Even though I’ve been an esthetician for over a decade, me and skincare 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 her store that she had in Nigeria that was 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 working 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 formulation 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 and seamstress and caterer. Her talent for creating 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. It also helps when I’m overwhelmed with orders because the demand for my products has grown so much I can barely keep up.
It has been a lifelong dream of mine to be able to give back 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. On my mother’s side, my great uncles were cocoa farmers 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.
I am so grateful to come from a family of entrepreneurs and farmers but 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. They really need our help and our support to be able to better manage the demand and workload that creating quality products requires.
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 work with my brothers and sisters in Nigeria and the African continent and the diaspora to create a better life for all of us. I believe people like me can be the conduits that open the way for this to come to fruition. I also call on others who can be allies 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 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 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 power, 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 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.
- Olunife, Founder + CEO, Sweeter Juice Beauty