With the weather getting warmer and skin turning darker, beauty products and taking care of your skin are some of the most discussed things this season! Unfortunately, sometimes it is difficult to understand the products’ ingredients and properties fully, which leads to a lack of transparency in choosing the best authentic beauty products. From “natural” products with aluminum to green-washed products marketed for unnatural purposes, these items can sometimes be a little misleading as they are sometimes a facade just for money and public showcase. However, Baraka Shea Butter is the complete opposite of those facades, as they offer some of the most natural body moisturizers while helping its community promote healthy and sustainable lives.
The word “Baraka” means “thank you” in Wali, a Ghanaian language with hundreds of thousands of speakers in northwestern Ghana, where the shea butter comes from. Each year, the local women’s groups define the organization’s community, family, youth, and education. Meanwhile, their products generate over one million dollars in sales, along with tens of thousands of 5-star reviews.
Baraka Shea Butter offers a unique business model, where clients can enjoy sustainable lifestyle products, operations, and partnerships. This makes it easy for shea butter harvesters in Ghana to receive above-market prices for organic soaps, butter, and more. Baraka Shea Butter’s founders, Wayne and Gifty Serbeh-Dunn believe that businesses can and should contribute to society and the environment while simultaneously pursuing a profit and competitive advantage as well.
“At Baraka, we take this seriously and it has evolved into the central tenant of our brand purpose,” Wayne says. “We are not fancy or sophisticated about it – we simply try to communicate the impact that our customer’s purchases make on hard-working rural women in Ghana, giving them the dignity of income and enabling them to better support and care for their children and families. Additionally, we make impact content available to our customers so they can also communicate to their customers about the impact their purchases make and the care they take in sourcing ingredients for the product they sell.”
To maintain stability when attempting to incorporate more unexpected factors into Baraka Shea Butters’ brand, its key challenges arise from the strengths and weaknesses of e-commerce and social media.
“It was advice I received from my Father and it was solid – tell your story honestly, be authentic as you can, and don’t brag to try to take credit for everything that allowed us to simply share the reality of what it was like in our upstairs production and procurement,” Wayne explains. “How people lived, the challenges they faced, and how the supply chain that linked these hard-working women to users of shea butter and other products in North America made such an impact. I think our market was appreciative of the open, transparent, and authentic content we provided and it helped them to become more emotionally engaged and also helped them to better inform and educate their customers.”