We are happy to introduce Jolene Des Roches, owner of Jolene’s Natural Handmade Soap in our next Meet the Tenants blog post!
What do you love most about owning and managing Jolene’s Natural Handmade Soap?
“It’s always been a dream to do this. I’ve always enjoyed making soap; I’ve been making soap for 20 years now. I find it rewarding, to pursue my passion and to build something I truly believe in. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the positive encouragement I’ve received along the way.
What inspired you to build the business?
“Starting with doing craft fairs, I realized that I could take it the next level to where I currently am today. When I saw River Market, I wanted to have my business there. I did craft fairs back when it was only Donald’s Market, the old crab shack, Great Wall Tea, and Crepe Des Amis.”
What do you like to do in your spare time?
“I really like doing my own projects. I love baking, cooking, reading about entrepreneurship, business, and branding. I watch TEDx videos, documentaries, and movies.”
What do you like to eat/drink at River Market?
“I’m vegetarian so I would go for the Veggie Burrito at Pamola Bakery. The Summer Princess iced tea at Great Wall Tea is great with the strawberry lime combination. I also have the Meatless burger at Wally’s Burgers without the egg and just mushrooms.”
What is your favorite family tradition from your childhood?
“Christmas, wearing pajamas all day at my parent’s house. Having mom’s cooking. You get to be a child again.”
What is a secret fun fact about you?
“When I was in high school, I volunteered with elderly people at an extended care home. I also never got on a plane until I was 30.”
If you had a million dollars, how would you spend it?
“I would spend it on my business and help grow it. I’d go on fun vacations as well.”
If you could meet anyone (dead or alive) who would it be and why?
“I have a weird one. It would have to be Eminem. He did a lot of things himself, even though many people tried to tear him down, he fought, and clawed his way back up and never let anything keep him down. It goes to show that some people have a powerful drive and nothing stops them.”
Think back to when you were little, what did you want to do when you grew up?
“I’ve always wanted to do something that would help other people. I volunteered at the hospital. I was a nanny for awhile. I even considered becoming a massage therapist.”
What brands do you look up or aspire to?
“I don’t have any. I am trying to do my own thing. I don’t want to copy anyone else. I want to create a unique brand. I don’t want to fit in a box of what I have to be.”
What are the advantages of local, sustainable eco-friendly products?
“Natural products are better for the environment and our health. You’re putting money back into the local economy and supporting local.”
What is some of your favourite merchandise to create?
“Definitely soap. Sometimes when I have an idea and it comes out the way I visualized, it’s a satisfying feeling.”
Where do you want to see your brand in five years?
“I want to grow the business to the point where customers can purchase supplies to create their own bath and body items. I also want to provide a space for more classes, on how to make your own soap and other creations. This generation is aware about natural ingredients and what exactly goes into the products they use on a day-to-day basis, and I want to reflect that with the space.”CONTACT
Monday to Sunday 10am to 6pm
107 – 810 Quayside Drive
New Westminster, BC, V3M 6B9