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The Idea

In the Summer of 2018, I had a block of raw shea butter in my closet and a house guest who kept asking for an easy to use version of said shea butter. If you haven't experienced using raw shea butter as a skin moisturizer, it takes a little bit of muscle to get it to melt in your hand before applying it to your skin.

Even though I had never heard or thought of changing the consistency of raw shea butter, I eventually made time for us to mix various natural liquid oils and essential oils to the raw shea butter.

"Add a little more of this one. Blend it some more please. Hmm, blend it a little longer. I'm looking for a specific consistency. I want it to be very lightweight and easy to apply."

I followed the instructions and emotional response of my guest until we co-created something that resembled what she wanted. My house guest was the woman I now call mom; someone my birthmother asked to be my godparent years ago and I love her dearly.

The Disbelief

Days later, I was still conversing with my mom about the body butter we created because my eyes were genuinely opened to a whole new type of natural emollient! I was absolutely stunned at how easy it was to apply the whipped shea butter, especially because I was so accustomed to using it in it’s raw block form. Simply put — it. was. amazing.

Time passed and I ran out of whipped body butter so I decided to make more. But this time, I wanted to hone in on creating the consistency my mom was previously striving for. I whipped this batch of body butter with an electric mixer, but had no idea that it would expand in size. If I were a baker, I may have known this, but I'm not, so I didn't.

I had so. much. body butter. And knew I couldn't use it all. So, I jarred the butter and gave most of it away to local friends who I knew were into body care. The feedback I got from my friends was shocking. Everyone I gave a jar to asked me for another jar. And my closest friend at that time sincerely told me that I should make it available for purchase.

I agreed it was a really cool product but I didn't believe that I could be a business owner. I had fun designing the homemade, kraft style packaging but was discouraged when strategizing affordable shipping costs. I was also in the middle of attaining my masters degree so the idea quickly became alot to juggle.

The Empowerment

In May of 2020, I made another batch of whipped body butter and shared it with my roommate at the time. She gave me the same reviews I had received over a year ago.

The fact that multiple unrelated people said the same thing about this product and thought highly enough of me to tell me I should be an entrepreneur, was very grounding. I took their synchronized words as confirmation that I was really on to something and that I need to look within myself to figure out if I could get serious about becoming an entrepreneur. But the question of whether I could become an entrepreneur or not came down to courage, confidence, and self-love.

I realized that I probably could have become an entrepreneur years ago if I thought I was worthy enough to do it. If I wasn’t as risk averse and constantly telling myself to choose a more practical, STEM related financially stable, and socially acceptable career choice. But prior to this time, I also didn't have a group of loving, caring, and encouraging friends who all knew me and saw a greater potential inside me.

This was when I realized how impactful healthy relationships are to the empowerment of an individual dating to become all they can be.

The Shift

By the end of May 2020, I had graduated with my masters degree and launched my first business with a company logo I was so in love with that I plastered it onto every shirt, cup, and journal I could find. That company name was Squrrl Studios, a post production company where I could use all the knowledge I’d gained while working as a videographer in corporate America.

I soon realized that post-production companies don’t typically sell body butter and that I needed to come up with a brand name that was more befitting to self-care products. The best name I could come up with at the time was a spin-off, Squrrl Beauty.

I commended myself for not letting a name stop me from sharing my all natural whipped body butter with the world. But I also needed to get focused on the version of me I really wanted to be and stop looking for safe entrepreneurial options.

So, I came up with a plan on how to attack my feelings of self-doubt, unworthiness, and risk aversion. That plan was self-talk.

Before I launched 27th & Rose in November of 2020, I was already training myself to speak kindly, think boldly, and breathe slowly when my inner critic was loud and proud. I knew I needed to address my negative talk with aggressive, positive talk.

In January 2021, I challenged myself to speak life and love over myself and my circumstances by writing down encouraging words and posting it to social media, everyday for an entire year.

I coupled this with going to the movies, eating my favorite foods, lighting my favorite candles, and doing any other thing I absolutely adored doing. For the first time in my life I was consciously and intentionally focusing only on me, my thoughts, my needs, wants, hopes, and desires.

I didn’t realize that by creating sacred spaces for myself I was building my self-care routine. And I for sure didn’t realize that by building and maintaining my self-care routine, I was creating opportunities for me to love myself exactly as I am.

Over time, my courage, confidence, and self-love grew. And I can say now, that I truly believe I will be a successful entrepreneur. I believe this because I know that I’m on my way to becoming the woman I feel led to be.

-Kahdija Imari