On April 23, 2011, JUARA Girl Tami married Louis-Simon Ferland, an extraordinary and handsome French-Canadian gentleman who considers himself one of the luckiest guys in the world. Well he should – he’s with our JUARA Girl Tami. And she, by the way, is just as ecstatic. I recall back in 2004 when we first started working in our tiny apartments on this idea called “JUARA” and our journey began. 2004 we were all in our late 20’s, single, hunched over double boilers with skincare formulations and researching Indonesian beauty treatments by day, going out together as friends in the evening, chatting about our latest obsession (a.k.a. JUARA), and of course, the male species. It was only less than 7 years ago, but it feels like a decade.
We launched our first 5 products in 2005, followed by a series of team bonding trips to Puerto Rico, work trips to Indonesia, and late-night drives to QVC and other work related locations… let’s just say we have spent a LOT of time with each other. I’ve spent the night in the back of a car in a parking lot in Las Vegas with Jill due to an unfortunate scheduling mishap, and missed flights going over presentations with Yoshiko…while waiting at the boarding gate. We’ve moved offices about 4 times together, lifted more boxes than I can ever count, tied ribbons till we couldn’t feel our fingers, debated over spreadsheets, bonded over disappointments, commiserated over breakups, rejoiced over engagements and births, and survived global separation when Tami moved to London to be with her beau. Where many partners could have buckled under all the work stress, we were committed to our relationship to each other and continued to make it stronger. Before someone coined the term “The JUARA Girls” for us, believe me, we didn’t create it, we used to be referred to as the ‘Sex and the City’ girls, but even more – as legal business partners, we are technically in bed with each other too in many other ways than the literal.
What a lot of people don’t know is how much JUARA is infused with our personal lives. In trainings, we talk about how the Candlenut Body Creme is inspired by an ancient body scrub made from candlenuts, or how the oil is so gentle it can be used on babies to aid with cradle cap. But I remember making the scrub from fresh candlenuts and all of us crammed in a tiny NY bathtub one afternoon, experimenting with it – adult women giggling like girls. Or in creating our JUARA signature packaging, we talk about the inspiration being the Indonesian batik (wax dye-resist technique) patterns on fabric, but we don’t always mention how we got the idea: Tami and I were in Bali wracking our brains for what our packaging should be when I woke up at 2:30 in the morning after a long day with a jolt. Like a good friend, I shook her awake immediately screaming “EUREKA, I GOT IT! BATIK AROUND BOTTLES! WE HAVE TO GET UP AND DRAW!!!… YES, NOW!!!” So Tami being a trooper got up and we drew through the night. We emailed the preliminary designs to Jill and Yoshiko in the US in the AM, and with everyone’s input and ideas, JUARA’s packaging concept was born. So jump 7 years later and where are we now? Yoshiko is happily married with the cutest daughter, Asami, (We don’t test on animals, only on Asami, JUST KIDDING!) and I’m on her hubby’s football team. Jill is happy, I won’t say anything to jinx it, let’s just say, 🙂 And Tami just got married. We have a few products in the pipeline, products absolutely relevant to our own skin’s needs today, and are excited to be launching them soon… To us, looking at JUARA is not just looking at the product of a labor of love and an awesome skin solution, but also a nice walk down memory lane.
We’ve come a long way, and plan to go a long way more. Congratulations, Tami, and here’s to all you women who have your own story to tell!