In just over a year after bringing her daughter, Tobi on board, leading herbal medical practitioner, Mrs. Quincy Ayodele’s outfit has undergone a major repackaging of their products to international standards.
Thanks to the young and delectable Mrs. Tobi Keeney, Quincy Herbal Slimmers products are now modernized and repackaged which, according to her, is not only in the aesthetics but also in efficacy.
ENCOMIUM Weekly had an interview with mother and daughter on the new development and what it means for the organization.
As a leading light in herbal medicine in Nigeria, how have you evolved your products from the potions in bottles to these modern packaged ones?
As you rightly said, God used me to pioneer herbal slimming in Nigeria, that’s about 20 years ago, using herbal medicine in the clinical treatment of obesity. That is you come in, we check your medical history clinically and we treat you using herbal medicine. As time went by, my children went to school, became scientists, biochemists and my daughter came to me and said, mama, you can no longer continue to pound pawpaw leaves in a mortar. She said it was time to start putting my formulas in packaging.
How did you react to her suggestion, was it easy for you to abandon the ways you were used to?
It was a tug of war actually. I really didn’t want her to change the methods that had served me so well over the years. But eventually she was able to convince me that the things I was concerned about like the potency of the herbs and its integrity will not be lost so I gave her the go ahead and she started working on one formula after the other. I was particularly asking her how she was going to make the slimming garri without losing any of its natural potency and she consulted with some foreign manufacturers and they found a way to achieve 100 percent naturalness with no additives or preservatives.
Before this repackaging drive, how did you cope with people who assumed that your products were fetish because they were all herbal?
I believe the God of nature Himself has solved that by putting everything in packaging. I don’t know who will see this product now and say there is Ifa inside because I don’t think Ifa can live inside this package. Anybody that is still thinking that I am a fetish herbal practitioner is just deceiving herself. I am a medical herbal practitioner.
What about your clients, who were used to your products? How are they receiving the repackaged ones?
They like it so much that I feel a little embarrassed that they never said all along that they’d like to have it this way. You should note that these products are not in the Nigerian market yet. For now, we only use them to service our clients as we have been using them before. So, when we brought the new products to service our clients and I saw how much they liked it, I had to ask them why they didn’t tell me all this while that they’d like to see our ‘agbo’ in package. Now they say they’ll feel comfortable to take it abroad and use it anywhere.
Do you plan to start producing on a large scale commercially for the Nigerian and international market? If yes, how are you going to meet up with a high demand and maintain the quality of the products?
At the moment, we are still doing it on service basis. Of course, the products are here, the formulas are still in my brain so anytime we decide to go commercial, we can do it as soon as we complete our discussions with the necessary authorities. Even
when we eventually go commercial and you can buy our products in pharmacies, we will still use them for service purposes because I want to remain a practitioner. A time will come when it will be available to the extent that you can buy from anywhere in the world via the internet. Right now we have the approval and we are listed on amazon.com and you know what it means for Amazon to approve products on health and beauty, the standards must be really high.
With all this repackaging, does it mean your products will now be a bit more expensive?
Not at all. At Quincy, we are not really about money. The money will come later. Ever since I started, people know me with slimming and if I was after money, the name would not have endured. My reason for doing this business is to create generational wealth. In fact, I can say the products are a bit cheaper than what we had before because we don’t use as much manpower as we used to now that my daughter has simplified everything. I don’t have to wake up by 5am and start pounding leaves like I used to anymore.
You usually set aside a day in a year when you do free consultation and heavy subsidization of your product. Will it hold this year?
Yes, it will. It is coming up on May 23, 2015. It is a Saturday and people can come to our office from 7am to 2pm for free consultation on obesity or skin problems. They’ll also be able to buy our products at heavily discounted prices but the offer ends at exactly 2pm so we go back to our regular charges from 2.01.
‘My plan is to see our products in the international market’ – TOBI KEENEY, daughter
Can you enlighten us on some of the products you have helped your mom modernise?
We actually have a lot of products that we have modernized. We have our regular slimming packages like the new and improved slimming garri and slimming tea. They are our latest products. Of course slimming garri is not made from cassava but our clients actually gave it that name because when we formulated it, they said it looks and tastes like garri.
It is a special drink that makes people lose weight, curb their appetite, makes you feel full and it swells just like garri. Our tummy blaster tea is also special, it’s an organic tea that helps get rid of belly fat and prevents you from having bloated tummy. We usually combine both but it all depends on your need when you come for consultation.
What about your skin products?
At Quincy Herbal, we think of our beauty skin product as a regimen. There’s this big epidemic now in Nigeria which is skin bleaching and we’re having a lot of side effects. A lot of our clients come in with damaged skin, severe stretch marks, sun burn, and black knuckles and the list goes on and on. Our skin lightening products were formulated for those kinds of needs.
They say necessity is the mother of invention so our products came about to solve those problems and they contain no hydroquinol, no harsh chemical or steroid, no mercury and they work fast and it’s all natural. We repair damaged skins with our products.
What actually inspired you to embark on this modernization of Quincy products?
I have always been involved in the business but when I joined officially, due to my medical and scientific mind, I can say my brain works in a systematic way. I have to be able to replicate results. I have to be able to say if I do this thing 100 times or a thousand times I will get the same results and the problem with herbal medicine particularly in Nigeria is that we still use our eyes to guage or measure which is never accurate so I wasn’t comfortable with that so we had to change the whole process. From the way they source the herbs, the way they prepare it up to the way they dispense to clients. We’ve been working on this modernization since 2009 because my mom has been doing this for a long time so I can’t just come and change everything overnight. Now with the way it looks, anyone can confidently keep the products on their shelves and be comfortable.
Did you have it at the back of your mind you were going to do all these when you were schooling abroad?
Yes, I did. Even when I was doing my clinicals, I made sure I did it in dermatology. I knew that I would put the knowledge to use here. My plan is to see our products in the international market. The improvements are not just in the look, it is also in the efficacy because now we can replicate results with every product.
Do you have plans to ask your mom to retire anytime soon?
Not at all. I don’t think I have seen everything on the job to even consider that. Of course, when it gets to that stage when I can say I have seen everything and I don’t need to call her for a problem then she can retire. When it comes to medicine and healing, experience is very important and we are under tutelage for a long time.
– TADE ASIFAT