The beauty industry in The Bahamas continues to advance and as it capitulates into the mainstream, Natural Glow founder Elsada Hield, seems to be among those taking the lead.
Hield, who currently has beauty stores in Grand Bahama, Abaco, New Providence and The Turks and Caicos Islands, describes her work as fine tuning.
She said, during an interview on Tuesday, August 1 that her products are to give a woman a natural and profound look using harmless products.
As she reminisced on when the journey started back in 2009, Hield revealed that getting to this point was not always easy.
“It feels like only yesterday my grandmother pulled me in the kitchen and said, a woman’s beauty is in her face! I watched as she mixed her all-natural remedy, a liquid soap made from plants from her garden and a cream that she mixed. The purpose was to clear my skin of acne.
“I was so shocked how fast my skin cleared, everyone was actually. It boosted my confidence, tremendously. So, in 2010 with the permission of my grandmother, I started Natural Glow. It was my grandmother who taught me all the Caribbean secrets to having healthy glowing skin,” Hield recalled.
“When I first began, I started off with just cream and soap to get rid of acne and scars. Unfortunately, some persons were using them for skin lightening, but as I grew and I went to different islands and I listened to what clients wanted. A lot of girls came to me and said they wanted to get marks off their skin, but they don’t want to lighten their skin.
“When I went off and did my aesthetican studies, it was then when I was open to a different world of skin care, because the lighteners worked for The Bahamas. But when I went to school and got an education on skin care, I understood that you could use different organic ingredients to just get rid of marks and kill bacteria without lightening the skin, and that is what has Natural Glow successful right now.
“Fast forward to nine years and I have four locations. Freeport was our first location, then due to high demand we opened in Nassau, Abaco and Turks and Caicos Islands. We offer all services to make each client feel better in his or her skin – facials, Botox injections body contouring – we specialize in laser removal services such hair removal, stretch mark removal and skin tag removal.”
Questioned about transitioning from skin care to body sculpting, Hield said, she wanted to remind women of how beautiful they are.
“Because it was about making every woman feel good in her skin. I would go to conventions all around the world. We traveled to Paris and when we went to Paris, that is how we got into Botox and Jet Peel.
“When I went to Las Vegas or London, that is when I got into body contour; because they had advanced machines that could melt fat and you didn’t have to do a surgery or get cut with a knife. So, when we advertised, a lot of persons were interested in it because people wanted surgical fat removal, but it had a high risk on death. However, when they found out we had a non-surgical solution, everyone just jumped on it and a lot of our clients saw a lot of before and after photos of persons,” she noted.
During 2017, 2018, 2019, Hield began seeing a difference in sales and incomes, however, she added there has been some discrimination.
“I have experienced discrimination before. When I went to New Providence and the business was receiving a lot of attention and becoming viral, because word of mouth, this lady basically lied and said she purchased a product from us and it burned her skin,” Hield claimed.
“If anybody knows me, I don’t sell any product that is going to peel the skin, it would just be mild. But this lady went on social media and she went on a blog and published her story. Everyone was screenshotting it of course, but it was more people in Grand Bahama sharing the story. Persons from New Providence were the only ones under the comments actually defending me.
“Sometimes you have to leave home to make it. But I would say put God first and master your craft,” she added, noting that once you take care of your clients, your clients will always take care of you.
As it relates to service, she maintained that there have been no complaints.
“We have never had any negative reviews (just that one lady).
“I don’t take risks, and I don’t gamble with people’s lives or safety. If it is something that I am not going to use on me or if it is something I am not certain of, I wouldn’t bring it home.”
The aesthetician noted that her success was a journey of hard work, late nights, early mornings and God.
“Without the help of God, I would not be who I am today.
“The process was hard, yet I was able to provide for my family and pay for college. I used the funds I made from selling Natural Glow products to pay for my business education at Success Training College in Grand Bahama.
“I also listened to people’s criticisms to make me better at my craft. However, I could not have done it without God; I would not be doing this if it wasn’t for Him. After I graduated with my Business Degree, God told me you’re not done yet and at that time I did my studies in Medical Aesthetics,” Hield said.
“My company now ships all around the world. We also ship to Paris, London and we are starting our Fort Lauderdale leg, where we will have a warehouse to ship to other warehouses so pricing can be cheaper,” she maintained.
Natural Glow now has a Melanin Glow line, tattoo removal and the removal of keloid skin. Hield added that she’s also interested in sharing her knowledge with other women in the beauty industry and hopes the government can implement aesthetician courses to The Bahamas.
The melanin glow line is a cream, no lightening at all and it kills acne because fungal infections are one of the number one issues we have in the Caribbean. Shifting clouds and it would be targeting bacterial and fungal removal. It would remove discoloration and heal the skin without brightening the skin.
“I think the government should put together an esthetician course. They always say become a teacher, lawyer or doctor, but there are so many other trades out there. I didn’t even know what an esthetician was, but just by God, He gave wisdom to me.”
She added, “I also would like to do a seminar … talking to other women, because a lot of people say I do inspire them … but a lot of us just compete at home. This world is so big, you can start a Bahamian soap line and if you put it on the market, people all around the world will support you.
“It is hard work, but you will have to believe in it even if persons tell you no. When I used to sell my soaps driving in my little car or from my house, people use to laugh at me; but I knew that it would pay off and it is something that I love doing, so it didn’t really matter,” concluded Hield.