Anatomy stu­dent launches ve­gan hair­care prod­ucts for re­cov­er­ing can­cer pa­tients

Jamaica Gleaner - - PUBLIC PROCUREMEN­T - Jonielle Da­ley/Gleaner Writer

“I WANTED to pro­vide a healthy hair­care choice for can­cer pa­tients,” said Ki­morra Lu­cas, owner of Treats 4 Kinks.

The idea was highly in­flu­enced by her mother, Bev­erly Lu­cas, a five-year can­cer sur­vivor who fin­ished chemo­ther­apy four months ago and is cur­rently un­der­go­ing her ra­di­a­tion treat­ment. Lu­cas said that af­ter chemo­ther­apy, her mother started grow­ing back her hair and be­came the first am­bas­sador of the hair­care line.

“Once they are fin­ished with chemo­ther­apy or ra­di­a­tion ther­apy and they de­cide to re­grow their hair, I want Treats 4 Kinks to be one of those choices that they can go to,” said the 23-year-old.

With a heart for ad­vo­cacy, Lu­cas has long awaited Breast Can­cer Aware­ness Month. Though her ini­tial plans were can­celled be­cause of the pan­demic, the com­pany will be do­nat­ing 10 per cent of this month’s prof­its to the Ja­maica Can­cer So­ci­ety to sub­sidise the cost of mam­mo­grams. They will also be host­ing ses­sions via so­cial me­dia to ed­u­cate view­ers on the im­por­tance of early de­tec­tion and how to check for lumps in the breasts.

In sup­port of well­ness, Lu­cas wants Treats 4 Kinks to be among the ve­gan op­tions for peo­ple who want to switch over to a plant-based diet and life­style. As such, the prod­ucts mainly in­clude nat­u­ral oils found in African and I ndian hair cul­ture.

“One of our main in­gre­di­ents is cous­cous oil, found in our Sweet Spot Hair Oil Blend, and also moringa ex­tract, as well as co­coa but­ter and mango but­ter. We try to use in­gre­di­ents that are a part of

African and In­dian hair­care cul­ture. We found that in­te­grat­ing both as­pects would cre­ate good prod­ucts for per­sons with kinky hair,” she ex­plained.

She added that though it was ex­tremely dif­fi­cult for her to source af­ford­able and or­ganic prod­ucts lo­cally, she was hell-bent on sup­port­ing lo­cal brands in­stead of out­sourc­ing and ship­ping the prod­ucts to Ja­maica.

With a de­lib­er­ate goal to comb through the dis­crim­i­na­tion sur­round­ing hair loss due to chemo­ther­apy, as well as nat­u­ral kinky hair, the plat­form aims to pro­vide hair­care tips and cre­ate a safe space for per­sons to see other peo­ple that look like them.

ORI­GIN OF COM­PANY NAME

The name Treats 4 Kinks came from a long-lost dream of Lu­cas to open a candy shop with her sis­ter. Not hav­ing the fi­nan­cial back­ground to do so, the next big dream of hers was to cre­ate a hair­care com­pany.

As such, she in­te­grated some of her ini­tial ideas, which in­flu­enced the coinage of the name and the mar­ket­ing of the prod­ucts.

“The pack­ag­ing was re­ally a mar­ket­ing strat­egy. I re­ally wanted to stand out, es­pe­cially know­ing it’s a brand-new busi­ness,”Lu­cas said. “It was re­ally just brain­storm­ing, and I worked on it and tried to per­fect it as much as pos­si­ble.” “I usu­ally have a nine-to-five while go­ing to school, which I would con­trib­ute my in­come to grow­ing the busi­ness, so it’s hard to get funds to con­tin­u­ally sus­tain it,” she said, lament­ing the loss of her job be­cause of COVID-19.

The young en­tre­pre­neur’s mar­ket­ing strat­egy was heav­ily de­pen­dent on pop-up shops and events cater­ing to small lo­cal busi­nesses, en­trepreneur­s, and breast can­cer aware­ness.

She is open to part­ner­ship and fund­ing to as­sist with the sur­vival of her dream. Cur­rently, there are three prod­ucts: Sweet Spot Oil Blend, Sweet Cherry Hair Mois­turiser, and Sweet Tooth Scalp Treat­ment. But in faith, she plans to ex­pand the line.

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