Today I want to introduce you to Kernita Heard, the mama owner of Almost August. Kernita is originally from the island of Dominca, but has called North Houston home for over 20 years. Kernita is Mama to a beautiful, blended family of 3 kids 💗. In 2016, Kernita started her business and at the time it was named Kate & Eli (named after her son & daughter) and only offered homemade soaps. Just this year, she has rebranded to Almost August and now offers soaps, candles, body butters, linen spray, and seasonal items. She also offers customized versions of her products that make awesome gifts for someone special or for an event. You can find Kernita at markets all around town and make sure to follow along with her as she is currently working on a really cool project – making an old school bus her moving store!
Check out Kernita’s Meet a Mom interview below to learn more about the inspiration behind her business, mom life, her honesty about living with anxiety and much more!
Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in the North Houston area?
I was born on the island of Dominica in the West Indies – not to be confused with the Dominican Republic. I’ve been in the USA for 21 years and have always lived on the North side of town. Cleveland, TX is the most north I’ve been.
How many kiddos do you have and how old are they?
Our family is blended. I have two biological children, an 18-year-old daughter and 15-year-old son and a 16-year-old bonus son who towers my 6ft stature. There’s a lot of height in this home!
What are your favorite local things to do? (with kiddos or just for mom!)
Coffee shops! No doubt I’m not the only momma who needs caffeine daily. My current favorite spot is Galavant Coffee located Downtown Conroe. Trust me, there’s magic in each cup.
As hard as it is to find the time, what’s something you do just for yourself?
I paint. I’m not bold enough to show my art yet but I love painting on canvas. As much as I have tried otherwise my paint hours are any time after 11pm into the dark morning hours while listening to music.
One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
I tend not to share this because oddly enough it makes me uncomfortable but someone else may need to feel like they are not alone. I suffer from Chronic Anxiety that tends to manifest itself through physical body pain. Some days are harder than others but God helps me to push through (my therapist helps a lot too!).
What’s the best mom advice you have ever been given (or your own advice to mamas out there)?
Someone once asked me, “When an athlete gets tired of running what do they do?” I replied, “they stop…” It’s okay to stop being a mom from time to time to revisit the person you were before motherhood defined who you currently are.
Tell us about Almost August! When did you begin this business and what services and/or products do you offer?
This is my favorite thing to discuss! I started Kate & Eli in 2016 and only made soaps. I moved to body butters and tried different products along the way as well. In 2021 I rebranded to Almost August because I’d grown out of the Kate & Eli identity and started to offer customized versions of my products like corporate and event gifting. My core items are soaps, candles, body butters and linen spray, however I offer seasonal items as well.
What was the inspiration behind starting Almost August?
My husband planned our second anniversary trip to Waco to visit Magnolia Market in 2016. It may be hard to believe but I had never heard of handmade soap before. I bought a few from a local vendor and fell in love however they didn’t offer shipping and driving to Waco, TX for soap was not happening. I got on every YouTube channel showing soap making and bought a few books and learned the craft quickly. Once friends and family discovered my product there was no going back.
I like to know the why behind names, what’s the story behind your business name?
This is kinda’ funny. Initially I was ‘Kate and Eli’, named after my daughter Katelynn and son Elijah. Preparing for rebranding this year I was pairing random words to my husband who was watching television and most likely had had enough of my rambling. I said ‘Almost August’ and he was like, “yes! That one. Don’t overthink it.” – just like that. I too was exhausted from thought and just like that the name ‘Almost August’ was born.
Where did you learn to make your own soaps, skincare, candles, and more?!
I credit YouTube. I first got lost in watching Royalty Soap and Katie’s beautiful creations NEVER thinking I would have that same capability. I read random articles online on soap making and purchased handmade soaps to learn the qualities I liked the most. I am very picky when it comes to my skin. The bar needed to lather right, not dry me out but leave me feeling clean at the same time… and smell. It needed the type of lingering aroma to transport me to a pleasant place while in the shower. I credit YouTube creators for helping me through learning all my crafts apart from soaps.
What has been the most rewarding thing about owning your own business?
The best part about this journey is watching God move through His promises. God didn’t give us passions or talents to keep to ourselves. I believe he gave us these things so that we could use them to be disciples in a manner that was natural to each of us. There have been times along the way that I have wanted to quit BUT He always sent a messenger to keep me pushing on. There are times I prayed and asked Him for direction and I would be at the grocery store in line chatting with a fellow shopper whose mouth would give the answer to the question I’d been asking God. My relationship with Him has deepened with growing my business; nothing else is more rewarding.
How do you balance owning your business and being a mama?
It can get really frustrating. Right when things really started to take off for me last year my son started struggling in school. A straight ‘A’ student who was failing classes as he’s quite attached to me and started to feel neglected. That was a gut punch as I never want my children to feel that anything is more important than they are. I paused my business till the end of the school year to ensure his success. Within that time, I learned that I have to devote a set number of hours to the business and my family and if that meant that I was up when the kids were asleep to get things done, then that’s what I was doing. I am intentional with the time I spend with my family, no phones, no distractions outside of what we are doing in that moment.
What are your future plans and dreams for Almost August? Any deals, sales, or events North Houston Mom can be on the lookout for?
I’m currently converting a school bus into a moving store and creating an experience unlike any other. I’ve been recording the process so keep an eye out for that on YouTube and honk at us when you see the bus on the roads. I have a few in-store deals that I am working on this week and will be at local vendor events that are listed in the event calendar of our website home page.
Shop & Follow along with Kernita & Almost August: