Caitlin Here –
I went majority of my life not being good in the kitchen and was 100% ok with never crossing that bridge.
During the summer of 2017, a close friend had an accident in the kitchen and was severely burned. As soon as I found out, I started to Google natural remedies to heal skin, which is something I’ve researched before since I’ve had an autoimmune disorder for the past decade. Also, bringing flowers would have been too easy!
I fell down a Google rabbit hole and honestly can’t remember how “Jamu” surfaced, but descriptions such as “cure-all” and “magic potion” were way more appealing than whatever I had going on at work that day. It was June. And a Friday.
A popular wellness website described turmeric, the main ingredient as one of the most powerful healing herbs that is a natural liver detoxifier, kidney cleanser, that also happens to speed up the metabolism and aid in weight management. Oh by the way, it heals and alleviates various skin conditions, which is exactly what I was looking for and there was a recipe that I could make for my friend. I later discovered more information about turmeric for example it is known as the golden goddess in Ayurvedic Medicine and has been used as a “cure all” (again with that buzzy word) in India for thousands of years.
I made my first batch of Jamu with my dad two days later, on Father’s Day (reminder - I needed parental supervision in the kitchen at this point, I was only 29 at the time). It was good, but it had a high sugar content and it was very sweet. Still, I experienced amazing benefits: I almost instantly felt more awake and after a week my skin looked great.
I started to get comfy in the kitchen and play around with the recipe. I became a regular at a few local herbal shops. I read every herbal book and blog I could find. After months, I was inspired to create the recipe for our “Original” flavor. The taste was finally perfect.
During the time I was experimenting with the recipe, friends and family started to notice the beverage (I was always carrying it around and people always asked what I was drinking – probably intentional) and asking if I could make it for them. So many people had great results, and everyone said to me – this is what you’ve been looking for and what you’ve always wanted to do. You’re crazy if you don’t start selling this!
Fast forward from that June day, I can humbly (JK) say, I am REALLY good at making tonics for different ailments that taste really good.
*If you are wondering if it helped my friend – she ended up going home to Brazil to heal for a few months, so I wasn’t able to get it to her until she had recovered, but she is a huge fan and big supporter.
Kristina Here –
Hailing from a family of entrepreneurs, the kind who taught me hard work, capable hands, and a mean work ethic could make anything happen—I always thought, maybe one day? That one day seemed less and less likely as I landed my first job out of college in corporate and climbed up the ladder for what was 8 years. Did I love my job? Yes. Did I have this ever-nudging pang that something was missing? Yes, again!
I knew I wanted a change but despite trying to figure it out, it never made sense until that one day at By Chloe with my best friend of 15 years. Cait had always been the risk taker and she created something I felt was magic. I clearly expressed my support, but knowing her as well as I do, I knew support was all she wanted… at the time. Anyhow, that fateful night she asked me if I wanted to be partners. Pleading for me to think about it, I was adamant, YES! Of course, she insisted I think about it.
Interestingly enough, the types of people who could truly benefit from what these magical ingredients can bring, happen to be in my family. Multiple people have issues with inflammation & arthritis, others have Lyme disease, and quite a few have the occasional hangover.
So you’re telling me I can work with my best friend, be a female entrepreneur and ambassador, help those I love, and share it with everyone near and far? Let’s just say, the impossible (leaving my well-paying, successful, high-powered career), finally felt possible. The skills I’ve obtained and perfected over the years from driving sales to managing multiple teams, operations to process improvement, all lend a hand in this next leap. I have the left brain and Cait has the right brain.
Oh, did I mention I said yes again after thinking about it? One day had arrived.
Caitlin Back –
So that was it, Kristina and I joined forces to create Jaka Jamu. She is the Tom to my Jerry, the salt to my pepper, the turmeric to my tamarind – the JAKA to my JAMU. In the words of Natasha Bedingfield, “the rest is still unwritten.”