- About Us
Our journey began while seeking a natural solution to our boys’ dry & eczema prone skin. We re-discovered Shea butter, a natural healing balm sourced from the Shea fields in West Africa. Our interest in the efficacy and sustainability of Shea butter led us back to West Africa where we developed a relationship with the women Shea producers.
Our connection with the women changed the focus of our business.We realized that Shea butter had the potential to change women's lives by alleviating poverty and providing women with an income to meet the needs of their children.
In West Africa, Shea butter is called “Women’s Gold” because women use the proceeds to feed, clothe, and educate their children. 16 million African women make a living picking Shea nuts and processing Shea butter.
Beautiful Women: Shea Community
We source our Shea Butter directly from women run cooperatives in the rural areas of Nigeria and Ghana. We do this because it ensures that we get the finest quality hand-crafted Shea butter that delivers the best results for our customers. Most importantly, direct trading with Shea producers removes the middlemen, placing revenue in the hands of the women who have earned it.
At Shea Radiance, we know that when a women is financially empowered, she can change the lives of her children and community. We are inspired by the strength, beauty & dignity of the women who harvest & process our Shea butter. Together we can make a difference in the lives of women and their communities. Here are some of their stories:
"May name is Habiba. I have 4 children. Mrs. Funlayo started working with our co-op group in 2011 -2012. Producing Shea butter and having a steady market for my Shea product has changed my life. I no longer have to toil doing subsistence farming. Three of my four children are in school. My hopes and aspirations include helping my children further their education, having them nicely clothed and having enough money to do other types of business."
“My name is Ramatu. I am from Niger State. I used to go into the forest to cut down trees to sell as firewood. Hauling firewood was hard back breaking work for me. Now I am into Shea butter processing, with the help of Shea Radiance. I have 6 children. Now I am earning more money from Shea butter production unlike before, and now I am getting more money to buy things for myself (i.e cooking supplies). If there is no Shea butter production that means I am left with nothing. Shea butter has done a lot of good things for me.”
“My name is Aisha. I support my family by the buying and selling of farm products; I also work on Shea butter production. I have 5 children, 3 are in school the other 2 are at home. If I can sell more Shea butter, I can have more money for my children. I would also be able to send my other children to school. If there is no Shea butter then there is no school, there is nothing because there is no money.”
When you empower a woman, you strengthen a family and transform a community, and that is how a really great jar of cream can change the world.
The Shea Radiance Difference
What makes Shea Radiance products truly special is the higher amount of Shea butter used in our formulations. The higher percentage makes the products more effective and gives our customers the type of results they desire for their hair and skin. Over 9 years of experience formulating with natural ingredients allows us to combine the best of nature and science.
We use the purest, most effective natural ingredients in all our products. Our key ingredient, Shea butter, is sourced from a select harvest of nuts that grow in the parklands of West Africa. The nuts are hand harvested and the butter is extracted using the traditional wisdom passed down from generations.
Handcrafted Shea butter is naturally rich in antioxidants and anti-aging actives that nourish and protect the skin. Our products contain a high percentage of this Shea butter to deeply hydrate and restore dry skin and hair. We create our products from scratch in artisanal batches so we can closely monitor quality. Our products are free of unnecessary additives, parabens and sulfates.
Sustainable Supply Chain
The higher percentage of Shea butter in our products also means that we purchase more Shea butter which brings more money to women and their communities. This enables women to gain economic power and change the lives of those around her forever.
Transforming Communities – Shea Radiance Sustainability Projects
2010 – 2012 Strategic Collaborations
I met Petra Jacobi, GIZ Program Director for Nigeria, on a long bus ride from Bamako the capital city of Mali to the Shea producing communities in March 2010. We discussed the issue of poverty among women in rural communities especially in the Shea sector. By the time we were heading back to town we had talked about the possibilities of a partnership between GIZ and the Shea Radiance brand that would be focused on alleviating poverty in a selected group of communities in Northern Nigeria.
In November 2011, my husband and I formally met with the GIZ team at their office in Abuja Nigeria and mutually agreed to enter into partnership with the following objective “To help local Shea processors improve income through consistent butter production, marketing and sale and as a result become competent partners in an improved Shea value chain for export and domestic markets”. Our initial intervention was focused on six communities in Bosso Local Government areas of Niger State, Nigeria and we later opened it up to eight communities.
Shea Radiance Poverty Alleviation Intervention Program in Northern Nigeria
For this intervention, we worked with over 500 local Shea producers in eight communities in Bosso Local Government areas of Niger State, Nigeria.
The program focused on training the women in group formation and Shea nut and butter quality improvement. Training consisted of the following modules:
- Shea Sensitization Program
- Shea Quality Improvement Training
- Group Formation and Strengthening
- Follow-up Intervention on Group Formation
- Supply of basic Shea equipment
Shea Radiance supplied each of the eight communities with the following locally fabricated equipment to help increase production output, relieve physical labor of production and provide a consistent and improved quality of Shea butter:
- 16 Shea roasters (2 per community)
- 8 milling machines
- 8 crushing machines
- 8 connecting metal tables
- 8 Diesel engines
PLANNED IMPACT - For Women Shea Collectors and Local Processors
- Improved women’s ability to compete in the Shea market by helping them organize into cooperatives in order to negotiate as a group
- Provided pre-financing of nuts so that women could buy additional nuts from other communities in order to meet up with our production demands
- Established a buy-back arrangement so that Shea Radiance purchases Shea butter from local cooperatives thus providing immediate market for their product
- Provided training and education to improve knowledge of best practices in Shea processing that includes:
- Eliminate smoking of nuts
- Stop indiscriminate cutting of trees
- Promote effective handling and storage of nuts
- Improvement on quality of nuts and butter
- Better Shea prices at farm gate
- Improved ability to handle and maintain Shea equipment
2013 – Thinking Global, Acting Local Abuja, Nigeria
In March of 2013, we trained more than 300 small businesses to Think Global and Act Local through a selection of workshops including soap making, formulation, access to finance, business plan development, and marketing. Shea butter is an incredible gift to women on so many levels – from the Shea producer in the village, to the small business owner who manufactures products for the local market.
Upcoming Project - 2015 -2016 Shea Health & Safety Project
Long-Term Vision for Sustainability
- Healthcare center and itinerant health practitioner to care for the women and their families
- Learning center within communities for kindergarten and elementary age children, special focus on girls
- Literacy center with focus on women
- Joint project with communities and NGO’s to build better storage facilities for nuts and butter.