Startup Feature - Jomingo
Wednesday Jan 15,2020 | Startup News
The idea started in Cuba. As an avid traveler, Jun took a trip to Cayo Coco in search of an amazing native colony of pink flamingos. roaming next to pristine beaches and turquoise water.
While perspiring in the heat, a rash appeared on her underarms, leading her to look closer at the ingredients in her new deodorant. To her shock, she found the product she willingly put on her body contained chemicals that posed a threat to both humans and the environment.
Spurred by this discovery, she went on a journey to create an all natural product that would keep her underarms dry and also not destroy the environment!
We spoke with Jun Tan to learn more about her journey to creating Jomingo, an all-natural deodorant that not only feels good, but looks good too.
The first thing that struck us was the brilliant packaging, Jun certainly isn’t afraid of colour!
“I love colour”, said Jun. “The vibrancy represents myself!”
Designed in Singapore, the colourful visual around the deodorant packaging featuring the animals and plants reflects the natural wonders and Jun’s fondness of them. These are the animals she traveled the world to appreciate them roam wild on land and in the waters.
“I hope this eye-catching packaging can help to spread the message about appreciating nature and the importance to preserve all animals”, she said.
Healthy and natural, Jomingo is unique in the market with natural ingredients deliberately sourced regionally. It is also totally vegan to ensure there is no cruelty done to any animals in its making.
“Some people have wanted me to introduce beeswax into the product, but I just don’t believe in taking away what the bees have worked so hard for just to for my own gain”, she said.
“I believe in Jomingo being an ecofriendly brand, being bio-degradable with no carbon footprint. The last thing I want to see is my product washed up on the beach somewhere”, she emphasised.
What made her take the step to her own business you ask?
“I’ve had 15 years of experience in marketing and tech consumer products, I just had enough of working for other people!”, she said.
“I wanted to start my own business, give back to the community and contribute to the society I live in.”
“It’s so hard to find natural products as compared to other countries such as Australia and Europe, and I believe it is something that is growing in Singapore. I’ve started selling Jomingo at roadshows in January 2019, and the reception so far has been great.”, Jun exclaimed.
Indeed, in one of her first showcases at SMU, her stall was also graced by the President of Singapore, Halimah Yacob and SMU President, Dr Lily Kong.
“I really have to thank IIE's Business Innovations Generator and SMU for the assistance they have given me on my journey”, she said proudly.
Given the low recycling rate in Asia, Jomingo uses only biodegradable material in all forms of packaging from the mailer box to the deodorant container.
To reduce the carbon footprint, ingredients are deliberately sourced from neighbouring countries in Southeast Asia so transportation is kept to a minimal. This also mean ingredients are fresh as they are obtained as close as possible to the manufacturing facility in Singapore. But this has not been without issues Jun warns.
“Trying to keep Jomingo all natural has definitely been a challenge, especially in Asia. I’ve definitely run into some roadblocks along the way.”
“It’s been hard to find eco-friendly suppliers as being certified fair trade and organic are not common in South East Asia. Because of that, it’s important for me to visit the suppliers in person to ensure what I ask for is actually real.”
“I have also had comments about the product not being consistent, but as with any natural product, it’s important to educate the public that it’s not consistent because the products are natural!”, said Jun.
We ask her, what are your future plans?
She said with a smile, “With Jomingo going the way it is, I plan to expand the product range to include other essentials like lip balm and shampoo, as well as hopefully going to market in the rest of South East Asia.”
Jomingo is part of the Business Innovation Generator (BIG), an incubation programme at Singapore Management University designed to nurture entrepreneurs through knowledge transfer and a strong support infrastructure.
Find out more about Jomingo here.