Natural beauty is having its moment and ingredient stories are, to say the least, a key growth driver for the segment. Stories that communicate benefits, tradition, sourcing that goes all the way back to the plant, and that also convey genuine respect for workers along the supply chain resonate with today’s consumers. Thanks to Naa-Sakle Akuete’s dedication, the Eu’Genia Shea ingredient story delivers on all of these points.
Here, the beauty entrepreneur shares a profile of herself and the brand.
Name: Naa-Sakle Akuete, CEO and Founder
Indie Beauty Company: Eu’Genia Shea
Launched: April 2015
Headquarters: Brooklyn, NY and Damongo, Ghana
Cash flow: Our bulk shea business has tripled over the course of the last year.
Team work: 30 full-time employees in Ghana
Distribution: Eu’Genia Shea products are sold across the US through Anthropologie, Credo, and on our own website.
Years in Beauty: 2
Years at Eu’Genia Shea: 2
Entrepreneurial experience: This is my first company, before this I was in the world of generic finance.
The business: Eu’Genia Shea bridges the gap between rural shea nut pickers and the global shea butter demand through two business lines: shea butter by the ton and a line of finished products. We consider our line of finished products as effective beauty with a social mission.
The wow-factor: Many products use small doses of outsourced shea butter while touting the benefits of shea in huge font. Because of this, many of the natural benefits of shea butter don’t reach the end consumer. We watch over the shea from the trees, to the nuts, and process it into shea butter ourselves according to the guidelines my mother developed as the President of the Global Shea Alliance. Our products contain high concentrations of high quality shea butter so consumers actually get the benefits of shea that big brands talk about.
The customer: Millennial women who value good products produced with integrity.
Milestone moment: Eu’Genia Shea was recently featured in Marie Claire which was incredible. Kelsey McKinney, the woman who interviewed me, took the time to really understand me as a person and our company and so I think the piece came out really well. And, I see a [financial] milestone in the nearish future which is being able to support myself again, but so far that goal has remained elusive. Fingers crossed for 2017!
Advice for fellow indie beauty entrepreneurs: Ask anyone and everyone for help! The worst they can do is say no. And no matter how badly you want to, you can’t do literally everything by yourself.
Just one: The Ritual Body Oil by Sahajan. Besides shea butter, I don’t normally have a ton of skincare loyalty, but I recently ran out of this oil and have found myself jonesing for it badly!