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  • Christie Agawu

Skincare on a Mission: A Letter from the Founder

Updated: Sep 1, 2019

Hello! Welcome to Homemade Shea! I’m so happy that you’ve chosen to embark upon this journey with me.


Gnani Camp, Northern Region Ghana

Two Passions: Social Enterprise and Shea Butter

It is an honor to marry two of my passions: social enterprise, and shea butter. I’ve been a shea butter evangelist for well over a decade, and it’s a joy to create and share a product whose health benefits I’ve seen and believe in deeply. Shea butter has high levels of vitamins A, E and F, and is known for moisturizing skin, reducing inflammation, and reducing/preventing wrinkles by stimulating our skin's natural collagen production. Straddling my community in Ghana and my community in the U.S., it’s especially moving to help bring this natural product from one community to the other.


Homemade Shea stands for a mission that goes even farther than the health benefits of shea butter alone. As you may know, witchcraft has strong cultural salience in Ghanaian society. Even today, women in Ghana are routinely accused of witchcraft—often as a way of exercising grudges—and are immediately exiled from their communities and forced to seek shelter elsewhere.


Human rights organizations, churches, and the Ghanaian government have been unable to break this cycle. Tragically, many of the camps to which accused women flee become limiting and adversely affect their livelihoods. If they go outside of the confines of the camp to make a living of selling their wares, they risk detection as witches which can lead to bodily harm. While many of them still mourn their old homes, in this new community they find safety and companionship.


Though the camp provides refuge, one thing the camp can’t provide is steady employment and financial security, which leaves them vulnerable. Fortunately, the women there know how to make shea butter, so I thought: What if I could help these women sell raw shea butter, at fair prices, while also shedding light on these injustices?


Our Top 3 Priorities


After five exciting years, I’m proud to announce Homemade Shea, a boutique shea butter outfit with three main priorities:

  • Provide all-natural, high-quality shea products. After several years of perfecting the process in my home kitchen in New Jersey, we’ve found a whipping technique that softens the raw shea without use of softening oils. We’re thrilled to be able to offer you the full benefit of our 100% all-natural shea butter, unmatched in its softness.

  • Support economic security for the women of Gnani. We source directly from the women in Gnani, and take a three-fold approach to supporting their economic security. First, when we purchase raw shea from them, we pay them above floor price; second, we contribute sales proceeds directly to the women; and third, we contribute to their community development fund, which meets locally determined community needs such as scholarships for high school and tertiary education for girls, water wells, etc.

  • Care for the environment. We aim to be as eco-friendly as possible. The plastic jars we use are 100% post-consumer recycled and recyclable jars, which reduce our carbon footprint by about 80%, compared to jars made with virgin plastics.




How You Can Help

Now that we’ve launched, I’d like to ask for a little more support! Here are some ways in which you can help:

  • Consider purchasing a jar of Homemade Shea. We have great discounted prices during our launch period and periodically for friends and family like you.

  • Sign up for our email newsletter. We promise we won’t spam you! We'll only contact you to let you know about new discounts, new products, and new developments in the Gnani community thanks to your support.

  • Leave a Review. Don’t be shy! If you have used and enjoyed our shea products, please leave a review for Homemade Shea on Google.

  • Like, Comment, Share! Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Linkedin to see how we’re making shea work for the community. Be sure to tell a friend!

  • Let’s Talk! Drop me an email if you have any ideas that could help us along! Plus, I just love to hear from customers who want to know more about our cause.

Thank you again for all of your help on this journey so far. I look forward to hearing from you as we move forward together.


Best Wishes,

Christie

Founder, Homemade Shea


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