Brookhaven woman brings line of lotions to Natchez

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 19, 2006

Bath products made for her own personal use caught the attention of her friends and family, said Joy Williams of Brookhaven, who recently has brought her Pure Joy line to Natchez.

At the corner niche just inside the west door of 511 Main St., the Brown Barnett Dixon building, Williams has created a small shop, packed with her own and a few other items and decorated to attract the eye of shoppers.

&uot;I have lots of allergies and extremely dry skin,&uot; Williams said, demonstrating the silky lotions and scrubs as she related how her business has grown in the past seven years. &uot;I started making things for myself. It took seven years to perfect them. I kept trying different oils.&uot;

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When she decided to give some of the products to friends and family members as Christmas or birthday presents, she began to realize the items had potential for mass appeal. She decided to leave a stressful job in the medical industry and to devote her time to manufacturing and selling her products.

There are massaging scrubs, massage oils, body oil spritzes, foot scrubs, moisturizing lotions, bath gels, bath salts and waters of essence, for example &045; all made with natural ingredients with no chemicals, fragrances or preservatives.

&uot;I import all my raw ingredients, buying them directly from the company that manufactures them,&uot; Williams said. &uot;The man who owns the company in Australia has a double major in botany and chemistry.&uot;

The raw materials are from all over the world, such as lavender from France and essential oils from the rain forest in Belize.

With her background and training as a respiratory therapist, Williams has a knowledge of chemistry, physics and biology, she said.

She has enlisted the help of a medical doctor as well as an aroma therapist to help her perfect the products.

&uot;And I didn’t name the company. A friend of mine did that. He said the name stands for the purity of the product and the pleasure you get from it,&uot; Williams said. &uot;Everyone thinks I’m very vain and that it’s all about me, but it’s not at all.&uot;

In fact, she enjoys telling about her humble beginnings and about her first trip to the Atlanta, Ga., market. &uot;I really did not know what to expect. I went to the market for the first time seven years ago and got $12,000 worth of orders,&uot; she said. &uot;I went home and hired someone to help me. We filled those orders, and I said, ‘yes, I can do this.&uot;

To date, most of the company’s business has been in the wholesale arena. The Natchez shop is an experiment in retail, Williams said. Getting to see how the customer reacts to the products in a retail setting will be good background information for her, as well, she said.

&uot;It gives me that experience in retail and gives me ideas about what new products to develop,&uot; she said.

She adds one to two products every year or two, she said. &uot;The talc is new this year,&uot; she said, sprinkling a little of the lavender talc to demonstrate its softness and natural scent.

Recently, Williams hired a Houston, Texas, company to assist with marketing Pure Joy products. She is pleased with the results to date.

A long-range goal is company growth that will produce profits to assist battered women, Williams said. She hopes to provide jobs for battered women in her manufacturing plant and one day to be able to build a shelter for them, also.