Brio Che – A Sweet Recipe For Success

9 Jan

Known for its Sicilian roots, the history of Gelato- that age old Italian frozen delicacy- dates back thousands of years, as far as 3000 B.C. Made with all natural ingredients and pure, intense flavors, gelato is viewed as being much healthier than its ice-cream counterpart. So what do an Italian dessert and a local Caribbean manufacturing business have in common? Meet Taireen and Camille Warren, high school sweethearts who turned a passion for an all natural, home-made dessert into an all natural line of household and health care products. From coconut-lemongrass soap, virgin pressed coconut oil, chocolate and cinnamon spice lip balms to all natural scented candles in coconut shells, the Warrens cook up tasty smelling treats for your hair, lips, skin and home that leaving you looking and feeling as good as cold gelato on a hot summer’s day.

COCO Mag: It’s clear that you have a real passion for what you do. How did you become aware of the dangers of conventional bath and beauty products and what made you decide to start creating your own line of natural products?

Brio Che: It wasn’t until five years ago when I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with a hormone imbalance issue; this made me very health conscious. I started on a journey to figure out what I was using or eating that could be contributing to me feeling unwell. I was quite shocked at my findings, at the number of chemicals and toxins in everything that I was using daily. I started to collect health books and articles online, which led to me seeking out more natural, organic alternatives. The health issues became a distant memory; my husband also benefited from this lifestyle change as his acne, allergies and sinuses problems were no longer an issue.

We started to make our own products as it was getting hard to keep up with purchasing healthier alternatives, there were limited options available and they were usually more expensive. Being a person who likes to have my dessert first, homemade ice cream, (Gelato) was the very first thing I learnt to make. This fueled my passion to make a number of other items. I just made a shopping list and decided to see which items I can make…now when we go to the store we only pick up like seven items. 

COCO Mag: How did you come up with the name for your business? 

Brio Che: We originally wanted to own a Gelateria. I had over twenty names that I played around with. I wanted something that was diverse, dynamic and significant to various cultures. It took me some time to narrow it down to my absolutely favorite two…Brio Che and Brio Pashen, undecided I let my husband choose. “Brio Che”, is a dynamic combination of two words that is now our brand. “Brio” is an Italian word that basically means, “full of energy, vitality, enthusiasm, passion, fun and cheerfulness.” 

“Che” is an informal Spanish word usually means, “Hey Friend”, and “Wow”, or used to capture someone’s attention. 

Also Brioche is a French pastry so I would think it would be a hit with the French, Spanish, English and Italian cultures. To us it means, “a life of fun and vitality.”

COCO Mag: What products do you currently produce for sale?

We currently make organic coconut oil, natural scented candles in coconut shell and tins, luxurious handmade soaps, exfoliating body scrubs and moisturizing lip balms.

COCO Mag: What is most challenging about what you do? 

I work from home so it was quite challenging balancing work with my other priorities. When I start something, I don’t like to stop until I am very satisfied, so I start to neglect everything else to complete a task, working to the point of exhaustion, and usually end up feeling less productive. Being an entrepreneur is not a 9-5 job at all, but my husband’s great organizational and time management skills help to keep me prioritized.

COCO Mag: Which of your products do you personally use on a daily basis? 

Brio Che: We use the virgin coconut oil on our hair and skin, and use the pure coconut oil for cooking and frying. We also use the lemongrass soap daily. Everything else we use when necessary.

COCO Mag: How has owning and managing your own business changed your life? 

Brio Che: It has changed our life significantly. We are taking small steps and planning carefully because we have very limited resources to begin with. Owning a business involves working much harder and smarter. Handmade items require a lot of hard work and lots of time and dedication, but we are enjoying the journey. We believe that prioritizing and keeping on top of things is a very important part of succeeding.

COCO Mag: What’s the most rewarding aspect of owning and operating your own business?

Brio Che: It is quite rewarding to see persons excited to support our local products. One of our goals was to create items persons locally [ in St. Vincent and the Grenadines] can be proud of. Having happy and satisfied customers is the most rewarding.

COCO Mag: What are your top 3 best selling products? 

The coconut oils, soaps and lip balms are our best selling products.

COCO Mag: What do you do when you’re not making soaps, lip-balms and candles?

Making oil…lol. I make several other things that we do not intend to sell, at least not now. I try to catch up on tv shows, read or collect recipes to try out.

COCO Mag: You use ingredients like coconut oil, lemongrass and coconut water in the manufacturing of your products. How do you come up with the combination of scents that you currently have in your line? 

Brio Che: Using the coconut water in our soaps came naturally because I didn’t want to waste any part of the coconut, and the water is filled with so many awesome benefits too. There’s no essential oil with the scent of coconuts so I had to get quite creative here. I tried out a combination of vanilla and lime essential oils and add some coconut flakes to create the coconut soap. The spice soap… I love making pumpkin pies and other pastries and it is a typical scent in my home, which leaves me mesmerized, and the lemongrass soap I am crazy about the smell I wasn’t so sure if persons would like it so I’ll dab a little of the lemongrass essential oil when I am going out and persons were very enthralled by it, many persons said the smell makes them nostalgic as they can remember it from their childhood or I smell like I’m coming from the spa, several persons even requested that I make air fresheners for them with the lemongrass scent or get the candle just for the scent. I believe our three main scents appeal to both men and women. The limited edition chocolate-mint soaps are highly anticipated too.

COCO Mag: As a small business it must be really exciting to be growing as quickly as Brio Che is. What advice do you have for other makers of handmade goods that would like to make a business out of it?

Brio Che: Yes, much appreciation to our customers who are supporting us when they purchase or spread the word, it means a lot to us. We believe that handmade items hold that positive energy, it is made with uniqueness, love, creativity and care and it is a joy to receive handmade items. It is quite rewarding to create something with your hands that persons can feel the love and care it took to create it.  I would say go for it, keep learning to improve you skills, especially in areas you may not be confident in. Once you are passionate about your idea, even if you lack the funding, just simplify your idea until it’s manageable as an early stage venture. I believe that businesses built around your strengths, skills or talents will have a greater chance of success if you are disciplined and dedicated. 

COCO Mag: Where can persons purchase your products? 

Brio Che: We currently supply the Pennywise Store in Kingstown [St. Vincent & the Grenadines], Purpose Shop at the Cruise Ship Berth, Q-Care and Bowman’s Pharmacy. Our products should also be at the Coreas City Store by the end of July.

COCO Mag: Are they available for sale internationally and if not, do you offer international shipping? 

Brio Che: We are still trying to figure out how we can get our products shipped internationally at a cost that is reasonable for our customers. We believe before the end of the year they will be available internationally as we have had quite a number of requests but the cost to ship is the issue, or the large quantities they need is not something we can manage at the moment.

Source: CoCo Magazine 


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