. At Bee-Youthiful Skin TT, we will continue to fulfil the demand for all-natural spa-quality items in Tobago and in doing so, become a well-established, profitable business, and to be known as one of the major producers of high quality spa items. "We aim to continue to grow both in size and reputation and to supply established hotels and guest houses both locally and regionally with the goal of long-term supply.”
The beauty line, Dillon said is made using organic fruits, vegetables, mineral-based clays and powders and honey products, as she sources local raw materials exclusively. She credits the success of her business to ongoing training and brand development. The brand’s objective, she said is to provide high quality, all-natural organic products that not only benefit consumers but the economy as well, adding that as the demand grows, she is in the process of expanding her product line.
However, being an entrepreneur was never in the wildest dreams of the UWI student, who is currently employed as a Business Operations Assistant with the THA Division of Food Crop Production, Forestry and Fisheries.
“My dream was always to become a teacher.
“The first couple months in business yielded an impressive history of happy customers which motivated me to increase the product line. Handcrafted in small batches to maintain product freshness, as these products are free from sulphate and paraben systems to meet with health concerns, I have taken a completely different course where my service offered now brings joy to those I interact with,” she said.
The decision to dive further into the business world, according to Dillon was fostered by the support of her fiancé, Cherith Irvine who is a local beekeeper that provided the knowledge which cemented the relationship between the apiary and natural products.
“I attended an Introduction to Soap Making workshop. This was done to further understand the art of soap making and skin care products.”
The business, she said is geared to fill the gap in the beauty industry where healthy skin is now on the minds of most people.
“The concept of brand Bee-Youthiful Skin TT was created based on a collaboration of ideas and interactions with persons who suffered personally with skin sensitivity. The motivation to form the enterprise came when persons explained their challenges, with having family members who suffered from severe skin disorders and flare ups from products used during routine bath and skin care regime. Coupled with natural resources, the main ingredient behind our luxury products is 100 per cent pure honey and products of the hive,” she said as she added that honey is incorporated into the skin care items because of the many antiseptic and healing properties which aids in the treatment of many skin ailments.
She boasted of a very active social media presence. Bee-Youthiful Skin TT is on Facebook at Bee-Youthiful Skin TT and on Instagram at beeyouthifulskintt as well as via whatsapp at 303-3148.