Shea Nuts

More Than a Brand: Shea Radiance Is on a Mission to Empower Women


Sep. 23 2023, Published 12:53 a.m. ET

Shea Radiance comes to the rescue of Black ladies as a beauty avenger whose special power lies in identifying what makes them beautiful. Picture this – natural hair and beautiful melanin skin in different styles and shades all deserving their time and glamour.

The brains behind Shea Radiance are Funlayo and Shola Alabi who noticed that most mainstream beauty products were not doing enough for the needs of Black women.

The products are natural and the company’s sources its Shea Butter, which is considered “woman’s gold” in West Africa, directly from women-run cooperatives to create economic access through trade.

However, it has since evolved to be more than just a beauty brand.

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Understanding Unique Skincare Needs: Shea Radiance's Approach

Shea Radiance is an expert in Black skin. They understand individual skin textures and tones dealing with hyperpigmentation and other issues, leaving you with moistened, smooth skin.

For Funlayo and Shola, Shea Radiance’s mission is to create a quality product that is also clean and gives back to the community it comes from.

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“We wanted to make sure it was coming from someplace sustainable. We wanted to make sure we understood it,” Funlayo told Forbes of the company’s aim when it launched in 2008.

By 2012, Shea Radiance was available at over 300 Target locations, and today, it is a thriving e-commerce enterprise, operating nationwide, and being sold in thousands of stores.

A Movement of Women Empowerment

However, Shea Radiance is more than just a beauty brand. It is actively empowering women halfway across the globe through its initiatives.

Shea Radiance started the Clean Cookstove Project to “improve the lives of 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.”

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There are also plans for long-term sustainability in Nigeria including a healthcare center and itinerant health practitioner to care for the women and their families, a learning center within communities for kindergarten and elementary-age children, and a literacy center for women in the area.

“I really do believe that a jar of cream is not just a jar of cream. It can change the world,” Funlayo told Inc. “When women are economically empowered, it affects the family. And once you can affect the quality of life of a family, you can affect the community."

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