“I’ve been blessed, I have been touched, I love Jah so much, they keep fighting me I’m not giving up. The realms of Zion fill my spiritual cup, wisdom over standing can never be too much; give I protection day and night, from even the pestilence that walketh at daytime.”
Just her name, Glory, encapsulates her worshipful and thanksgiving lifestyle which she pours into her business “Heavenly Soulful Roots”. St. Lucian by birth, sometimes she tells people she has come full circle in her inheritance from the Lord which has translated into her business venture.
The old proverb says “an apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree” and with her, it certainly did not. From a young age, she learnt how to use plants and oils for their healing prowess from her maternal grandmother who served as her village’s midwife in St. Lucia. Glory became aware of plant mixtures that can dispel afterbirth and also mixtures that can heal any ailment from minor to major. She was also a curious little girl and she could always observe her grandmother from behind her favourite banana tree whenever visitors came for help. She would watch keenly until her grandmother felt her presence and chased her away. Despite her kindergarten being nearly a stone’s throw away from her house, Glory was not afforded the privilege of attending and this meant she had a lot of time to mimic her grandmother and learnt about her healing skills.
As curious little girls will do, when a child appeared in the yard with scratches or bruises Glory would play nurse aide and apply her little concoctions to their arms and legs. Many parents returned to the yard, declaring that the little pastes and portions had made a difference to the child’s skin condition. Naturally, Glory got into problems with her parents, but she continued absorbing everything she saw and heard.
She arrived in the Virgin Islands at six when her mother got married and moved here. She attended the Road Town Primary School and then moved on to BVI High School, now called the Elmore Stoutt High School. Despite a change in country and lifestyle, the indigenous medical practices did not change as Glory’s mother utilized homemade remedies when they were feeling ill.
Glory also recalled her mother using the hibiscus flower as a shampoo. Her mother would crush the flower and strain it to get the flower residue out. Once this remedy was used repeatedly, this would make the hair nice and thick. Glory disclosed that once she began to utilize commercial shampoo, she quickly began to experience hair loss and her hair became thin and brittle.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma in 2017, Glory visited her mother to wash her hair and decided to have a washday for herself. What she thought was a moment of bonding with her mother quickly turned to horror and dismay when chunks of her hair were coming out of her hand. She wrapped her head and went home feeling traumatized. She said when she reached home, she got on her knees and begged God for guidance.
According to her, the Spirit spoke to her and delivered a message about the ingredients she needed to restore her hair and its beauty. As a firm believer in Christianity and a faithful servant of God, Glory began the restorative process for her hair. As her hair grew back, she said the spirit lead her to use the oils brewed on her skin. People noticed the lushness of her hair and how her skin glows and as the compliments rolled in, she got the courage to bottle her products and started introducing others to them. It was not long before people started calling for more products as their popularity and effectiveness increased.
Glory realized her business was growing more rapidly than she had anticipated and she began to think of how to properly market herself and the products professionally. Firstly, she needed a name. She pondered on it and although stumped, Glory called her friend in the United States. She explained the product and its conception and also requested that they fast together and pray about it for seven days. The only stipulation was that the name should include the word heaven.
On the eve of the 7th day, Michelle revealed the name “Heavenly Soulful Roots, Glory was overjoyed as it represented how she felt about the product. Today her praises ring out to God for giving her the name and the vision to brew these products. Customers have declared that it not only helps your hair to grow, it clears minor skin eczema, but it also reduces joint pains and increases mobility in the carpals. Glory declares it’s just oil, but God works the miracle. She admonishes that before you use the oil, pray and trust God. “Any problem you have, pray over the oil and tell God what you want the oil to do and you will get results. Currently, the range of products includes oil and hair grease. Other products are coming on stream which will be revealed in time.
Her products come in different sizes and she tries to make them as affordable as possible for her customers while also considering the time and money taken to create these oils. She currently offers the oils in a 100 ml bottle, 150 ml bottle and 200 ml bottle with the price range being $15, $25, and $35 respectively. She also does custom orders for people who may need larger bottles.
Her business has expanded and her customer base has extended to England, the United States and other Caribbean countries. She ships most of her products through DHL to ensure her customers receive orders in a timely fashion. Back home in her native land of St. Lucia, Sky FM has taken up the charge and is advertising her products daily. Glory now possesses a certificate that allows her to export products from the Virgin Islands and she is currently working to have it approved by a licensing body. Although she currently does not have a storefront in the BVI dedicated to her products, customers can always purchase the oils in RiteWay, Mellow Moods, Bobby’s or at the Vanterpool stores.
Glory says her heart becomes full every time she hears testimonies of the healing properties of her products. She noted that her Caucasian clients have revealed to her that the oils have minimized their use of sunscreen lotion and they are less prone to sunburn whenever they sunbathe. She also said it reduces mosquito bites and reduces stretch marks over the skin.
However, her most memorable testimony is from an individual who lives in St. Lucia. She said the person was wheelchair-bound for several years and through prayers and the daily application of her oil, he now stands a preaches about the goodness of God.
Being grounded in her faith, Glory says she is grateful to God for the journey she is on. Growing up, she always wanted a path where she can give back because of her love for helping others and her love for humanity. She related a story of when she was temporarily living in the United States. One evening, she visited Kentucky Fried Chicken, and she met a Hindi lady on the pavement with a baby in a stroller and a five-year-old boy. As she was leaving, the little boy tugged on her clothes and asked if she could assist him and his mother. She went back inside and bought the biggest bucket of chicken they had but she did not only stopped there. She asked where the woman lived, and they took her to an old, abandoned building.
Glory felt overwhelmed and heartbroken about the situation and reached out to a friend. The friend directed her to Salvation Army where the woman and her family got assistance. Glory said the last thing the woman said was “you are an angel in human form”. Whilst the lady had received assistance for food before, she said no one has ever taken the time to see where she lived or if she even had the necessities.
Glory felt honoured to help. She says it’s still a blessing that she was able to help the family. Nowadays, she tries not to pass anyone on the street who ask for help. She declares that God has been blessing her.
“It is not my business; it is his; he just chooses me; and that is why I want to run an honest business. No chemicals in my products -100% natural products. So unless you are allergic to palm or coconut oil, there is no synthetic ingredient in her products. Heavenly soulful roots are here to stay with God’s grace. Grounded firmly in faith, and knowledge of plants and their healing properties,” Glory said.
While the challenge is that some of the ingredients cannot be sourced in the BVI, she uses her St. Lucian connection to source these items and her fan base and management base in St. Lucia continue to grow.