Friday, June 7, 2013


By: Jerry Crawford
Business Consultant
(Guam SBDC)

Barbara McCarron is perhaps one of the happiest and busiest ladies on Guam selling her Tropic Blends Body Oil. We sat down recently with Barbara to hear how business is doing.

“Sales are booming at Two Lover’s Point, Gun Beach Gift Shop, Chamorro Village, Dollar Discount Micronesian Mall, as well as in a variety of other mom & pop stores throughout the island. Tourists love the product as well as our locals. The oil is a blend of coconut oil with two other oils which together create a beautiful light colored oil that absorbs immediately into skin. People often tell me they use it on their hair too.”

We asked, “What’s the secret to your success?”

Barbara pointed out, “I am constantly testing my market. What I mean is I create new fragrances I believe tourists or locals may like. I then have the retail sales people track how well the new fragrances do and what the customers are saying. I started my company with bar soap and the body oil line with four fragrances. I decided to discontinue large manufacturing of soap and concentrate on the body oil line. I now have ten established body oil fragrances with two more new fragrances currently being market tested. As trends change in the world market, I change with them. Last year heavy flower scents were my most requested. This year I am seeing a move toward the clean citrus and spice scents.

Another market that has surprised me is the Micronesian community. They love the fresh scents and use the oil on both their hair and body. I am seeing sales increase about 25-30% each quarter in this specific market.

It has been interesting to watch the world come to the conclusion that coconut oil is great for skin and hair. The world market is asking for it. I have an inquiry from Japan to export my product to them and I
 have made contact in Hong Kong. I also have Saipan and Palau asking for my products. Jerry Crawford, with SBDC, has assisted me in preparing my product for the export market.”

We asked, “How so?”

Barbara enthusiastically said, “Jerry has taken the mystery out of how to export. He has carefully walked me through the basics of export, explained my roll and tasks, as well as the role and tasks of shippers, distributors, and retailers. He explained how I get paid by foreign distributors with no risk. His clear picture of who does what took away my fear of exporting. My role and tasks to export are no more complicated or difficult than what I do for retailers in our local market. I was surprised to learn that foreign distributors often want to purchase my product in bulk. They will then have the oil bottled and labeled on their side for distribution to their retailers. In many ways it is easier to export my oils in bulk, without packaging and labeling, than making up the four ounce bottles with labels for retail sales on Guam.  In fact, I am embracing this next phase of my business…export to world markets.”

Visit Tropic Soap and Tropic Blends Body Oil website at: