It all started with our founder Joy in 2014 after enduring severely chemically damaged hair and I decided to take the big leap and fully embrace my kinks and coils. So I big chopped my hair and started on a healthy natural hair journey.
I quickly realised the old products I’d been using before I went natural were no longer effective and our local stores had very little, if any product for my natural hair. My transitioning misadventures led to me obsessively consuming online content and learning all I could about taking care of my hair.
As my kitchen slowly turned into a makeshift lab with me exploring different oils, butters and all manner of ingredients so did my love for formulating and only using organic ingredients as mother nature intended. I then began experimenting with base formulas based on these exotic butters and oils which would eventually become ASHAKI's inaugural collection.
ASHAKI grew organically, as my hair thrived, friends and family showed interest in my home brewed concoctions and would ask me to make some products for them and they became my first customers. It didnt take long for me to realise that there was a huge disparity in the quality of life between the women who harvested these popular and often little known ingredients and the end user women in developed countries who then used the ingredients in often, very luxurious products. It then occurred to me the beauty industry can be used as a force for positive change and it’s possible to turn consumerism into quantifiable action and help improve the lives of ordinary rural women by firstly buying directly from women owned cooperatives and secondly paying a fair amount fo.r their produce.
And this became the foundation of our brand ethos to be a brand commited to Beauty With Purpose by going Beyond Charity to give work to women in need by imapct sourcing our core ingredients from women and youth owned co-operatives. How we treat our skin, people and planet matters.
Our name ASHAKI means beauty and it is taken from the Akan language in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire and is inspired by my favourite ancient African kingdom, the Ashanti from Ghana.
The brand seal was also inspired by the Akan Andrika symbols, the Akoma which represents beauty, health and feminity and the Asase ye Duru which represents the divinity of mother earth.
Both these concepts lie at the very heart of our brand dna, honouring mother earth by using her resources in a sustainable manner and giving meaningful work to women while making the world a beautiful place.