From left, ONE|NB Executive Director Jennifer Hawkins is pictured with Lexus Fernandez and Evan Delpeche of Soulita, makers of soaps, dry masks, essential oils, and body butters, as well as Social Enterprise Greenhouse CEO Kelly Ramirez, at the June 3, 2021, opening of our local business support center at 222 Manton Ave.
Lexus Fernandez, who began selling natural products for healing after suffering a brain aneurysm three years ago, is featured, along with partner Evan Delpeche in this article in Providence Monthly. Fernandez recently opened warehouse space in Olneyville and attended the launch of our Business Support Center at 222 Manton Ave.
By Allie Lewis
August 31, 2021
Three years ago, Lexus Fernandez had just finished her sophomore year at Roger Williams University – majoring in political science and visual arts – and had big plans for the summer and future ahead of her. At the time, starting a skincare brand wasn’t among them – nor was relearning the use of the left side of her brain.
At 20 years old, with no warning, Fernandez suffered a major brain aneurysm that robbed her of her language and math skills, and damaged her sense of time and memory. “It took a lot from me,” Fernandez says, including her ability to return to school or keep her job.
Worst of all, it stripped her of her confidence. She lost her hair and returned home from the hospital covered in scars and bruises. When she was finally able to get into the shower on her own again, the same products that had once nourished her skin now turned against her, covering her in rashes.
Armed with books on herbalism, aromatherapy, and herbal remedies, and working out of her kitchen, Fernandez began crafting soaps and oils to help heal her skin. “Because the aneurysm flooded on the left side of my brain, the right side – where the creativity, the art lives – was heightened,” says Fernandez, who took the time she now had in abundance to experiment with natural ingredients and derive products that worked wonders on her skin.
Her products worked so well, in fact, that Fernandez wanted to find a way to share them with everyone. “I had no education in business, I had no net worth, I had no money,” Fernandez says, thinking back on how quickly she’d watched her savings account dwindle in the months after her brain aneurysm. “By the time the New Year came, I seemingly had nothing.”