Janan Loomis drew inspiration from her daughter, Leah, for a business venture that gives back. SugarBabies, which opened inside the new RiverView Winery, 410 Washington Ave., Jermyn, earlier this month, carries on an idea Leah, who died in a boating accident at 17, launched as a child to help support research into juvenile diabetes. The business, which also has an Etsy shop and a website, offers a variety of jewelry and skin care items crafted with wellness and health in mind. Read on to learn more about the business and its mission.

Q: What inspired your business?

A: My business was inspired by my daughter, Leah. Leah started the SugarBabies when she was just a little girl. Diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes, she began creating simple jewelry pieces for sale. She gave her profits to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation because she dreamed of helping find a cure for herself and her brother Derek, who was also diagnosed with juvenile diabetes when he was 10. Leah was an exceptionally caring person. She was full of life and laughter. She lit up every room she entered. She was well known for supporting students that were bullied. I have no doubt she would have lit this world on fire. Leah loved being with friends. She was captain of her cheerleading team. She loved spending time with her family and babysitting her niece and nephew. Leah wanted to pursue a doctorate degree in speech pathology. She wanted to help young children with speaking difficulties because children were already picked on at school. She believed having a disability made school that much harder socially. She wanted to make life happier for those children with speaking difficulties.

Q: Was it difficult to carry on her memory and her inspiration?

A: Carrying on her memory and inspiration is bittersweet. It can be very sad to think about what she will not be able to achieve in life. And I miss Leah so much that sometimes remembering her is very painful. But carrying on her business and dreams is very fulfilling. SugarBabies LTD Mission is to support the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in the race to the cure for her brother and all children and young adults suffering from Juvenile Diabetes. This mission has not changed since Leah’s inception of SugarBabies. But our products have. Over the years we developed other products other than just jewelry. Shortly before her death, she created a skin care line, mainly for teenagers. I have expanded this line and developed organic and vegan skin care and bath products for babies and adults. But SugarBabies LTD remains dedicated to Leah’s memory and her dreams to help create a world where TYPE ONE becomes TYPE NONE!

Q: What kind of products do you carry?

A: I handmake our products. I am also a NCCPA certified and state licensed physician assistant, so research of products is very important to me. I research online skincare recipes and commercial product ingredients thoroughly, for safety and effectiveness before selling anything. The main ingredients in our products are organic plant-based oils such as organic raw coconut, shea nut and olive oils, raw cocoa butter, vegan glycerin, organic goats milk and organic and vegan essential oils. I feel American society is leaning towards healthier lifestyles for the mind, body and spirit. Using only natural and organic products in a person’s skin care and bath routine is essential to this healthier philosophy. Doing so protects against skin irritations and toxins that have potential to cause skin diseases such as cancer, all while preserving skin cell hydration that keeps your skin healthier and young looking. Our products do not contain added chemical toxins, preservatives, phthalates, parabens, artificial dyes or harsh perfumes. These formulas have not changed since our beginning.

Q: What do you wish people would know about Type One and juvenile diabetes?

A: I wish more people knew how complicated and time consuming being a juvenile diabetic is. A juvenile diabetic and their care giver need to be vigilant 24/7. It is a continual process of constantly monitoring blood sugars, dietary intake (especially carbohydrate intake), physical activity and illness. They never get a break at any time. This is exceedingly hard on a teenager’s psyche, when fitting in is detrimental to their mental health. People often believe that just cutting out sugar and taking insulin can control juvenile diabetes. This is a big misconception! It involves countless, painful finger sticks, constantly counting carbohydrate intake then calculating the exact insulin dose if the diabetic is not using an insulin pump. It involves dangerous low blood sugar attacks in the middle of the night while they are sleeping. It involves carefully balancing fluid intake and blood sugar levels while playing football, cheerleading, riding a bike or engaging in any physical activity. It means not being able to attend a sleepover party. It means sleepless nights taking care of your child’s disease. It means a change in your child’s life that can be sad and distressing. SugarBabies LTD tries very hard to make the community aware of the struggles and risks of juvenile diabetes. We frequently post JDRF education information on our social media sights.

Q: When you’re not working on your business, what do you like to do?

A: I have a wonderful and supportive family that I am very proud of. I have been happily married to my sweet high school sweetheart, Joseph Loomis, for over

37 years. We have three amazing surviving sons, Daryl who is 37, Drew who is 35 and Derek who is 24. We are the proud grandparents of three beautiful children: Dylan, age 11; Eva Gravryage, 6 and Macie, 3. I enjoy crafting, cooking, reading and spending time with my beloved family and friends.