Soothe Your Cracked Skin Without Buying A Million Different Products
Shea Brand has created an essential for your purse
I am a sucker for all-purpose balms, because they lessen my need to have a million beauty products in my cabinets, and because they also reduce my fear of reacting to ingredients I'm sensitive to.
This is why I'm so excited to share with you my latest Heart-to-Heart with the purpose-driven, inspiring trio behind Shea Brand, a rising eco and health-conscious beauty brand that focuses on bringing you the highest quality of organic, raw, hand-whipped shea balms in the coolest packaging ever.
Learn the deeper intentions behind Shea Brand, how the trio behind the brand recharges from modern day burnout, what brings the team the greatest sense of hope right now in our negativity-biased world, and more!
What’s one thing about the beauty industry that still stuns you today?
"The fact that the average U.S. woman uses 12 personal care products and/or cosmetics a day, containing 168 different chemicals..."
So why Shea Brand?
"Shea Brand is the product of two developments.
First, our co-founder Austin discovered that shea butter is by far the best non-steroidal topical medium to help sooth and protect his eczema — something he'd been struggling with (at debilitating levels) his entire life.
Second, we took a deep dive into the current beauty market and realized just how many people (millions) who, like Austin, stand to gain from having raw shea butter in their lives and on their skin.
Also, due to its versatility, there are literally millions of people out there who could replace 5-7 of their skincare items with raw shea butter and stand to live dramatically improved lives."
Realizing a healthier planet is all about addressing our current problems one at a time. How does Shea Brand make the beauty industry a better place?
"Shea Brand is a response to an overly commoditized beauty industry, and of the dishonest environmentally and socially destructive practices that occur as a result.
For us, this means providing better formulas, higher quality organic ingredients and better value.
No synthetic chemicals, and absolutely NO BS.
Also, as shea butter is a major West African cultural staple and export with a long history of exploitation, we strive to do our part to promote a fair and transparent shea nut and shea butter value chain that begins in rural Ghanaian parklands and ends in our basement in brooklyn."
What was your biggest struggle in bringing Shea Brand to life and how did you overcome it?
"The scariest and most important step was leaving our safe 9-5 jobs with good benefits, which posed mountain-like hurdles both financially and emotionally.
What helped a lot in the beginning was allowing ourselves a small amount of time to do some part-time freelance work while we built out the brand in anticipation of raising funds. We also lean on each other a lot!"
What is one limitation Shea Brand faces and how do you hope to tackle it?
"Shelf-life is a big issue faced by natural and organic brands - and we're no exception.
Luckily, largely due to technology and pressure from consumers who are tired of getting products built for profit, supply and retail value chains and infrastructure are changing to support small-batch, lower-margin brands like Shea Brand.
We want to challenge the idea that parabens and other stabilizers are necessary at scale, and that the expectation should be that people are always getting the highest quality products at the absolute best value possible."
How do you recharge from modern day burnouts?
"Marie goes on runs in nature and bakes pies; Krystal likes to meditate and does reiki; and Austin plays chess and video games. One thing we do all enjoy doing together is having dinner with friends and cuddling with the cutest puppy ever, Clementine."
What is one purposeful pleasure you, as conscious beauty experts, pamper yourself with?
"Face masks. ALL DAY LONG!
We hope to develop our own one day."
What words of wisdom would you give to an aspiring change maker?
You don't have to drop everything to get going. Dig deep on the research, and most of all, team up! Your energy and passion will proliferate through others, and vice versa, and bolster the collective value of the team in [unique] ways."
What gives you the greatest sense of hope for our world right now?
"This next generation of kids, Gen-Z, actually gives us a lot of hope! These kids are wide-eyed, super smart and incredibly open-minded. We're excited for them to join the fight against sexism, racism, homophobia, and climate denial, amongst other things.
Cities like New York, where otherness is embraced and people are free to be who they are and wish to be (at least most of the time), also give us hope."