DONALDSONVILLE, LA (WAFB) - An unexpected business fell into the hands of Korionte Bell.
Just eight months ago, Bell, 21, started mixing oils, butter, and extracts to freshen up his home in Donaldsonville. Soon, that hobby at home turned into Karoma by Kori, a line of home fragrances, skin care, and cosmetic products.
"I started to actually sample those products out to different people. They actually liked those samples and came back for more," said Bell.
A business major at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, Bell says each product is customized for the customer. Bell says his line features more than 37 scents, from cotton candy to caramel.
"I actually research each and every thing that I put into my products. It's all natural some of them are organic. I know exactly what fits for what situation."
But Bell's product knowledge didn't come overnight.
"Two or three tries would turn into a big pile of goo on the stove, so it became a test and trial kind of thing," he said.
At one point, Bell said building a company felt like he was fighting a losing battle to succeed.
"We all live in a society where we don't have the chance to be youth, but be important youth. And that's big right now, to actually take what was given and make the best of it," said Bell. "We have to dig deep within and find that thing we can do the best and make it happen for the rest of our lives or for that part time that we're struggling."
The business owner says he has overcome that bump in the road and 72 products are now being made by hand in his kitchen with the help of his fiancée.
"Late at night after 10:30 p.m. to probably 4 in the morning, I'm up mixing my equations and getting things set up."
Those long nights in addition to having a full time job, being a college student, and father to a set of newborn twins are stressful. Bell says it's all worth it to show area kids they can have their name in lights, for all the right reasons.
"Eventually, someone out there will say, 'Hey, this kid has what it takes. Let pull him in, let's work him.' It's on the right track maybe, but one day at a time."
Currently, Bell has contracts with Donaldsonville stores to sell his product lines. His goal is to have merchandise on the shelves of big box stores by next year.
Find out more on his Facebook page.