Taekwondo boss now fully into feminine products

BUSINESSMAN and president of the Jamaica Taekwondo Association, Trevor Webb, has added the manufacturing of feminine beauty products to his household chemicals business — GPL, in a bid to help fund martial arts locally while providing care items with health benefits to women.

Webb, who spoke with the Jamaica Observer last week, shared that his decision came from wanting to expand his business and tap into a niche market with products that had wellness properties.

“We’re involved in household chemicals on a whole and we make our own chemicals under the brand Sure Products, so we are always researching. We’ve been doing scrubs using rock salts and charcoal for a number of years with the feminine brand SheBelle, but we wanted something with more benefits and so we started looking at noni,” Webb said.

Director of business development and marketing Matthew Voncross added that with research conducted over a span of two years on the noni fruit, both he and Webb decided that based on the multiplicity of benefits associated with the fruit, they would work towards products that maximise its use.

“We wanted to hit the market with something different and we started thinking out of the box and realised we have a lot of things around us that people were ignoring and with so many benefits from the noni fruit, we decided to concentrate on it for ourselves, our family and our friends and the results have been excellent,” Voncross said.

Subsequently, in addition to household chemicals, facial scrubs with activated charcoal and aloe vera, castor oil, goat’s milk soap and shower gels, Webb and Voncross have now launched an anti-fungal soap made primarily from the noni fruit — called Punoni — a play on the colloquial slang used to describe a woman’s vagina.

In addition to Punoni, the duo have also launched a noni tonic wine under the brand name Hard Rock. Moreover, while the aim of any business is to make a profit and surpass their bottom line, Webb was quick to point out that the business is one of the main financial contributors to martial arts locally.

“We do a lot of free classes. In Seaview Gardens alone we have 135 students who do not pay, about 55 students in Back Bush, Mountain View and students from several other schools in the Shortwood Area. We also conduct classes at Thompson Town High that costs us $34,000 per month. We take a percentage from the sales and that offsets uniform costs for these students. When we have tournaments we pay for those students. When kids come up from the country for tournaments, we feed them and provide accommodation. Though martial arts brings more medals to Jamaica than track and field, the sad reality is we don’t get much support from corporate Jamaica and so we have to support our own.

“I’ve been doing this for over 25 years and as a 6th degree black belt and president for the Caribbean Taekwando Association,it’s about the love and giving children who cannot afford to pay privately a chance to be more rounded. I don’t do martial arts for a living. We have a lot of talent in the inner city (and) parents can’t afford it, so we decided to take on the challenge to offer an alternative to students and the business helps fund it,” said Webb, who represented the Jamaica Labour Party as its candidate in the February 2016 General Election.

So far, the products have received raving reviews from wholesales and bars which have stocked the item based on customer demand and intrigue with the product and its name.

Apart from its perceived aphrodisiac properties, noni has been used to improve poor blood circulation, and help regulate reproductive, urinary, musculoskeletal and central nervous system function. Voncross added: “It’s also good for yeast, eczema, dandruff and psoriasis. Women love the product and the feedback is good. It’s not even three weeks good and every single bar has reordered two, three times in large quantities.”

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