Message From the Founder, Sept 3rd, 2023
As detailed in my previous message, we began the year with series of electronic disasters (broken desk top computer, iPhone, then loss of Magic Jack service on iPhone (the 775 number could only be used on iPhone).
Logistics of bringing product ingredients to Majuro
We then attempted to cope with supply issues here in the somewhat isolated Marshall Islands. We were running out of finished product to sell, especially SILKENSEAL™ and our best-selling cleanser, SEA GLOW™.
I initially brought many supplies with me from Honolulu, when I sailed here in 2021 but they have been largely used up. The ingredients of SILKENSEAL™ are non-hazardous water-based emulsions and therefore could be sent by air and are still available from the manufacturer.
For the Cleaners, I have the ancillary ingredients in a storage unit in Honolulu, and two cans of essential solvent, with more on order. This is classed as hazardous and has to be sent here to Majuro by sea (via Guam) cost about $1,700 per pallet and taking 2-3 months. I tried to get them sent by air, but there is no air freight service here that is not also carrying passengers. In the meantime, the storage unit continues to rack up $385 per month charges ("inflation!"), and I only just avoided everything going to auction by having to pay almost $1,100 out of my pension income. The sooner I can bring everything here the better, especially since I also have valuable custom-made scientific equipment in storage for a potential teaching job here in Majuro.
This whole situation is exascerbated by lack of working capital because of vastly diminished sales income. Obviously, we need to share a container with somebody bringing in large quantities of solvent, paint etc . There are at least two companies here that do this and we are arranging to meet with them over the next 2 weeks to see if a collaborative agreement can be reached. If necessary my sailboat (worth about $30,000 in USA) could be used as temporary collateral.
Packaging material (bottles etc) and small items are less of a problem and (with the exception of phone batteries) can be sent through the US mail service to Majuro that reliably takes only about one week.
Survival of ISLAND GIRL® Products should I become incapacitated or die.
ISLAND GIRL® is my my only "baby" and I wanted to see it grow up, prosper and (hopefully) never die.
However, I am now 81 years old and have been keeping the business going, often single handed, since early days in the Ala Wai Boatyard in January1995. I have invested almost all of my time and effort on this project and all the equity in my real estate properties.
We never did reach the "break out" situation of being a major international company. I was always "stuck in first gear" due to lack of operating capital and marketing expertise. Never-the-less, SEA GLOW™ had been so virally popular that we had it mixed at a US contract factory in 300 gallon batches and then shipped to Hawaii by sea.
One attempt to "change gears" was my attempt to get on the "Shark Tank" entrepreneural TV show with a written proposal. That was a mistake, it should have been in video format. I now have a very talented Marshallese Family who could do this, even singing a jingle that i composed. A challenge is overcoming the residual shyness and lack of ambition endemic to these islands.
ISLAND GIRL®'s uniquely effective formulae, coupled with well recognized and long time usage trade marks have huge potential. However it is unlikely that I will survive to see this. The Company and assets are soon to be available for sale or investment. In the meantime I am bringing in a unique group of talented individuals whom I have begun to train in all aspects of the business.
Should I become severely incapacitated or die, there is a person I wish to deal with my other collaborators. Initially she is a trainee, while she gets her college degree in business administration next year.
Sincere Thanks and Best Wishes to our many long term customers
Anthony L. Willis Ph.D
Founder and CEO, IGP
HERE IS THE NEW ACTING PRESIDENT OF ISLAND GIRL PRODUCTS (Chistyann ("Emma")Talley.
Her degree in Business Administration should be awarded in 2024. She is currently learning the basics of online marketing and accountency. She is very knowledgeable in the role of Social Media (facebook, tik tok etc). As appropriate, she is a real "island Girl".