Interview with Akua of Sheabutter Cottage

15 Nov

1. Tell me about your business?
Hi, my name is Akua Wood and I am the owner of Sheabutter Cottage in UK.  Sheabutter Cottage is home to a fine range of handmade natural toiletries under the Cioccolatina brand.  Cioccolatina is our first brand which was started in 2002 to supply handmade natural toiletries. We also supply raw ingredients to bring out the mixtress in you.

2. How did you get started making your own products?
What can I say, it was out of frustration and the need to moisturise my skin and nourish my hair. As a Ghanaian moving to a cold climate in UK, I had to look for suitable products.

I have been a “kitchen chemist” for years, but it was not until few years later when I became a mother that I decided to switch on that side of my brain.  I remember times when my father used to tell me about the use of herbs and other raw ingredients including pure unrefined shea butter and palm kernel oil. I love mixing up products because it is fun.

3. How can people purchase your products?
We do accept international orders and our wonderful products including our rock your ‘fro range of hair products can be purchased online HERE

4. What are some of your favorite ingredients to use?
I love using anything that moisturises the skin and hair.  There is nothing worse than seeing a rather parched skin or very dull hair.  I am passionate about pure unrefined shea butter as it is so versatile.  I also love papaya oil, heavenly Monoi and sweet organic sapote oil.

5. What tips would you give for healthy hair and healthy skin?
Keep it simple.  Healthy hair and skin starts internally so you really need a balanced diet.  I suffer from a “bit” of alopecia due to a thyroid problem I have so I tend to keep my hair in protective style.  However, I deep-condition in-between braids using fruits & vegetables.  I tend to wash my hair with our rhassoul shampoo bar. For healthy hair & skin, I tend to eat oily fish at least once a week as well as incorporating beans. My favourite is adzuki beans.

6. What are your bestsellers?
I have such a broad range of customers and all the products are well received.  The pattern changes due to seasons.
 

7. Any advice for up and coming entrepreneurs?
Take your time and research into what you want to provide.  It is fun mixing up ingredients to make a product, but you need to find your target market.  It takes a lot of hard work and determination to add value to your business.
 
8. What is the meaning behind your slogan?
I believe in offering the finest products and value for money.  I also believe in supporting farmers and trading fairly.  Through my business, we have been able to source ingredients directly from farmers/co-ops around the world.  These farmers/co-ops work so hard for little pay so it is very important for me to make sure that we trade fairly for them to enjoy all their hard work.
I also believe in helping communities and my current focus is in Gumu.
Gumu is a very poor village in Northern Ghana.  Apart from adopting a shea co-op in this community, I am also helping to finance the build of a public place of convenience. (Details HERE )
 
A Little More About Akua:

* paid for the health insurance of the members of the Gumu shea co-op
* adopted another shea co-op nearby
* empowering another shea co-op through soap production for Sheabutter Cottage in UK.
* nothing makes me happier than seeing a smile of someone’s face
* being a social entrepreneur gives me a kick 🙂

Stay tuned for a giveaway from Sheabutter Cottage!!

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6 Responses to “Interview with Akua of Sheabutter Cottage”

  1. zainab1 November 15, 2010 at 1:15 pm #

    This is a wonderful interview. I have her store/blog on my blog list on my page as well. I must say I have admired her products as well as her great spirit for quite some time. She’s doing great things! I wish her well.

    Thanks L” for sharing this great interview with us. Take care.

    zainab1
    AuNaturale007.blogspot.com

  2. Celeste November 15, 2010 at 3:04 pm #

    I have never even heard of papaya oil. I have been looking for this type of site. Thanks for the interview.

  3. Keke November 15, 2010 at 3:05 pm #

    it’s great that she is so involved in the community. she seems like a great person and i will be glad to support her business/

  4. kaitlin November 17, 2010 at 2:28 pm #

    sweet

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Tweets that mention Interview with Akua of Sheabutter Cottage « NaturalReview|Natural Hair. Natural Living. -- Topsy.com - November 17, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by NaturalReview byL, Akua Wood. Akua Wood said: Thanks to Natural Review for this interview http://fb.me/EbYl3i5N […]

  2. Shea Butter Cottage Giveaway « NaturalReview|Natural Hair. Natural Living. - January 22, 2011

    […] of NaturalReview by L reaching 1,000 followers on Networked Blogs, and it is sponsored by UK-based Shea Butter Cottage. The website offers all natural products, natural ingredients, and more. Click the name of the […]

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