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Entrepreneur lands AC35 sunscreen rights

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A Bermudian-based entrepreneur has secured exclusive rights to import and distribute the official sunscreen product for the 35th America's Cup.

Nesi Armstrong, the spouse of a Bermudian, sourced and introduced the organic, reef-safe product to Bermuda last year and received calls from her retailers saying that it was particularly popular with those associated with the world class sailing event.

Her Raw Elements product, which she helped establish as the official sunscreen product of the Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre, is sold in retail spaces across the island and will be sold in all America's Cup stores stamped with official race branding.

She is already supplying Team BDA — the Red Bull Youth America's Cup Team — and she is in negotiations with the other America's Cup teams.

Ms Armstrong, president and chief executive officer of Island Organics Ltd, said her importation business has expanded significantly showing how average people can benefit from the America's Cup event given the right drive and direction. Furthermore, as the popularity of the brand grows, she is working to resell it outside of Bermuda including the United States and Caribbean.

Ms Armstrong, whose husband Ian is a partner, told The Royal Gazette: “I saw that the America's Cup was in the media a lot and that they wanted local entrepreneurs to partake of it. I did some research and saw that the America's Cup did not have an official sunscreen. I thought about all of the sailors and the teams and what they were going to use. They were the ones buying it at all of the retailers last year — retailers would call and say we are seeing them come in and they are buying a lot of the product. I had already done all of the introductions.

“Then I thought, if it is the official sunscreen of the BCHC, this would be a good opportunity. It is now available island-wide and I am opening markets as we speak.”

Ms Armstrong first started researching natural products when suffering from kidney disease. Her kidney could not filter certain toxins that were found in many sunscreens and so she set about finding the best product for her with the help of her senior consultant Kuni Firth Black. She soon found Raw Elements which contains ingredients such as organic beeswax, mango butter and rosemary oil and saw that it was approved by the Environmental Working Group which she describes as “the bible of organic products”.

“It is biodegradable, it is reef safe. If it gets into the water it goes back to whence it came. I knew there was a Sun Smart programme in Bermuda but I wasn't keen on what they were using. I had a meeting with Tara Soares — executive director for the Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre and Dr Kuni Firth Black. Tara was floored how clean the product was — she got the internal raw data on the product and it fit their guidelines.

“It doesn't have any preservatives or toxins — there is an endless list of them in many sunscreen products.”

Ms Armstrong said that anyone wanting to cash in on the America's Cup should take advantage of the information sessions that take place.

“Go out to the sessions when they host them by way of the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation. They were very informative and they are working very closely with ACBDA and Mike Winfield in getting the information out to the entrepreneurs. If you are signed up with them the e-mails come to you regularly they follow up with you to ensure all entrepreneurs are in place, ready and are meeting their goals. They have been a wealth of information and have been keeping me on track with all the events that are taking place.”

The 35th America's Cup sunscreen is available at all major retail outlets across the island or directly From Island Organics Limited by e-mailing nesi@islandorganicsltd.com or calling 516-7130.

Nesi Armstrong with her Raw Elements sunscreen, the official sunscreen for the 35th America's Cup. (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Nesi Armstrong with her Raw Elements sunscreen, the official sunscreen for the 35th America's Cup. (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Raw Elements sunscreen (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Raw Elements sunscreen (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published June 07, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated June 06, 2016 at 9:37 pm)

Entrepreneur lands AC35 sunscreen rights

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