Online Exclusives

Family Secret

April 17, 2012

Happi chats with an up & coming ethnic skin care brand.

Family Secret



Happi chats with an up & coming ethnic skin care brand.
By Melissa Meisel



Dixie Bits of New York, NY is Trinidadian/African-American owned and operated personal care company on the rise. It specializes in bath and body products like Whippa Peel body wash and lotion, Rave in Beauty Body Wash and lotion and Sweet Sugar Darlin Brown Sugar Body Scrub. The brand recently released 100% soy candles in yummy scents such as grapefruit & vanilla and lychee & red tea.Products are sold online at www.dixiebits.com and in specialty boutiques in the city.

Company founder Dixie Lincoln Nichols took a few minutes to talk to Happi about building an independent personal care brand.

Happi: How and why did you start your company?

Lincoln Nichols: Dixie Bits was launched in June of 2011. However, it was in the making since I was 6 years old. Growing up in Trinidad, I watched and helped my grandmother gather fruits and herbs to prepare meals and skin portions for the family. My favorite memory was helping her extract coconut oil in an iron pot on the stovetop. Using simple ingredients in and around the home like brown sugar, avocados, coconut oil, oranges, lemons and limes, just to name a few, she combined multiple ingredients to make her concoctions. The result was always beautiful, healthy, glowing skin. She’d created a totally organic lifestyle for us.
 

Dixie Lincoln Nichols
As a result of my early exposure to DIY skin care, beauty products became a passion and indulgence in my life. One day I read an article about high toxicity levels in skin care and bath and body products. Needless to say, I recalled how natural, simple, safe and effective my grandmother’s methods were. This made me even more cognizant about ingredients and proportions and what my family and I were putting on our skin. So, I applied what I’d learned as a child and set out to create products that were safer and just as effective. As a teacher, my days were devoted to my students. But, in the evenings and nights, I would slave away in the kitchen formulating and mixing until I came up with the right proportions. My first customer was a family friend who complained about excessively dry skin so, I mixed her up a portion and she loved it. She came back for more and soon others did too. Dixie Bits was born. A year ago, I decided to go public with my formulations after one of my customers asked me to make her a year’s worth of product.

Utilizing the internet, which has a wealth of resources, I researched laboratories that were willing to do small runs. I found the right one and they worked with me to tweak and bring my formulations to life.

 

Dixie Bits Collection
Happi: Has it reached a milestone in the past year that you would like to brag about?

Lincoln Nichols: In the five months since the company launched, we’ve been featured in notable print and online publications like Redbook and Essence online, working mother blog, beauty blitz and more.

Happi: What’s next for Dixie Bits?

Lincoln Nichols: In 2012, we’ll be improving our branding. We plan on taking our product international and we’ll also be adding feet care and hair care products.

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