Pair, inspired by their daughter, develops a natural skincare line to meet her special needs
By Patrick McCarthy
While many businesses were shuttering their windows during a summer of unprecedented calamity, Fantasia Dunton was preparing to open the doors to her new soap store.
Patience Promises Love LLC offers all natural soaps, scrubs, body butters, beard balms and more. Dunton, 25, originally decided to create the shop after experiencing difficulty buying skincare products for her young daughter Patience.
Dunton and her fiancé, Kyle Moore, became new entrepreneurs in order to develop natural soaps for their daughter’s sensitive skin. Because of a heart condition that renders her skin sensitive, Patience can only use soaps made of all natural ingredients.
Dunton said that Patience has at least five different doctors and goes weekly to physical therapy and speech appointments. Keeping up with Patience’s care, schoolwork and now the business has been a challenge, one compounded by the fact that Moore himself also has a heart condition.
“I didn’t think about that,” Dunton said of how remote learning — herself even a student at Onondaga Community College — would intensify her already busy schedule. “I make it work, though.”
Though Patience Promises Love officially opened for business July 30, the idea of the shop had been in the works since January.
It has been a family project from the start. When Dunton told Moore about her idea, he eagerly signed on, and they decided to name the company after Patience and her older sister, Promise.
The pair dedicated significant labor toward this effort. Dunton designed the website, while Moore handled the photography. Then there were countless hours of researching ingredients and experimenting with different smells and oils. The couple uses melt and pour soap bases, rather than actually manufacturing soap from scratch, but the process nevertheless requires significant trial and error.
“It’s just basic,” Dunton explained. “It has no scent to it. It’s just white and all clear — just soap. You have to figure out what scent you want.”
Without Moore’s help, Dunton said the project would be impossible. Moore helps out around the house and tries to ease Dunton’s workload, and on top of that, has been intimately involved in the skincare business since its conception. In fact, Dunton said her fiancé is even better than her at coming up with smells for soaps, beard balms and other products.
While the couple clearly have a passion for what they’re doing, the importance of accuracy in the composition of their products is not lost on the pair. As they offer many products designed specifically to address or combat a skin condition such as eczema, the couple take seriously their responsibility to their product’s quality.
“You wear your skin every day,” Dunton said. “So for someone to trust me and my fiancé is really awesome.”
While the majority of sales are made online, the owners say brand name recognition continues to be a hurdle. Because of COVID-19 and the related social distancing guidelines, Dunton said they have not had very much in-person business so far, a problem she is planning to address with new strategies to engage potential customers.
Dunton is working on a Facebook Live event and spoke about setting up a stand at the Regional Market, which would increase revenue and simultaneously spread the brand.
Advertising a business while staying on top of schoolwork and raising a family can’t be easy, but, unphased, Dunton is rising to the occasion.
“Our goal, later on in the line, is to get a house for my baby and her sister, so they can be free in the yard and enjoy themselves,” Dunton said. “So I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. I plan to keep going and going.”
Patrick McCarthy is a Newhouse School graduate student