Jamie Skinner was frustrated.
The Norfolk businesswoman was tired of searching for skin care solutions. Skinner would attempt to treat eczema problems on her children, just to have a product cause an allergic reaction.
So, Skinner said she began to do her research and learn how to create compounds using natural ingredients. Suddenly, other friends and family members were beginning to ask her for help.
Just a few short months later, Skinner’s skin care business Shark City Naturals is almost ready to open its first-ever storefront in Norfolk’s Military Circle mall.
“I planned it with this one particular formula, and it worked, so I stuck with it,” Skinner said. “I just kept building off of that.”
At the new store, Skinner is still setting some up displays and posters, but an identity is beginning to take shape. Set to open on Aug. 10, the space is bright, colorful and filled with skin care products, plants and shark stuffed animals.
One shea butter product is called “LL Cool Shea.” Other items for sale include bath bombs, soap, after-sun spray and lotion.
When she was just getting going, Skinner said she began to realize that so many people in the area suffered from acne, razor burn and other skin ailments. She began a quest to educate her community on skin care. Shark City began to set up stalls at trade shows and other events like the Chesapeake Jubilee in May.
“When you know better, you do better,” Skinner said.
Skinner also wants to be transparent about all the ingredients used in her products. The company manufactures the products locally at the Culinary Loft training and incubator facility in Norfolk.
“We want you to be aware so that you can make the right decision,” Skinner said.
Fellow business owner Latricia Harrison, who operates Fly Girl Boutique, clued Skinner into the available space at Military Circle. Skinner said she jumped at the chance to help revitalize a location she remembers shopping at back in its heyday.
“I grew up at this mall,” she said. “It’s a place that we love.”
Skinner and her husband Danell Skinner have also owned and operated an environmental cleaning company called Diverse Buildings Associates for more than a decade. Danell has a roll in designing Shark City’s logo and graphic design, but as Skinner puts it, the project is “her baby.”
The store plans to host a grand opening 10 a.m.to 9 p.m. Aug. 10. For more information, visit SharkCityNaturals.com.
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