John Deberry, a Durham businessperson, civic leader, and humanitarian, has turned a desire to create a safe and non-chemical product into a profitable cosmetic company scheduled for worldwide distribution and test marketing in the North Carolina area.
Deberry is President of Blo-Glo, an herbal products company based in Durham. The company is named after his deceased brother and sister nicknames. Deberry said “their bubbling personalities” helped inspire him. The company currently makes nine products, including the well-known Janay’s Facial and Body Cleanser. Using all-natural products, his desire to find a cure for a family illness and his dedication to making chemical-free products initialed his initial venture into the cosmetics industry.
When Deberry was 13, his father died from a heart attack and suddenly, members of his family started passing before the age of 50 from having either a heart attack or a stroke. In 2002, his 26-year-old nephew had a heart attack and lived. After blood research on his family was done, it was discovered that there was something in the Deberry-family blood that caused it to clot easily. So Deberry spent thousands of hours of research on the Internet and consulting medical professionals concerning natural herbs that would help his family. Deberry said, “In my investigation, I found herbs that would also help persons suffering from high-blood pressure, diabetes, and other ailments.” He added, “I also found out that the Germans in World War II would use some herbs to cure burns and rashes for their soldiers in the field. So, my wife and I decided to go to a local store and purchased a soap-making kit.” Initially, Deberry started mixing the soap with natural herbs. After months of improvising the product, Deberry and his wife came up with a few products including the soap. They started using it at home and giving it away to friends.
“His skin seems to be better. His eczema is better, and the soap has helped with the darkness and the dryness on his skin.”
CPA, social leader, businessperson
Deberry stated, “We were giving the soap away to several of our friends and family. There was a 35-year-old lady in Raeford who had eczema since she was 17. She had been going to physicians and dermatologist and her condition did not improve. My sister, who worked with the lady, gave her a bar of my soap and she fell in love with it. The lady started ordering ten bars of soap each month, Deberry stated, “Now, this started out as a hobby for my wife and me, now it is a family business.”
As demand increased, Deberry started selling the few products that he was making and decided to make the cosmetics venture a business. While attending a hair show in Asheville, he sold a bar of soap to a barber whose son had a bad case of dandruff. The soap cured the dandruff and the barber started shaving his customers with the soap. As the barber and his customers demanded more, a second product, Janay’s All-Purpose Shampoo was developed. When asked about the desire to create new products, Deberry said “Demand creates our need to make more products. Janay’s has nine products now.
Thomas Spivey, a prominent businessperson, certified public accountant, and civic leader in Durham states that his son suffered from a chronic case of eczema. He added that his son’s “skin seems to be better, his eczema had cleared up and the soap helps with the darkness and dryness on his skin.”
Janay’s Herbal Products contain only herbs, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. A rising name in the herbal products industry, the company has done a lot of research and development. Also, to produce greater exposure, representatives from the company attend trade shows and conventions such as CIAA Tournament, and Expos in Maryland, Columbia SC, Atlanta, Washington, and Charlotte. Recently, Deberry attended Fraiser Net Expo in Atlanta and interviewed with two major chain stores, including the nations largest, and is presently in negotiations with plans to start test marketing in the North Carolina area. Although most of Janay’s Herbal Products orders are done via the Internet, all orders are processed and shipped free within 48 hours with the assistance of distributors. We have gotten orders from Durham, Australia, Hawaii, California, Seattle, Texas, Minnesota, Atlanta, Buffalo, and Columbia.
“My wife and I both use the soap and face cream and it does a great job on exfoliating our skin.”
Durham Postal Carrier
Deberry, originally from Laurinburg, is a NCCU business graduate and is grateful for his education at Central and the faculty who influenced him in starting a business. Graduating in 1982 with honors, Deberry states that, “Professor T. Richmond, who became the Dean of the School of Business and later the Chancellor at Central, took me under his wings while I was attending the University.” He attributes his successes to the influences of his father who was a businessperson and Professor Richmond.
Besides being a prominent Businessman in Durham, Deberry is also a humanitarian. On the first Saturday of each month, as President of Full Gospel Businessmen Fellowship International, he and fellow members sponsor a free breakfast at a local shelter. Feeding up to 200 persons each Saturday, Deberry states that, “When you are given much, much is required, so you have to give back”. As president of the Full Gospel we host a breakfast for men every third Saturday at a local restaurant to discuss issues relevant to the social issues and economic affairs of men in the Raleigh-Durham area. He is active in the outreach activities of several churches, participates in many local political arenas, and even helps with mentoring previous incarcerated men.
Although many honors have been bestowed on Deberry, he is not caught up on titles and positions, but uses his businesses “to help other people”. Deberry who owned JC Auto Service Center turned it over to three of his ex- employees who all had criminal records. They are first class Businessmen in Durham NC. Deberry believes talk is cheap; put your money where your mouth is. If you going to help people, help them. We help the homeless and the down and out. I found things around the Service Center for them to do so that they could earn a little money and get a meal. “Not only did I help them”, but “They also helped me.” While Deberry does not seek accolades, he has taken extra efforts to help those less fortunate and has transformed many former homeless persons into productive citizens. “They bring intelligences and skills to the business.” He adds.
A family head, Deberry and his wife (Renna) started dating at 14, married at 24, and are the parents of two children (John Jr. and Johnria) and a grandson (Xavier). The son helps with the cosmetics business and owns his own company with his wife (Joi). Deberry and his daughter was in graduate school at the same time where he received a Masters in Entrepreneurial ship from Western Carolina University. Janay’s Herbal Products is the name of the cosmetic product line. The line is named after his wife and daughter.
At the rate the cosmetic industry is growing, Deberry expects a projected growth rate of 12 to 13 percent annually; Janay’s Herbal Products will be among the leaders in the herbal cosmetics industry. “We entered the market at the right time.” according to Deberry, “There are a lot of people who do not want to use products with chemicals and heavy perfumes. Our products have no alcohol, no animal fats, and no chemicals. Therefore, no animals are slaughtered, harmed, or used to test our products. Cancer has been linked to cosmetic chemicals.
The products include a shampoo, a conditioner, pomade, a hair restorer, a facial and body moisturizer, a cold cream Manna II supplement, and the well-known Janay’s Facial and Body Cleanser. They are launching an organic underarm deodorant called Janay’s Deodorant system June 1st.
With over 700 testimonies on record from users of his products, especially the Facial and Body Cleanser, Deberry is having a lot of success and living up to the motto of the product line, “Making your outer beauty match your inner beauty”.