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Eu'Genia: Sharing 'Women's Gold' with the World

Everyone knows what shea butter is and that it’s good for the skin, but most people probably don’t know how to choose the best shea butter. Eu’Genia Shea is working to change that, with shea butter products that are pure, organic, and sustainably sourced. Keep reading to learn more about Eu’Genia’s personal mission to redefine the way people think about shea butter and to improve the lives of women on the other side of the world.

Navago: What was the inspiration for Eu’Genia?

Eu'Genia: So, back in 2000 my mother returned to our native Ghana and rediscovered her love of shea butter. Shea butter is known as women’s gold in Ghana, and my grandmother, Grandma Sunshine, was a midwife and used it on babies and pregnant mums alike. So my mother started a company that she named after me.  My mother’s company bridges the gap between rural shea nut pickers and the global demand. For fifteen years she was selling bulk shea butter by the ton to businesses who didn’t care about the quality of the product or the integrity of the supply chain. And because of that, two years ago my mum and I launched Eu’Genia Shea.

Navago: How is Eu'Genia Shea different to those companies? 

Eu'Genia: Eu’Genia in Greek and Latin means the origin of goodness, which is what we think our product is. It delivers highly concentrated, pure shea butter products directly to consumers. Our basic motto is the more shea butter the better, but not all shea butter is created equally. If you go to your local grocery store you’re going to see tons of products that contain shea butter and then you flip them over and it’s the twentieth ingredient. And the reality is that they have 5 or 10% shea butter in them if you’re lucky. All of our products have at least 80% pure shea butter and a total of five ingredients. And all of the ingredients are just as natural. Also, because we have insight into the entire supply chain, we can guarantee the integrity and the quality of the shea butter.

Navago: What do you think consumers should be more aware of when purchasing shea butter?

Eu'Genia: There are a few different ways in which shea butter reaches the end consumer. One is that big multi-national companies go to Africa and purchase nuts and they ship the nuts to Europe for refinement. Refining sounds great, but the reality is that they’re stripping it of its natural scent and its natural color and then they’re synthetically adding those benefits. So for somebody who likes natural skincare products, that’s not ideal. The other way is that the companies work directly with cooperatives who make the shea butter, which is great because they’re giving them jobs. But if you’re working directly with hundreds or thousands of individual producers it means there’s no consistency in quality.

The thing that’s different with us is that we train our nut pickers in organic and sustainable practices. We purchase nuts from them at a premium, because they’re worth it. And we process the shea nuts in-house according to the methods my mother developed as the president of the Global Shea Alliance.

Navago: Why did you move into the natural skincare business?

Eu'Genia: When my mum started her company she did it because she felt deeply connected to the women in Ghana who were picking the shea nuts. She ran the company for fifteen years before she was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. She was at the stage where she was going to see her company disappear and all the work she’d done to help these women disappear. At the time I was in finance, and just decided that I’d rather spend my days helping her and making sure that her legacy continued.

Navago: What exactly is shea butter?

Eu'Genia: If you think about what makes a good natural face cream it’s a product that draws moisture to your skin, helps your skin retain moisture, or helps to fill in the gaps between your cells to smooth the skin. Shea butter does all three of those things wonderfully. And it also has vitamins A, E, F and K. In general it’s just a really good natural face cream.

Navago: Can you tell me a bit about your shea butter products?

Eu'Genia: We have three lines of products. One is the everyday line, the second one is the pregnancy line and the third is the dermatological. The everyday line is about 82% pure shea butter, the pregnancy is 90%, and dermatological is 100%. The thing that’s really great about the dermatological is that it’s literally just one ingredient. It’s just shea butter. Shea butter doesn’t clog your pores and it’s great for sensitive skin. So if you have a patch of dry skin or eczema or just something you want soothed, it’s perfect for that. And that’s why it’s our number one seller.

Navago: What is Eu’Genia’s primary goal?

Eu'Genia: The goal of our company is to support as many women as possible as holistically as possible. So in addition to providing jobs to our neighborhoods for economic growth, we also donate 15% of our profits back to our workers in the form of an education fund for their children.