Internationally Renowned SheaMoisture Beauty Brand Launches in Kenya: One of the industry’s fastest-growing brands announces key partnership with Lintons Beauty World and Jesavi.
Last week, the Kenyan Natural Hair community was invited to celebrate in the official launch of SheaMoisture in the country. SheaMoisture is one of the beauty industry’s fastest-growing brands in the world. Kenya officially joins a growing list of countries outside of the U.S. where the much-sought-after brand is now officially distributed, including the U.K., Nigeria, Mexico and South Africa.
“It means so much to us – professionally and personally – to launch SheaMoisture in Kenya. In addition to being the largest and one of the fastest growing economies in East Africa, Kenya represents another step forward in our efforts to ensure that more women on the continent are served with; and have access to the highest-quality haircare and skincare products made with natural and organic ingredients,” said Richelieu Dennis, Founder and CEO of Sundial Brands.
Lintons Beauty World and Jesavi are currently the sole authorised distributors of SheaMoisture products in Kenya. Both brands are owned by Kenyan women who have a passion for the natural hair & living industry and most importantly, ensuring that women have access to genuine high-quality products with natural and organic ingredients.
“We could not be more pleased to be working with Lintons and Jesavi to provide our Kenyan community and retailers with the comfort and security of knowing that they are receiving genuine SheaMoisture products. With Lintons’ experience distributing international brands for more than 15 years and Jesavi’s understanding of the needs of the natural hair products market, this partnership will be a powerful driver of our business and of the impact that we will be able to make in communities in Kenya and East Africa.” said Raja Kaul, Chief Operating Officer and head of emerging markets for Sundial Brands.
SheaMoisture is manufactured by U.S. based Sundial Brands, whose founder and CEO Richelieu Dennis has a passion for entrepreneurship and innovation. He traces his inspiration from his family’s roots in Africa. SheaMoisture is the legacy of Dennis’ maternal grandmother – Sofi Tucker – who sold handcrafted Shea butter, African Black Soap and her homemade hair and skin preparations in Sierra Leone. She did this to support her family after becoming a widow with four children at the age of 19. Her entrepreneurial spirt and knowledge of the power of natural ingredients helped her provide effective solutions to skin and hair care issues. She became known as a healer throughout the countryside and taught her recipes to her grandson – Dennis.
In 1991, Dennis graduated from the renowned business school Babson College in the U.S. where he was on scholarship. However, he was unable to return to his home country of Liberia due to civil war. It was at this point that Dennis partnered with his college roommate, Nyema Tubman and Mary Dennis (his mother), to pursue a bold concept:
“Address specific skin and hair care issues that had been traditionally ignored by mass market skin care companies.”
Today, continuing to draw from deep family traditions and four generations of recipes and wisdom, Sundial Brands remains family-owned and operated and is the largest black-owned beauty manufacturer globally. SheaMoisture remains its leading cross-category brand, including haircare, skincare, face, bath, body, baby, cosmetics, women’s shave and men’s.
SheaMoisture’s approach to formulating its products recognises that beauty comes in every hair type and texture, skin tone, shade, and feature. The brand empowers and celebrates a woman’s unique beauty experience by creating formulations for her individual need states, rather than one-size-fits-all. SheaMoisture ensures that its communities, especially those who have been traditionally underserved, have an enhanced product offering and shopping experience based on being served according to their specific needs, not traditional mass segmentation. Thus, the brand delivers on its promise to make products for – rather than simply market products to – people based on their desired benefit.
All SheaMoisture products are color-safe and cruelty-free, and do not contain parabens, sulphates, phthalates, mineral oil, gluten, synthetic fragrance or artificial color. The current collections available in Kenya are primarily haircare. They cater for every hair state whether natural, relaxed, protective-styled, heat-styled, kinky, coily, curly, wavy, straight, damaged, dry, oily or otherwise. The products include African Black Soap (hair and face), Coconut & Hibiscus, Jamaican Black Castor Oil, Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil, Raw Shea, SuperFruit Complex Multivitamin, and Yucca & Plantain.
“The integrity of SheaMoisture is of utmost importance to us, and as such, we are incredibly appreciative of the efforts of the U.S. Commercial Services Department of the U.S. Embassy in Kenya to help us identify and evaluate credible distributors from a financial perspective, as well as those having a commitment to high business standards and the community of SheaMoisture consumers,” said Raja Kaul.
SHEAMOISTURE AND SUPPORTING ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Through Sundial Brands, SheaMoisture operates with a business model called CommunityCommerce. The program equips underserved people and communities with access to the opportunities and resources that enable them to create lasting value for themselves and others. In fact, 10% of SheaMoisture Community Commerce collection sales are reinvested into efforts focused on empowering women through entrepreneurship, education and commerce.
“We started our company out of a need to survive, but we’ve built it based on a mission not only to help others survive, but to prosper. In fact, we view ourselves as a mission with a business, rather than a business with a mission. Because of that, our purpose – to empower people to live more beautiful lives – sits at the center of everything we do as company and compels us to keep community at our core. Also given our Community Commerce focus on empowering women through entrepreneurship, we are honoured and excited to partner with two dynamic Kenyan women entrepreneurs. Much like my Grandmother Sofi, to distribute SheaMoisture in this region and help meet the individual needs of women and families with a brand that they love and that is also good for them.” Dennis said.
The program is open to everyone from the 6,000 women entrepreneurs in its supply chain and the 15,000 households in its Ghanaian Shea butter women’s cooperatives. There are also dozens of fellowships to attend top entrepreneurial schools granted to women entrepreneurs. A Kenyan beneficiary to the Community Commerce is Wandia Gichuru, Managing Director of Vivo Activewear Ltd. SheaMoisture is committed to building stronger, self-sustaining communities and enterprises.
“In April 2017, I was fortunate enough to win a Sundial Fellowship to attend a week long Executive Education Business Programme at the Tuck Business School at Dartmouth University. It was through this programme and through hearing about Sundial’s vision and purpose that I was introduced to the concept of ‘Community Commerce’. What I have learned from this is that there is truly no better way to grow your own business and to support your communities than to help others grow theirs at the same time. Thank you Sundial for leading the way!” shares Wandia.
“We look forward to the impact that we will be able to make via our Community Commerce efforts here in Kenya as we have in communities around the world. We are evidence that companies built with purpose at the center can do well in business while also making a significant positive impact on the world around us. We strive to do that each day as we continually ask ourselves, our community, our suppliers and other partners, ‘How can we be fairer than fair trade?’ and ‘What is the next evolution and elevation of corporate social responsibility?’ We are challenging ourselves and other entrepreneurs to develop businesses now and for the future that provide the access and opportunity that allow people to create sustainable economic value for themselves, their families and their communities. This is who we are and these are the values upon which we stand.” Dennis said.
The Kenyan natural hair scene is excited and ready to receive SheaMoisture into our growing market. We look forward to more exciting things from Sundial Brands.
ABOUT DR. JOYCE GIKUNDA
Dr. Joyce Gikunda trained as a pharmacist at the University of Nairobi where she earned a B.Pharm in 1979. She subsequently worked as a pharmacist in charge of Government Medical Stores. Although she graduated as a pharmacist, Dr. Gikunda believes her destiny was not “to give people tablets, but to make people beautiful.”
Together with her husband they set up a small pharmacy in 1983; and later expanded by buying another struggling chemist. The new outlet, named Lyntons Pharmacy, where she remained the acting Director from 1988-2012 and thereafter selling that part of the company. Lyntons also stocked veterinary products that were phased out and replaced with cosmetics.
“My focus shifted from counting tablets at the back of the pharmacy to offering women advice on their skin. I was creating waves in the medical field. Some of my professors told me I was embarrassing them because cosmetics are not what they expected to find in a pharmacy,” she recalls.
Dr. Gikunda today runs Lintons Beauty World, a chain of cosmetic retail outlets in Nairobi, which retails high-end international brands. Lintons is a leading beauty brand with the vision of redefining and championing African beauty. It is currently a family-run business with two focus areas; a retail business with over 14 outlets at leading malls and strategic locations in Nairobi, offering top-of-the-line skincare, color cosmetics, fragrances and spa services.
Through these outlets, Lintons Beauty World is an approved retailer for top brands such as Estee Lauder, Clinique, MAC, Clarins, Black Up, Elizabeth Arden, Dior, Lancome and others. The wholesale arm exclusively distributes global brands such as Black Opal, Essie, Nimue, Bio Balance, BH cosmetics to beauty shops, salons, pharmacies and spas across the region.
Lintons Beauty World Outlets: Two Rivers, Village Market, Westgate, Garden City, Hilton, Jubilee Exchange Building, Yaya Centre, Junction and La Galleria.
MAC Stores: Village Market, Garden City, Junction
Clinique Store: Garden City
Black Up Store: Two Rivers
Since 1912, SheaMoisture has made its award-winning, Shea butter-based skin and haircare products using family recipes handed down from founder and CEO, Richelieu Dennis’ grandmother Sofi Tucker, who as a young mother, sold her Shea butter creations to support her family in Sierra Leone. “EveryBody Gets Love” at SheaMoisture, and products are made with natural and certified organic ingredients. Shea butter is ethically-sourced from 13 women’s co-ops in Northern Ghana as part of the brand’s purpose-driven Community Commerce efforts.
ABOUT SUNDIAL BRANDS
Sundial Brands, a leading skincare and haircare manufacturer renowned for its innovative use of high-quality and culturally authentic natural ingredients, is the maker of SheaMoisture, Nubian Heritage, Madam C.J. Walker Beauty Culture and Nyakio. A certified B Corp company with a Fair for Life social and fair trade certification, Sundial engages in ethical and cruelty-free business practices and manufactures its products at its state-of-the-art facilities in Long Island, New York.
Through its Community Commerce purpose-driven business model, the company creates opportunities for sustainable social and economic empowerment throughout its supply chain and communities in the United States and Africa, focusing on entrepreneurship, women’s empowerment, education and wellness.
In 2015, Sundial was named to the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in the United States and received the WWD/Beauty Inc. award for “Corporate Social Responsibility Company of the Year.” In 2017, the company debuted at #10 as the only beauty and personal care manufacturer on the BE 100s list, which ranks the largest black-owned companies in the United States. Widely credited with introducing the “New General Market” inclusion concept to the beauty and retail industries, Sundial Brands founder and CEO Richelieu Dennis began the company in 1991 with his college roommate, Nyema Tubman, and mother, Mary Dennis.