Our Story

Shearadiance CEO 
We started making products in our kitchen to solve our family’s dry skin problems. Both our boys had very dry and eczema-prone skin, and we found Shea Butter to be the ultimate healing balm. 
We create beauty products inspired by the traditional uses of unrefined shea butter. We combine inspiration with the science of our unconventional formulation process to give our customers the most effective natural products available.
Shea Butter is an integral part of the Shea Radiance brand. We source our Shea Butter directly from women-run cooperatives in West Africa to help provide economic access that allows women to feed, clothe and educate their children.
We exist to have a positive and meaningful impact in the world, specifically in the lives of women. Everything we have done up to this point, our successes and challenges, are connected to our higher purpose which is to impact lives.
—Funlayo & Shola Alabi, Cofounders of Shea Radiance

What We Believe

We believe that when a woman feels beautiful she can focus her creative energies on changing her world. At Shea Radiance we want to influence the way you care for yourself and others by creating products that make you feel beautiful, nurtured and powerful.
 
Our journey began while seeking a natural solution to our boys’ dry and eczema-prone skin. We rediscovered 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.

Values We Live and Craft By

We All Play a Role in the Global Legacy of Womanhood.
Inspired by the African village concept of community, the shared experiences of women and mothers, and the desire to feel empowered, independent and proud is universal. We all play a role in shaping that for the better. At Shea Radiance, we choose to positively affect that global legacy of womanhood through beauty.
 
 

Uncompromised Artisanship.

Every Shea Radiance creation begins with our key ingredient. Sourced from women-run cooperatives in West Africa, our artisan partners produce the purest-grade and highest-quality Shea Butter. Our team of mixologists blends complementary ingredients into each product in small batches to ensure that the quality of our collections are as uncompromised as our selection of each artisan partner across the seas.
Universal Needs Fulfillment.
Your needs, hers and ours are all fulfilled with one key ingredient — Shea Butter. The needs of our founding team to better the economic status of women Shea producers in West Africa is met through our cross-cultural supply chain. The needs of our customers to heal their hair and skin is fulfilled through our natural and effective formulations. The need to connect women globally, and the need to create an economic pathway for over 16 million African women who pick and process Shea nuts to help care and provide for their families is what the Shea Radiance family aims to fulfill.

 

Shea Stories

Empowering Women to Empower Women

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. 

Empowering Stories 

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 woman 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:

 

 

Habiba

Habiba

"My name is Habiba. I have 4 children.  Shea Radiance 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." 

 

Ramatu  

Ramatu

 “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.” 

Aisha 

 Aisha

“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.”

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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. 

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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:

  1. Shea Sensitization Program
  2. Shea Quality Improvement Training 
  3. Group Formation and Strengthening
  4.  Follow-up Intervention on Group Formation 
  5. 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

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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:
  1. Eliminate smoking of nuts
  2. Stop indiscriminate cutting of trees
  3. Promote effective handling and storage of nuts
  4. Improvement on quality of nuts and butter
  5. Better Shea prices at farm gate
  6. Improved ability to handle and maintain Shea equipment

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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.

 

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 them forever. 

Transforming Communities — Shea Radiance Sustainability Projects

2015–2016 Shea Health & Safety Project

 Sustainable Supply Chain

 

 

March 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.

 Volunteers serving

Watching

 

2010 – 2012  Beginning of Strategic Collaborations

In March 2010, 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. 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 sales, 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.

 

 

 

 

     

    1,000 Women

    1000 Women

    Our journey began ten years ago while seeking a natural solution for our boys’ dry and eczema prone skin. It led us back to our homeland in West Africa where the Shea trees grow. We saw how hard the women worked and how proud they were of the fruit of their labors. We also saw how hard their lives were and the many health and safety issues they faced as they tried to provide for their families.

    The connection I made with women who looked just like me changed the trajectory of our business. It became clear that our success was intricately linked to theirs. If they thrived physically and financially, our business would have a sustainable supply of the best quality Shea butter for manufacturing our premium quality natural beauty products.

    The Clean Cookstove Project will impact the lives of 1,000 Shea producers in Oyo State, Nigeria, by providing them with clean cooking stoves for their personal use and 10 commercial stoves to help increase their production capacity as a working group. The West African women I’ve met are not looking for handouts or donated shoes, bars of soap or toothpaste. They want what every women wants, the ability to be economically independent. These clean cookstoves are one of the many ways

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