Led by her passion to help others, a local woman has taken a proactive approach to offering health-conscious, eco-friendly consumers chemical- and toxic-free products through her emerging business, Radiantly You.
Melissa M. Brown, Certified Holistic Health Coach (CHHC), started her business in April 2011. Since then, she has been developing products for her direct sales company that are better for people, the environment and the future. Radiantly You offers a complete line of all-natural, organic products ranging from cleaning, health, baby and beauty products.
According to Brown, her company grew an astounding 1,000 percent last year. To accommodate the explosive sales, Brown and her husband, Nick, moved their family-owned business into Randolph’s historic 1906 Borden Milk Plant in March. The Browns are occupying the second floor they lease from the Ruhlman family, owners of Rand Machine Products in Falconer.
“We took the space mainly because of its size and the ability for us to grow,” she said. “With the sudden growth we had last year, we quickly outgrew the building on Jamestown Street.”
Brown sources the best sustainable ingredients possible for her company. While researching for an ethical supplier of raw palm oil, Brown discovered Eldad Umenjoh who works with the United Nations and World Bank. She said he resides in London and comes from a tiny village near Cameroon, Africa, where he grew up as a palm oil farmer. Umenjoh led her to the Anjong Young Farmers Group in West Africa that works together to harvest palm oil.
“In June 2014, I flew to Cameroon to obtain the raw palm oil,” she said. “For nearly two weeks, I was in the fields with the farmers and saw their operations. I explored the village and met the people. It was amazing and life-changing.”
During her stay, Brown noticed the school children didn’t have enough food. When she returned to the states, Brown and her consultants, Independent Wellness Guides, decided to raise money donating a percentage of their sales to feed the 120 children at the school.
According to Brown, the school never had the means to feed the children. Through the company’s mission work, Radiantly You has given back and fed the children for the 2014 school year and, on Sept. 8, they started their second year of feeding the children.
With only the headmistress and a teacher for the entire school, Radiantly You has also raised enough money to pay for an extra faculty member. The company has also contributed used clothing, books and other items they have sent over to the school. Brown said her company is helping put in toilets this year and, hopefully, running water.
“We wanted it to be ‘full-circle’ because we shouldn’t just buy from them (the farmer co-op),” she said. “While we are providing fair trade, which is better than they had ever gotten, we wanted to find ways we could help lift up the community even more.”
Brown said her company kept track of the numbers because they wanted to see the impact it had on the village. The results from the “seed program” showed school attendance was the highest it’s ever been and the students test scores are at an all-time high. She says it’s because the kids made sure they were in their seats to eat.
“It pushed this school into the position of No. 1 in the sub-division for Cameroon, so it’s enormous what impact we’ve had on the school,” she said. “As a result, more families are moving into the village because they know there are better services and opportunities there.”
In November 2014, Radiantly You was nominated by the Academy of MLM for “Start-Up Company of the Year.” The company’s All Natural Counter Spray was nominated as a Better Homes and Gardens “Best New Products of 2014.” Radiantly You has Independent Wellness Guides in all 50 states and continues to be a quickly growing network marketing company on a mission.
The couple has four children between the ages of four months and four years old. When asked how they juggle business and family, Brown said Nick is the president of the company and works beyond full-time hours, which is helpful. She’s OK with the fact that her life isn’t too balanced right now.
“I’m either heavily engrossed in my children or I’m heavily engrossed in the business,” she said. “I try not to mix the two, so I can give each thing the amount of time it needs. A family support system helps us in this venture and we have an amazing nanny.”
Brown said she is really excited about building a business in Randolph because it’s where they live and it’ll do a lot of good for the community in the future.
“We’re staying here to create jobs,” she said. “Obviously, I could produce anywhere or subcontract it out, but we want to keep it in-house to create as many jobs for the local residents as we can.”