We are celebrating National Women’s History all month. At Inside Outer Beauty Market, we collaborate with brilliant creators, curating safe and effective products to support the body inside and out. It was such a delight to learn more about and celebrate one or our incredible brand partners, Karité. Their sisterhood and story is the perfect backdrop for what women’s history month is all about: women working together, being impactful together and creating history together.
Tell us a bit about yourselves and career journey
We are 3 sisters but actually have very different career journeys. Naana is a dermatologist, Abena is a lawyer and Akua has a marketing/sales background. The beauty of this is that we all bring really unique perspectives to the business and can have healthy debates about the future of our business.
What was the inspiration for creating the Karité brand?
For years, we searched for a natural skin moisturizer that compared to the raw, unrefined shea butter that we grew up using—to no avail. With our diverse backgrounds we set out to recreate the traditional formulation that we had used for so many years.
As a result, Karité was born. Unlike other shea butter moisturizers that often have low concentrations of highly-processed, refined shea butter, Karité’s all-natural, antioxidant-rich products feature high concentrations of raw, unrefined shea butter sustainably sourced from Ghana.
We blend these pure ingredients with organic coconut oil and other plant-based botanicals to create the perfect moisturizer that soothes and heals even the most sensitive skin. Our products are hypoallergenic and free of synthetic dyes, silicones and parabens. They are really great for all skin types!
You are three sisters. What is it like working together as a creative and entrepreneurial team?
We’ve always been incredibly close and shared a love for Ghana (where our family is from) and skincare! We were fortunate enough to spend time in Ghana throughout our childhood and always had the idea that we’d bring a piece of our culture to the US. We used raw shea butter from Ghana as a daily moisturizer. If you know shea butter in its most raw form, it’s incredibly difficult to spread on the skin. So we would mix the shea with drugstore brand lotions to make it easy to spread. One day we were chatting and had a revelation that we should make our own clean version of our at home formula! With Naana’s background in dermatology, she has been an incredible resource on the formulation process and understanding the science behind it. The rest is history!
What are the hero ingredients in your products?
Shea Butter sourced from Ghana is THE hero ingredient. We absolutely love it.
What does Women’s History Month Mean to you?
Women’s History Month is incredibly important to us! First and foremost, because we are women and so proud that we have been able to have our business flourish while juggling the demands of our families and everyday life. We are all about women supporting women which helps to create a more gender-balanced economy. Our brand supports the women-led shea cooperatives in Northern Ghana which allows them to support their children and their communities. We have an ongoing #sheaforsoles campaign where we are collecting sneakers so that the women (who travel over 3 miles daily in flip flops to pick shea nuts) have the proper footwear for their work.
You recently created a new lip balm, tell us about the benefits and the beautiful packaging
Thank you for compliments on the packaging! Karité is all about giving your skin a pure, natural source of comforting, smoothing, radiance-enhancing moisture—and we are so incredibly excited that we now have the perfect clean formula for your lips! Our Baume à Lèvres
Lip Balm is designed to leave your pout feeling soft, plump and hydrated for hours. We’ve combined the highest-quality raw, unrefined shea butter sustainably-sourced from Ghana along with organic jojoba oil, rosehip oil, murumuru butter and other antioxidant-rich plant-based botanicals. Baume à Lèvres is perfect to wear alone, as a primer for lipstick or under gloss all year around—and it’s great for men, too. It’s wellness for your lips in a simple swipe!
What are some changes you would you like to see in the beauty and wellness space?
We have been encouraged by the focus on growing support for black-owned beauty businesses but we want to see even more of this. In particular, we’d love to see more retailers be intentional about carrying black owned skincare and wellness products.
What future plans do you have for Karité?
We are working on some new products, but nothing is set in stone yet. But the future is certainly bright!
Dixie Lincoln- Nichols is a biological science educator, health and wellbeing consultant and Qigong instructor. Her work has been featured in media outlets like, Oprah Mag, SELF, Yahoo and more. She is the founder of Inside Outer Beauty Market, a multi-cultutal retailer curating and creating products to support the body inside and out. Visit the site at www.iobeautymarket.com