Josie’s Jummi Factory open for business

Tom ZaunmayrPilbara News
VideoJosie Alec's new cosmetic product business made using native Pilbara plants is ready to launch

A dream to use native Pilbara plants to heal is set to become a reality today as a new homegrown cosmetics business hits the shelves.

Josie Alec will use The Business Centre Pilbara’s Women’s Day luncheon today to launch the Jummi Factory alongside Madga Szubanski.

The Jummi Factory will make Pilbara plant-based cosmetics and products, including a lip gloss and the insect bite-busting bush rub for which Ms Alec has become popular.

Ms Alec said this was a chance to take ownership of her culture and knowledge.

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“We need to honour our elders, we need to honour the place we live, the plants, the animals and the ecology of how the land is sustainable, our culture revolves around that,” she said. “It is about sustainability, it is about having a social impact business to give back to the community.

“We don’t have the luxury of despair, it’s time to rise up and create value within ourselves and do what we do best.”

Ms Alec said she would like to see the business grow to a stage where it could operate out of a factory.

“We want to call something ours where we can help people with our product but also be able to have our own people work with the factory and use it,” she said.

“We want to teach kids how to become professional botanists, formulators, chemists, anything. Lots of things can happen from here.

“Instead of sending them away, we need to make our products in the Pilbara.”

Ms Alec has had a lot of support along the way.

The Business Centre Pilbara guided Ms Alec through the process and eventually linked her up with opportunities, which saw her head to the east coast for a business boot camp and represent Australia at an entrepreneurship conference in Beijing last year.

Sodexo also came on board recently to provide equipment and help get her products out around the region.

Jummi Factory director Damian Ryan built the aquaculture facility to grow the plants needed in the backyard.

“This is an idea to make the plants which we need for our formula sustainable, designed around running some fish in a tank,” he said. “The nitrogen and nutrients the fish create provides the plants and you then have an eco-friendly system with no chemicals.

“Who knows, if this is successful we will have to get something out on country, a factory or something, eventually.”

Jummi Factory products will initially be stocked in visitor centres and stores across the Pilbara.

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