Even though I’ve been an esthetician for over a decade, skincare and I go way back to the time I was a child in my paternal grandmother's arms being lathered in Shea and Cocoa Butter.
I have fond memories of visiting my grandmother's store in Nigeria that she built right behind her and my grandfather’s house. Getting Tom-Toms Candy as a treat and other delicious goodies while being surrounded by the scent of body butter was a delight in every way. My childhood memories of these scents and experiences along with my experience with my skincare clients are the inspiration behind the skincare products you see here today on our Sweeter Juice Beauty site; and those influences drive much of the African ingredients and formulations I’ve created to promote healthy glowing skin for all skin tones with a focus on melanin-inspired skin needs.
I have my other grandmother to thank for the endurance and fortitude needed to thrive in this type of industry. She was so protective of us and only one encounter with her put an end to the bullies' negative treatment of us while we were going to school. She made the best breakfast and was a bridal gown maker, seamstress and caterer. Her creative talent and attention to detail was a lesson well learned and it has come in handy when it comes to the way I carefully craft my business. Her life lessons also help when I’m feeling overwhelmed with business needs. I remember her diligence and gratefulness for what God had given her and I can only feel the same.
On my mother’s side, my great uncles were cocoa farmers in Nigeria and contributed to the production of much of the cocoa in the state they resided in. This state is currently the country's largest producer of cocoa and our family still owns farm land.
It has been a lifelong dream of mine to be able contribute to my people in honor of my ancestors and to work with them to help promote better conditions for all African farmers that are the foundation for many communities and products in Nigeria and around the globe. It is because of God and them that I know my purpose in life and they are the main driving force for what I do. This cannot be considered charity in anyway because they are the hardest working part of our communities and deserve everything they work hard for. Our farmers deserve to be paid generously for their labor and hard work. This means going beyond fair trade to abundance!
I am so grateful to come from a family of entrepreneurs and farmers. However, it greatly saddens me to see the deplorable and harsh conditions farmers, women and communities that cultivate our high quality ingredients are forced to struggle through. Lack of farming equipment, lack of resources, and a diminished quality of life have made it extremely difficult for them to provide for their families and it has caused a negative impact to the community. We look to work together with them and support their desires to be better compensated for the time and workload that creating quality products demands.
As some who comes from a lineage that includes relatives who have experienced this type of labor, I do believe it is my calling to use my God given talents to be a conduit and to work with my brothers and sisters in Nigeria, the African continent and its Diaspora. I believe other people like myself can also be conduits to help in making this dream a reality.
That’s why it makes me so happy to hear the positive reviews from my customers and seeing the love that many have for my brand. A lot of them are also aware of the issue plaguing many African people throughout the Diaspora people and support the journey to enrich the lives of the farmers, their families, and their community. I do appreciate the love and support I have received and it means so much to me to have people that want to support us in our mission.
To me, issues like these are bigger than skin care and the beauty industry as a whole. If you are an aspiring entrepreneur, I want to let you know that when you know your purpose, what you are destined to do, and when you are aware of your gifts and God-given talents, and you're ready to work hard, you can accomplish great things. It becomes much easier to see the path you must take. If you see a problem that you believe you have the power to help correct, then do not hesitate to get started. There will be obstacles and you will receive hard lessons. Keep going and stay consistent and disciplined. You will soon see results and growth. Your purpose is bigger than you.
- Olunife, Founder + CEO, Sweeter Juice Beauty