Shea Radiance is an eco-luxury beauty brand founded by husband and wife team Shola and Funlayo Alabi. The entrepreneurial couple founded Shea Radiance after they started using pure unrefined shea butter to develop skincare for their children. Long familiar with the legendary power of shea, the Alabis concocted a product that was the only solution for their son’s severe dry skin and eczema.
Soon, friends and family members began to make requests and encouraged the Alabis to sell their product. Shea Radiance went from home use to farmers’ market stalls and is now sold at premiere salons and spas as well as select Whole Foods markets, independent chains, and online.
Their key ingredient is shea butter that comes from renewable and sustainable sources. Shea butter comes from shea trees, which grow predominantly in West Africa. It takes 50 years for shea trees to mature, and they can live up to 300 years. Shea butter is produced from a nut in the core of the fruit that the shea tree produces twice a year. Shea trees are carefully tended by local farmers and they grow without the use of fertilizers or pesticides. Traditionally, shea trees were not cut when clearing land for farming because the shea tree was so valuable. Recently, however, shea trees are being cut for charcoal and firewood. When shea farmers are paid fairly for their products, they are more inclined to protect the shea trees from being cut down, thereby helping to sustain the environment.
Shea Radiance’s mission is to create eco-luxury beauty products from quality ingredients delivered in sustainable packaging while positively impacting the lives of women. Shea Radiance redirects 10% of net profit to female shea producers and currently supports eight co-ops in Nigeria where they have spent time training and working closely. With training support and the provision of locally manufactured technology, women were taught to add value to their labor by producing the best-quality shea butter. Shea Radiance’s goal is to establish a viable business entity that will be a sustainable source of income and economic activity for the women, their families, and the entire community.
By processing raw shea nuts into shea butter within the local communities, the shea producers add value to the product prior to export. This allows them to make a significantly higher income from the sale of shea butter than from the sale of unprocessed shea nuts. The impact of thisdecision to produce within the local communities extends beyond the shea collectors and producers to the community at large. As the volume of shea production increases within a community, the needs for supporting services like transportation, packaging, warehousing, and banking increase. The positive economic impact spreads through the community.
Shola and Funlayo Alabi are both actively involved in Shea Radiance, with Shola overseeing back-of-house operations and Funlayo taking the lead up front. Every day the Alabis, and the rest of the Shea Radiance team, strive to demonstrate the exceptional beauty of shea. Shea Radiance has received numerous accolades for its all-natural, fairly traded, and high-quality products. They are also the recipients of the Innovative Green Packaging Award – winning sustainable packaging and overall social responsibility.