For Diara Chukuigwe, starting her own brand, Yawoni, has been a deeply personal endeavor. She infuses the brand with her passion for natural remedies and oils, which she learned about from her mother and grandmother, who imported them from Mali. The brand name, Yawoni, is a combination of her mother's nickname, "Ya," and the word "woni," which means "beloved" in her grandmother's Moorish language.
Diara is driven by her desire to honor the West African traditions of her heritage and share her connection to nature with others. As an expectant mother, she wants to create a legacy she can pass down to her children. Despite the challenges of starting a business, Diara finds balance by incorporating self-care rituals and valuing family.
Quote from interviewee for call-out box:
“My dream and my vision is to also have this two way communication with Mali where I empower the people back home because I sourced some of my ingredients from back there.”
Biggest Takeaways You Don’t Want to Miss:
- Yawoni's products include Shea butter, mango butter, and cocoa butter, which are staples in traditional beauty products from Mali.
- Personal care and beauty products contain several ingredients that often include a wide range of endocrine-disrupting (hormonal system) chemicals like phthalates, parabens, phenols and toxic metals.
- Body butters can be used in your self-care rituals not only to provide moisture but also a spa-like and healing experience.
Check Out These Highlights:
- How Daria is balancing self-care (18:55)
- The motivation that drives Daria to keep pursuing her vision and brand (25:13)
- Daria expresses gratitude for transparent all natural products and BLK+GRN (34:14)
- “You have to give yourself these times where you allow yourself to take breath, because it's not a race, it's a marathon.”
- “Growing up, my mom, my grandmother were very into natural remedies and oils and shea butters and all kinds of natural ingredients that we would import from my home country, from Mali.”
- "So [my brand] was very personal it was definitely more than just business. It was something that I could put my soul into and share with the world and not focus on loss, but just creating.”
- “I just want to create a path for women back home to become more independent and have something of their own.”