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Conversations with Dedra Jorden

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dedra Jorden.

Hi Dedra, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
In 2009, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Like anyone who hears this daunting news, I thought I was going to die. I thought about my son and daughter and how I would tell them. It was my daughter’s senior year in high school and we were preparing for her prom. Thankfully, the cancer was caught at an early stage and the surgery was successful. My daughter went to her prom and I was on the road to recovery. Out of this adversity and unbeknownst to me, my skincare business would be born.

As I continued to heal, I returned to my hygienic routine. One day, I applied my store-bought antiperspirant deodorant to my underarms and immediately felt discomfort and pain. I couldn’t lift my arms for a couple of days. After this painful experience, I began researching the ingredients in antiperspirant deodorants and learned that most of them contain harsh toxins and chemicals like aluminum, parabens, formaldehyde and other toxins that can irritate underarm skin and enter our lymph nodes.

With this knowledge, I began experimenting in my kitchen with natural and organic ingredients, like shea butter and essential oils. After many trials and errors, I finally came up with the best all-natural deodorant that worked for me. The formula was life-changing! Not only did it work against odor but it also reduced my sweat! I shared it with my family and friends and they loved it! Armed with their encouragement (no pun intended) I began making it regularly.

This labor of love inspired me so much that I now have a product line of about 18 natural products. In addition to the deodorant, my rich and luxurious body butters and lip balms are some of the all-stars. My skincare products are nourishing and healing to the skin.

Over the years, I was enjoying my skincare creations so much that in 2015, I decided to share them with the world. With the help of my mom, Lynn, we began selling them at Farmer’s Markets, fairs and events. At one of my farmer’s markets, I was approached by a leasing manager who worked for Del Amo Fashion Center in Torrance, California. He had been buying and using my products for a while and I didn’t know he worked for the mall.

One day, He explained to me what he did for a living and invited me to open my business in the mall and sell my products. As much as I was flattered, I was also too scared and turned down the offer.

In 2016, he asked me again and my mom encouraged me to step out on faith and I set up my business in the mall. We had a good run for three years. I was the manufacturer while my mom was MVP of Sales. She is so good with people. They loved her as much as they loved our products.

In 2019, we left the mall and it was a good thing too because of what was to come, the pandemic. Since I was making natural skincare products, I decided to get my Esthetics license. I’m striving to be an expert in this field. When the pandemic hit in March of 2020, everything started shutting down. I was so disappointed because I was ready to expand my skincare and esthetics business. But as the saying goes…everything happens for a reason. My father was also ill at the time and my sister and I spent the first quarter of 2020 taking care of him until he passed in April, four days before his 80th birthday.

Today, I celebrate 12 years Cancer Free!!! I encourage women and men to do their own self-breast exams. It is also important to get a mammogram. Early detection is key to survival. It saved my life. I am looking ahead and excited about where my life and career is headed right now. I look forward to serving my community by providing esthetic services and educating people on how to obtain and maintain healthy skin, along with tips on how to live a healthy lifestyle.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
I’ve gone through ups and downs. Some things came easier than I thought. Like setting up my business. When I began searching for all the things I needed, all fell into sync. From finding the best ingredients, locations and exposure, I knew it was meant to be. The biggest challenge is making my products. It’s a lot of work for one person. I am very detailed and careful of what I put in my mixtures.

When I meet with my suppliers, sometimes they get a little annoyed with me because I open the boxes, touch and smell the products. I have to make sure they’re not spoiled or smell off. When you’re dealing with raw natural ingredients from the earth, they must be handled, kept, packaged and stored properly. Ingredients like shea butter, avocado, coconut, essential oils are some materials that are temperature sensitive and need to be handled carefully because they are fragile and precious.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I’ve always been an artistic and creative person. I’m good with my hands. I learned how to sew, knit, make jewelry, repair jewelry, fix things and now make skincare recipes and formulas that help me and the world. However, most of my adult years, I had a career in Human Resources Management. I’ve worked with a lot of people from new hires, employee issues and management. I’ve always worked well with people. I also have experience in Sales. These professions have prepared me for operating my own business. I’ve always been in a capacity of service one way or another and I’m proud of that. We are here on earth to serve one another.

People have always told me that I’m approachable and they enjoy talking with me. You can’t be in business especially sales if you’re afraid of people. I specialize in educating and offering alternatives and solutions to clients who want to use skincare products that are toxin-free. What sets me apart is that I’m also focused on making skincare for people that have skin issues like surgery scars, acne scars, burns and hyperpigmentation. I also specialize in preserving and improving aging skin. I believe that when you take care of your skin, you can look great at any age.

What would you say have been one of the most important lessons you’ve learned?
I’ve learned to ask for help! For a long time, I couldn’t do that. I felt responsible for everything. I admit that I could be a little controlling when it comes to my business. I want things to be done a certain way. I believe this comes from my vision. It starts with how you see things. Over the years, I have relaxed and have allowed people to step in and help. From family and friends to business associates and clients, In any type of business venture, endeavor, you will always need assistance. They are keys to helping you fulfill your dreams and goals.

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Head shot: https://www.instragram.com/bluejayimagez

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