WE ARE COMMITTED TO ELEVATING INNOVATIVE BLACK ARTISANS. EACH WEEK, WE WILL SHARE THE STORIES OF THE BLK + GRN ARTISANS BEHIND YOUR FAVORITE PRODUCTS.
When you think about green skincare, do you ever think of the word fun? If not, Kelli Smith is out to change that with her vegan, cruelty-free skincare line, KAIKE, pronounced CAKE. She's on a mission to educate people on the benefits of using green beauty products while making it fun and appealing so that it moves from trend to lifestyle. Read more about her journey below!BLK+GRN: Why do you do what you do? KELLI: Hi I’m Kelli Smith! I am the founder and owner of KAIKE, a fun, plant-based skincare and beauty brand. BLK+GRN: What was your "Aha Moment" and when did your vision start to manifest? KELLI: KAIKE was created as a response to my own journey toward a more natural lifestyle. During my pregnancy with our second child, I began suffering from frequent migraines. Considering that perhaps my headaches were caused by some of my hair care products and practices, as I had just watched the documentary, Good Hair, I began to consider the possible effects that other products could be playing on my skin and health. I began researching and creating my own hair care and skincare products, and after a few years was prompted by friends to build a business around my products. BLK+GRN: How is your brand green? Why was this important to you? KELLI: All KAIKE products are all-natural, vegan, cruelty-free and preservative-free. I believe that less is more. Nature provides everything we need to cultivate healthy, nourished skin and hair without the addition of toxic ingredients. Not only are these chemicals unnecessary, but harmful to our health and bring long-lasting effects.
“I WANT TO EDUCATE ABOUT THE BENEFITS OF GREEN BEAUTY WITH PRODUCTS THAT MAKE IT FUN.” — KELLI SMITHBLK+GRN: What need do you currently see being unmet that you address? KELLI: I see many green skincare brands on the market (which is great), but not many of them bring excitement to natural beauty. When I was transitioning to a greener lifestyle, there was an abundance of information that I did not understand, and products that smelled like grass. How can we expect to change lifestyles if the products are unappealing? I want to educate about the benefits of green beauty with products that make it fun. BLK+GRN: What’s your favorite black-owned brand on BLK + GRN? KELLI: Jacq’s Organics BLK+GRN: Why do you think it is important to Buy Black? KELLI: My biggest reason for supporting black-owned businesses, especially in the beauty and skincare space, is because they are more able to understand and provide solutions to our needs. BLK+GRN: Which product are you most proud of and why? KELLI: I am most proud of our Frosting. It is the first KAIKE product and continues to be the best-selling. The response from most people when they open the jar is, “wow, it really does smell/feel like frosting!”. Not only is it a fun product, but an effective one. It is rich, but not greasy. It serves multiple uses and solves several problems. From twistouts to dry skin, our Frosting is a customer fave. BLK+GRN: What’s your self-care routine? KELLI: My self-care routine begins every evening after the kids go to bed. I wind-down by cleansing my face with Cleansing Oil and following it up with a toner and facial oil (both currently in development). Once my face is clean and PJs are on, I apply Frosting to my feet and put on my favorite fuzzy socks. Then I cuddle into bed with a book, which lately has been Believe Bigger by Marshawn Evans Daniels. BLK+GRN: What's on your vanity and what’s in your purse? KELLI: In my purse is KAIKE Lip Frosting, which I can never leave home without. BLK+GRN: Anything else coming soon? KELLI: We have several products launching this year, including a facial mist/toner, and several facial oils formulated by skin concern.