A Superb Vitamin Supplement Company
Emerges In Southeast Queens
Interview with Dolores Hewlett, Owner of Regale Health, and Kamau Austin.
Dolores Hewlett, is one of the brilliant and determined residents of Southeast Queens making big moves in business. The innovative entrepreneur with a background in chemical and environmental engineering is taking an ambitious foray into the vitamin supplement business.
I touched bases with the visionary health concerned business woman to ask her about her promising company Regale Health. Checkout this very inspiring and insightful interview.
Kamau: Can you tell us about your early life growing up and also about your hometown? Where did you go to school? Also please share some important pivot-able points in your life?
Dolores: I had a very physically active and care-free childhood growing up on the western side of the island of Jamaica where I attended school up to the high school level. I know what it is to eat what we grow, and my family grew a wide variety of staples such as yams, rice, vegetables, peas and beans, roots such as turmeric and ginger and tropical fruits that were easily and readily accessible.
I loved helping my grandmother on the farm and of course reaping was much easier and more enjoyable than planting. No doubt this is where my desire for a natural, healthy lifestyle was shaped and has stuck with me right into adulthood.
I loved taking every opportunity to participate in physical activities which included netball, long jump, high jump, running, skipping, softball, and bicycle riding among others. I just always loved being physically active and enjoying the rugged outdoors. This continued into my college years where I played netball and hockey.
I love traveling and exploring the culture of others. I believe this is a great way of learning how more alike we are as human beings, rather than focusing on the obvious differences.
So for me, heading to Trinidad, for undergraduate studies and later The People’s Republic of China, for graduate studies were pivotal moments in my life (I studied chemical engineering and environmental engineering). Learning the customs, eating the foods, visiting the homes of natives and celebrating the holidays were all instrumental in furthering and strengthening my appreciation for the diversities and similarities that exist in our world.
Kamau: What inspired you to create a health supplement company? How did you not only become health conscious but go the next step and want to create health products?
Dolores: One of the first supplements I remember being given very early as a child was cod liver oil tablets (very horrible taste at the time). I didn’t know why nor the benefits to be had from it, but took it religiously every morning as it was given to me after breakfast.
After learning the benefits of cod liver oil later in life, I have no doubt that together with the eating natural and healthy, being physically active, absorbing the Omega-3 fatty acids from the cod liver oil tablets, I had a great foundation for a healthy life. My supplementation continued through my college years with primarily multivitamin and iron. Being a busy college student and not getting as much vitamins and minerals as I ought to from my diet all the time, supplementation was necessary for me to function well and study effectively.
Having these first hand experiences of the benefits and importance of effective supplementation were really the driving force behind me creating the Regale Health brand knowing that others can benefit in the same way I did and continue to do.
Kamau: Since it is rare for Black entrepreneurs to start vitamin supplement companies I would imagine it isn't an easy task to accomplish. What were some of your challenges along the way and how did you overcome them?
Dolores: We’ve come a far way and thankfully now have many opportunities available to us. Thanks to those who have made sacrifices and laid the foundation for these opportunities, so that more of us can become entrepreneurs in whatever area we desire.
Like everything else that we strive for and go after in life, there will be challenges and we overcome them as best as we can knowing they are a part of the process -- and they are also helping to build character and will result in growth. One of my very first challenges was finding a supplier that would provide what I wanted in terms of quality, transparency and cost, since we wanted our customers to have the best quality possible yet not overly expensive.
We conducted some in-depth research, had numerous correspondences, and after careful and detailed analysis decided on a manufacturer that we felt aligned with the mission and vision of our brand. We also had to do our own product research, and networking with others that had experience and knowledge helped a great deal.