During the upheaval of a global pandemic in 2020, Junique Gooden transformed her Ottawa apartment into a small-scale laboratory that was home to a big dream.
That dream resulted in Enfematic, a skincare line that has grown into a range of affordable natural beauty products, from body butters to lip balms, as well as candles.
The name Enfematic derives from the word emphatic, while the abbreviation “fem” denotes a woman-owned business.
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“I love scents, but I wanted something sensitive for my nose and skin,” Gooden explains, adding the idea for the business was born after she graduated from Carleton University.
Her first product, a body butter named Down to Earth, marked the beginning of Enfematic. Without a formal background in biochemistry, Gooden’s venture was fuelled purely by her interest and a desire to create.
At its core, Enfematic is more than a skincare brand, she says. It represents a philosophy that “healthy skin, healthy body is a right, not a privilege,” Gooden explains. By creating an affordable skincare line, she wanted to challenge the notion that natural skincare ingredients can only be found in high-end brands at luxury stores.
“I just don’t think that it’s really necessary to have such a cost associated with it because it’s natural,” she says.
The pandemic became a catalyst for Gooden’s creativity and Enfematic’s growth. “I had the time to do it and then I was just like, let’s just take a leap,” she says.
The brand has expanded to include a Drink It Up line, featuring scents like hot chocolate and chai tea. Gooden’s vision for the future is vast, extending into baby products, household items and more, always with the commitment to natural and affordable products.
Enfematic’s success is intertwined with its contribution to the community, she says. Gooden donates to women’s health centres and has participated in charitable events at uOttawa and the Vogue charity fashion show in Kingston, supporting Almost Home, a half-way home for children undergoing medical care.
Starting a business during a pandemic was “extremely interesting,” as Gooden puts it. Despite the challenges, she received immense support from the local community, helping to propel the brand forward.
From its humble beginnings, the business has grown to include a presence in two Ottawa retail stores, Motif! Boutique on Wellington Street West and Afrotechture in the ByWard Market, as well as an online business.
Gooden says she works to ensure that Enfematic is not just about creating skincare products, but also about nurturing a community, supporting health and wellness for all.
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