Jennifer Samuda: The Woman Who Made Our Skin Glow
It’s difficult to fathom, really, that Jennifer Samuda, the woman who paved the way for many in the cosmetic industry, will be buried today. Jencare Skin Farm founder Jennifer Samuda died on Wednesday, February 22, after a brave battle with cancer. Samuda’s success story is well known.
What’s not, perhaps, is the fact that she formerly worked in finance and would, after work, open her verandah to customers in need of improved skin — primarily those with acne. Before collagen serum boosts, there were Jennifer Samuda’s potions.
Her business acumen — plough your salary into the business, creep before you crawl, sacrifice, focus on the prize and be hands-on — were words she lived by.
Samuda was very hands-on and became our very own Anita Roddick — founder of Body Works — her magic potions passing muster with global cosmetic brands and travelling almost daily from Kingston to Miami, New York and Trinidad & Tobago. Indeed, Miss Universe 1998 Wendy Fitzwilliam, on a recent visit to Jamaica, shared with us her obsession with Jencare products.
How can we forget the day the zinc was removed to reveal the Marvin Goodman-designed Jencare Skin Farm on 82 Hope Road? Samuda’s lifelong dream, and her ability to parlay her entrepreneurial and cosmetic formulation skills, were fulfilled and many young entrepreneurs, particularly those in the cosmetic and beauty industry, felt inspired. "She made us feel that we, too, could achieve," shared Totally Male MD Sandra Samuels.
Never one to rest on her laurels, Samuda in 2013 introduced Jencare on wheels, a business venture positioned to change the way spas were viewed.
Two RV units were rolled out — one for the Corporate Area and the other to service the 13 other parishes. Her plan was to "troubleshoot the unforeseen issues and iron out the kinks" ahead of rolling out in Atlanta, Washington, DC, Manhattan, Canada, London and Geneva — these cities have strong customer loyalty to the Jencare brand.
Our hope is that when the history of cosmetology is written here in Jamaica, and indeed the world, chapters will include Jennifer Samuda, Elima Hall and Melody Aarons. And that Jencare Skin Farm will continue to inspire future cosmetologists.
RIP, Jennifer Samuda