Mother-daughter duo makes handmade soaps, soy candles their business
For so many of us, the first person to show love and care is our mothers. This unique bond knows no bounds and blooms in very different ways. It certainly proves true in the partnership between mother and daughter Jo-Ann and Charmaine Morris, who have taken their love for self-care and turned it into a thriving business.
“Our most popular scent is Cardiff followed closely by the Caribbean Sea. Both are neutral scents in that they can work for all ages and genders. Cardiff, which was named following a trip to Cardiff Hall in Runaway Bay, St Ann, is a fresh scent with a slightly sweet undertone with hints of coconut and pineapple. The Caribbean Sea is like sea salt with a little hint of something dark and musky. It too has a fresh scent,” Jo-Ann, chief executive officer of Rachael Lane, told Saturday Living.
Sharing beautiful childhood memories of exploring different hobbies and travelling to new places, she explained that self-care was always a priority and the idea for her business stemmed from delighting in things that make her feel good and allow her to truly rest and be at ease. “My self-care routine has two extremes. It ranges from a delicate routine with long showers, or baths with lots of candles and a good book, fiction or non-fiction, to doing nothing. Sometimes the best self-care is doing nothing,” she shared.
As a prime example of self-care, she grew up seeing her mother constantly crafting. “At a point in time, Mommy was experimenting with soap-making and I had begun experimenting with candle-making. We soon began gifting our creations to friends and family,” she explained.
Charmaine chimed in to highlight that having a steady self-care routine as a woman is vital. “Self-care is a sort of healing or a time to recharge. A steady routine is important because as women, we’re always taking care of others and sometimes we forget that we need moments of healing too.”
As a child, whatever Charmaine couldn’t afford, she would make. Her mother would receive lavender soaps from England and, unable to finance that luxury as an adult, she learned to make them herself.
Jo-Ann and Charmaine would go on to experiment with and entertain these fun hobbies on their own. But when the young creative came face to face with redundancy, she decided to take that step into entrepreneurship. Fusing Jo-Ann’s love for design and fragrance with Charmaine’s love of soap, the pair developed the concept which soon gave birth to the self-care baby that is Rachael Lane.
So how did they come up with the name Rachael Lane? Jo-Ann shared that she wanted to build a brand that embodied them both.
“I wanted something that represented us as mother and daughter and business partners. Something that would be easy to remember and that also had a story. We threw around names and brainstormed and ended up combining Mommy’s middle name Rachael and Lane from my middle name, Elaine,” Jo-Ann reflected.
Since going into business at the end of 2019, the journey has been both interesting and invigorating, “The response has been better than I could’ve ever imagined.”
Working with her mother for Jo-Ann means always having someone in her corner. “Each collection starts with us individually coming up with concepts and ideas then we develop on that together to finalise what we want the collection to look and feel like. We blend scents together. And we win together.”
For Charmaine, that working relationship means separating their mother-daughter dynamic from the business partnership. “I must constantly remind myself when we’re working that it’s not a mother-daughter relationship, but a business partnership. There must be trust, and as a mother and business partner, I have to be willing to take instruction and criticism from my daughter. I also have to be okay with her, at times, standing in the limelight without me by her side,” she said candidly.
The working mom explained that there’s a difference in their work ethics too. “I am a morning person, and Jo-Ann is a night person. So we have to be strategic when it comes to planning and having operational meetings.”
Jo-Ann also confessed that business has improved their relationship in the most unique and enlightening way. “I’ve always been close with my mom and I still am. Our relationship has strengthened over time through Rachael Lane. The only major difference now is that I’m in a position where I get to encourage her as much as she encouraged me in the past.”
Just for the occasion, they have curated a Mother’s Day collection for pampering and relaxation. “Our Mother’s Day collection is a curated experience to help moms relax and get that often elusive ‘me time’. Mother’s Day for us is a celebration of mothers and mother-figures. So the theme is always light, airy, and bright. We’ve had amazing feedback, scoring some corporate interest as well.”
It is their hope as entrepreneurs to create international awareness when it comes to quality Jamaican products that are synonymous with the tropics.
When asked what she is most proud of as a mother, Charmaine confidently said it was the wonderful woman her daughter has become.