Born out of a fortuitous trip to Ghana in 2008, Abibirem Beauty is a local company that provides 100 per cent natural raw shea butter beauty products to Toronto and the GTA.
Pina Santoro, a social worker, founded the company after this unforgettable trip inspired her to create the company with a motto “Uniting 2 Communities…Contributing to Our Growth.”
When Santoro visited Ghana, she stayed with a local family and tried a lot of local things, including shea butter. As soon as she put it on her skin, she was hooked. Abibirem means Black Beauty or Mother Africa in Ghana’s traditional language “twi”. Santoro’s company is a socially responsible one, and she pays the Ghanaian women upfront for their work. For Santoro, “the main word is relationship.”
The products are made from the shea nut in the traditional method in which the nut is boiled to extract the butter. It is 100 per cent organic, hypoallergenic and can be used from head to toe. In fact, due to its organic nature, it is used for cooking in the north of Ghana. “If you can eat it, you can certainly put it on your body,” jokes the spirited Santoro.
Shea butter knows no age or gender. The products are for “anyone looking to apply something natural on their body and face.”
The lip balm, in natural, vanilla or peppermint scent, and the 1oz container are the most popular, as they are an easy throw-in-the-bag. The 4oz is a close second favourite, with the 8oz building momentum for the avid user.
The Care Packages are excellent gifts, especially for the upcoming winter holidays. They consist of a 4oz and 1oz products, and a lip balm.
All products can be purchased by sending an order to Santoro via e-mail. It will then be either mailed to you or hand-delivered by the owner herself!
Abibirem can also be found at holistic shows and fundraising events, such as the recent Lupus Fundraiser and Scrap Cancer, as well as the Ecogoddess event. In the upcoming months, it is scheduled to appear at the Diva Girl Conference in March and the Raw Vegan Festival next year.
When asked about her biggest success to date, Santoro simply replies: “Being here.” She is very proud of “not only [being] at the point where people start recognizing who you are and your name, [but] they want your product, want you around.”
The Abibirem products are simple, available, affordable and have an obvious passion behind them. To Santoro, “[Ghana] has taken a piece of me when I went there in 2008, and now I’m bringing back a piece of Ghana to share with my fellow Torontonians.”
For more information, visit Abibirem Beauty’s website at http://www.abibirembeauty.com