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Interview with Victoria Francis - Founder and Owner of NouriShea, a USDA Certified Natural Beauty Brand
Let’s meet Victoria Francis, the owner and founder of NouriShea - a natural and green beauty brand based on formulations with 100% USDA Certified Organic Shea Butter and natural essential oils. Victoria began experimenting with Raw West African Shea Butter in early 2007 to help overcome her children’s skin issues. When she couldn’t find products with the exact balance of natural and premium Shea Butter, she decided to turn her experiments into products that would be safe for her kids and herself.
Victoria sent me two body washes (Mango and Sandalwood) from her amazing product line so I will be including their review along with this interview! Loved the body washes and their mild scents, very gentle and moisturizing with no harmful chemicals to dry out your skin.
Let’s begin with the packaging - neatly wrapped with tissue paper with a NouriShea sticker. I loved the way Victoria took a lot of care to wrap each body wash carefully. I started using the body washes the next day. Before I begin my review, let me briefly tell you what the NouriShea website says about each product.
Mango Body Wash
“This gentle cleansing and deep moisturizing body wash is specifically formulated to gently cleanse and pamper skin - all over. Enriched with natural moisturizers like 100% USDA Certified Organic Shea Butter, Vitamin E and vegetable glycerin which work to restore skin’s elasticity while active botanical extracts rich in natural anti-oxidants help to replenish skins essential nutrients. Lightly scented with a hint of tropical Mango essential oil.”
Sandalwood Body Wash
“Intoxicating and enveloping, the delicious scent of sandalwood and vanilla transforms your shower into an Eastern spa experience. This gentle cleansing and deeply moisturizing body wash is specially formulated to gently cleanse and pamper skin - all over.”
Both the body washes are lightly scented and you only need a small amount to work out a rich lather. Out of the two, I liked the Mango better (maybe because that’s my favorite fruit!)! Loved the way my skin felt after I washed off the lather with water - very soft, supple and moisturized. Use a gentle moisturizer/body cream after you shower (you might consider trying their Shea Butter body cremes!) and you won’t need another thing to keep your skin moisturized! No dryness or itchiness afterwards. The tropical scents are perfect for the summer!
Victoria - tell us a little about yourself and your company, NouriShea?
My name is Victoria Francis and I am the founder of NouriShea. I started making Raw Shea Butter products in my kitchen in 2007 after my daughter was born with severe eczema and after unsuccessfully searching for mainstream natural and non-irritating remedies. I wanted a natural product that would not irritate her skin more than it already was and I just remember my mother using Shea Butter on me as a child, so I went back to what I knew.
NouriShea was officially launched in 2010 and I started working as a chemist to perfect my original formulas which is now what you have as NouriShea.
What inspired you to start a natural and green beauty brand? Tell us a little about your products.
I decided to start NouriShea when I realized that there is a need for my products. There are other Shea Butter formulated products in the market, but none with as high a concentration of Shea Butter as I have in my NouriShea line of products. Our crèmes contain over 70% organic Shea Butter. Our other products also contain a fairly high amount of Shea Butter.
What was the very first NouriShea product that you introduced? Do you have a personal favorite?
The first product is the Original Lavender crème which I made for my then infant daughter. I chose lavender because of its soothing and calming properties. This crème is still my favorite product because it was my very first so it holds a special place in my heart.
Where do you see the green beauty industry today?
It is so much easier to live green today than it was 10 years ago and we have more accessibility to greener beauty options. With the eco-conscious movement more people are becoming ‘label-readers' which is wonderful because that means we are more aware of what we are ingesting through our kin. I am really excited for the future of the industry.
What should customers look for while shopping for a natural and green beauty product?
Every customer should be aware of ingredients and what they mean. Just because it says natural on the front of the label does not mean it is. “Become a label reader!”
How do you balance your work life with family time? What advice do you have for moms like you looking to launch a successful career in business?
Balance can be sometimes difficult when running a business and also trying to be “super-mom”, but it is achievable. I try and work my family time into my schedule (it sounds really bad, but it works!) If my schedule says family time, then all work-related things must be put on hold – no phones, computer, nothing. I also try and maximize the short but sweet moments I get in between, letting them know that I love them and I am doing this for them.
My advice to anyone looking to launch a business or already running one is making sure you make time for yourself, first and foremost because if you’re not 100%, then you have nothing to give to your family or business. I also advise people to not neglect or ignore the small moments with your family; it could be as simple as driving them to school or fixing dinner, use those times to reconnect with the ones you love.
Your favorite green website would be....?
My favorite green website is savegreennow.com. I love the fact that they introduce new green brands to eco-conscious customers out there and offer eco-friendly products/services (both old and newer brands) at discounted prices.
As the owner of a green business, what steps have you taken towards creating a healthy lifestyle within your own home?
The first step was to recycle which we do as a family. I got rid of all the toxic cleaning chemicals and replaced them with greener options. I also try and make my own cleaning supplies using natural ingredients whenever I can.
What are the unique features of your products that set them apart from the rest?
The most unique feature of the brand is the use of very high quality organic Shea butter (100% USDA Certified Raw West African Shea Butter). There are other Shea Butter formulated products in the market, but none with as high a concentration as we have in the NouriShea line of products.
What are your plans for the future of NouriShea?
My goal for NouriShea is to continue to spread the goodness of green beauty. We also have a few line extensions coming down the pike including an Organic Shea Butter and Sugar Body Polisher, Organic Shea Butter Intensive Body Lotions and an Organic Shea Butter Hair Serum.
The complete line of NouriShea products
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