My name is Rina St Catherine-Francis owner of Dark Seamoss along with my Husband Donaldson Francis. We started our business journey when my husband lost his job to find an emergency solution to being able to sustain our home, whilst contributing to our community and being financially independent. We had no idea where this business would have taken us but we tried.
After being exposed to farming and fishing in my community at an early age, I grew a passion for the industry. I used what have learned from it and found a quick solution to my goal. I decided instead of using the raw materials which is the seamoss, why not create something that we don’t have much of while creating a healthier and better St Lucian nation. Then, I came about with the drinks, seamoss powder and seamoss concentrate ‘also known as the seamoss gel’. We started the seamoss business by waking up as early as 3 am to get a good spot in the city to do product tasting and feedback from the nation as to get a product to suit their taste buds. I worked along with them until I accomplished the products that is loved by most.
After accomplishing this part, we had to approach the necessary bodies who gave us lots of ‘NOs’ until the day came for the miraculous ‘yes’ after not quitting. Honestly, I relied on my idea and passion as it motivated me immensely. Also, my support system included my family, friends, and my husband. We took this journey step by step leading us from an idea to an entity.
This business has taken us from selling one-on-one to our customers until we got to the point of wholesale to the nation. I must say, due to the seamoss industry we never knew where our journey would have taken us. I never bared in mind all the climate changes, daily increasing cost of living, changes in community focus, and the world’s direction in terms of convenience. It also taught me to be patient, accepting set back, and stay focused.
This industry has the potential of taking our country from where it is right now to a multimillion industry or in other words our next ‘green gold’ to help improve our country holistically and have a healthy nation when we consume it. It will also empower of young nation long term by creating lots of employment opportunities.