A Saint Lucia-born woman living in Brooklyn, New York has launched a new career as an entrepreneur from making several products from coconut.
Fernuda Paul who hails from Laffeuille, Monchy said her idea started in October 2014, when she had a dream about coconuts.
“I haven’t disclosed this to too many persons because there’s a saying “when u dream of success never disclose it until you succeed,” she said.
Paul told St. Lucia News Online (SNO) in an exclusive interview on Wednesday, December 16, that having lived in the US for 14 years, she never once bought a coconut until she had that dream.
“I decided to buy four coconuts last year to make coconut oil. I got a good amount where I shared with a friend. After she tried the oil and it was so good, she called and said I should make oil to sell,” she explained.
Paul said she decided to give it a try and started making coconut oil the old fashioned way, by using a grater. She recalled grating coconuts for three hours non-stop.The Monchy girl said the most she ever grated was 40, until she purchased a blender. Now she is able to have 250-300 grated coconuts weekly.
But what started as an experiment has turned into a small business, where Paul now produces a few coconut products, which includes not only coconut oil, but coconut oil soap, scented coconut and a two in one for hair and skin coconut product.
Her coconut oil is sold in different sizes: 4oz, 8oz, 16oz and 32oz. Her coconut oil soap also comes in two in one for hair and skin, which is her number one seller.
“The first three weeks of introducing the two in one hair and skin soap, I sold a very large amount that I myself couldn’t believe,” she told SNO.
Paul said she has many customers in the US and she also ships her products to other countries.The entrepreneur said she has a few customers in Saint Lucia, but her products are not being sold in stores yet.
“Here in the US there’s one store that sells my coconut oil and I sell a lot from my home, majority of customers who lives in Brooklyn. I make it very convenient for them. I make most deliveries on Sundays,” she added.
She continued: “So far I have no complains about sales, as time goes by you never know I can definitely expand as coconut oil is really on high demand.”
Paul said it is a dream come true for her and she plans to continue making coconut oil products.
“God has been good to me and he’s also giving me the strength because without him I would be where I am today. I work full-time Monday-Friday and when I get home in the evening, after spending time with my son before he goes to bed, I start my second job making coconut oil,” she told SNO.
The entrepreneur advises everyone to “never say you can’t until you try.”