KALAMAZOO, Mi. — A young entrepreneur is making a name for herself in Kalamazoo and beyond. We learned what’s behind her sweet smell of success.
Anaya Fernando is the CEO and founder of Sugar Sweet Bath and Body Treats, where every product lives up to the name, they all smell good enough to eat, but they’re designed to simply curb your cravings for smooth, silky skin. No guarantees though, that they won’t make you hungry for more. From body butter to whipped soap, bath bombs, lip gloss, lip scrubs and more. Anaya says she just wants her scents to be different than those of her competitors. And they are. From chocolate chip cookie to pineapple papaya, to strawberry pound cake, Anaya dreams up, tests and approves each one.
She says she’s grown up with an entrepreneurial spirit. “I was business minded when I was younger, I would always want to try to sell paper dolls, do yard sales and even tried selling snacks at church.”
And when she means younger, Anaya is talking about single digits. This 18-year-old only just graduated high school. Her mom, D’Andrea Bolden couldn’t be prouder. She says, “With kids, if you put them in an area where they’re strong, they soar, it boosts their confidence and their self-esteem.” She calls herself a “momager” and has a chemistry background, so she’s helped with the formulations for the products. These two have been in business together since Anaya was 14, so there’s been a lot of growing for both of them. D’Andrea says, “I learned I had to listen to her more sometimes you have to separate being a parent from being in business. I shut down a lot of things. She had a lot of ideas that were right, and so as a parent I had to apologize.”
The team originally created the body treats to sell at events, but a worldwide pandemic had other plans. Anaya says like most of us, she had to pivot. “I ended up opening my online store because I know it was something that I needed to do but that came with its own challenges because like, we didn’t know what we were doing. So, it took some time, it took some trials and tribulations.” D’Andrea seconded that feeling, saying they didn’t know what they were doing, what packaging to use, or the best ways to ship their products.
But today they have a beautiful website, a social media presence, and most recently a place in the Fresh Thyme Market in Portage, a big deal for this small business. D’Andrea says, “As a mom, I’m just excited for her, I’m excited about where her business will go. I’m grateful for the retail deal she has at Fresh Thyme Market. I’m grateful for a lot of other opportunities that have been opening up for her business as well.” Anaya also says she’s proud of her new deal and proud of how far she’s come.
To learn more Sugar Sweet Bath and Body Treats – and their bath bombs, exfoliators, lotions, mists, oils and more, you can head to sugarsweetbathtreats.com/. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok.