I can vividly remember as a little girl, my mother would sit in her bed after a bath and mix her Vaseline, Cocoa butter, lotion, Aloe Vera and Vitamin E cream. She would oil up and say to me “You know I need something that ‘sticks’ to my skin! They don’t make stuff that sticks to our skin!” We would mix up Sulfur 8, Blue Magic and African Pride for hair grease and use olive oil for hot oil treatments. I think we can all agree that we’ve always had to get creative with the things we need to get the most out of them and I’m pretty positive that other black women remember similar stories with their moms, aunts and grandmothers too.
As of late, I’ve noticed a trend toward Natural and Organic products on commercial shelves. The “Ethnic” section seems to be growing just a bit. But check the labels on a lot of these products. Many of these products are simply the same items repackaged. Brilliant marketing really! But so unfortunate. We still need what we need. And we shouldn’t have to keep waiting on large companies to get with the program!
Part of what makes RaJean Beauty so special to me is that full-circle moment when I am mixing oils and whipping my butters, creating new products to try out. I’m in my kitchen doing just what my mother did when I was a child and sharing that gift with others who need “something that sticks to their skin!” The love and attention that goes into each batch of butter and scrub is sent right back to me every time I walk into one of the shops with my butters and those who’ve experienced my products for themselves tell others how much they need it! I get to tell people all about the benefits of Shea Butter and hear stories of how people’s skin has been repaired and rejuvenated. I’m humbled and honored to engage with real people, make real connections and help real issues and I’m grateful to be changing lives one jar at a time!
Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of memes and posts on social media surrounding “Self-Care”. As a black woman I know first-hand, we walk a fine line everyday between the many MANY hats we have to wear. The expectations placed upon us to be strong, powerful, resilient. And natural human vulnerability. Any sign of emotion is exaggerated as if we are a caricature in the old Sunday paper. We must speak calmly, keep our neck still, tone down the sway in our hips, hold our opinions, reassure those around us that we are not offended, and still prove that as women, period, we have just as much right to be in any room as any man!
So… yeah. Every so often it’s an absolute must to pause and tend to ourselves. But let’s talk about what that means for a moment shall we???
I know we like to picture candle lit bubble baths, chocolate, perhaps binge watching your favorite Netflix series or just sleeping all day. But self-care is so much more than an indulgent evening alone. It’s a conscious and continuous effort to protect your mental, spiritual and emotional well being. It’s a series of intentional choices. Learning from where we draw our energy and focusing it on the areas where it is most efficiently expended. Not wasted. It’s eating foods that give our bodies proper energy, staying hydrated, feeding our minds with useful information and expanding our perspective. It’s challenging our own habits, cultivating relationships that add value to our lives. Going for the things that make our hearts smile and being unapologetic in our pursuit of our best selves! This may mean losing some people along the way. And as I stated in my last post, unlearning all those things that keep us running the hamster wheel and hinder our free-thinking and exploration can and most likely will be physically painful. But God is it worth it!
So the next time you feel a little tired. A little sick of adulting… go ahead and take that hot bath.. Be sure to exfoliate with your favorite RaJean Beauty Natural Sugar Scrub, and then treat your skin to the creamy, Scented, Hand-whipped Shea Butter before you eat that chocolate and climb in bed. But don’t forget to make the decision (and please follow through with it!!) to take great care even after all that. I have no doubt whatsoever that my products will have your outsides looking and feeling sexy and luscious darling!! But that means nothing if you’re not caring for the inside.
Til next time lovelies!! :-*
As I spent the last few weeks preparing for a photo shoot and the launch of RaJean Beauty’s apps, I thought a bit to myself. At what point does one accept and assert herself as “professional”, “CEO”, an actual Business owner? When is it no longer weird to say (out loud) that I own my own business? I mean its super early in the game but technically thats who and what I am now! So why is that so difficult to embrace?
I come from a fairly traditional background. Mostly a straight A student, all of the extracurricular activities, singing in the church choir and serving on the youth usher board. So being a creative was great for the sake of conversation.. But in practice, not practical.. Almost frowned upon. I was supposed to finish school, graduate from college, go on to be a professional something or other, get married and start a family with a great God-fearing man!
Fast forward, I’ve arrived at 30. No degree. No husband. No children. Plenty of ideas and started projects but nothing completed. As I dodged the slew of side eyes and to do lists, I was introduced to the possibilities that come with accepting your greatness outside of the normal confines of society by someone extremely close to me. And unloading all of the subconscious luggage I’d accumulated was LITERALLY physically painful! I wanted so badly to finish something. ANYTHING! There was no way I should be working so hard for someone else and never investing that same time or energy into myself and my skills!
So I decided just a few months before my 30th birthday that I would have 2-3 additional streams of income before I turned 31. Really evaluating all my talents, and thinking of creative ways to make the most of them was the first step. Being disciplined and consistent enough to see these new goals through though was the challenge that was going to make or break this phase of my life! To me it felt like legit now or never. This was it and I was sick of myself and all my fears and excuses. I took inventory of everything around me and made the decision to do and be better. Period. The short of it all here is that once my mind was made up…. Once I decided this was the pivotal time I couldn’t brush past or ignore, the Universe opened right up for me. And everything I said I wanted to do began to manifest. I am still living in awe of this each and everyday as I’m just in the infant stages of this thing my life seems to be doing right now…
I said all of that to say, I have no idea what I’m doing. I just want to do what God has for me to do. I want my life to be fulfilling. I could tell you all about the fact that Shea Butter has anti-inflammatory properties, is a natural sunscreen, heals scars, dark spots and blemishes.. (And believe me we’ll get to all of that I promise!) But I need you to know first and foremost that RaJean Beauty is about more than skincare. It is my unfinished story. Proof that there is no such thing as a timeline. I go out with my butters every weekend, selling them at salons and barbershops. Watching this thing I created touch lives and make smiles! And as I stood looking at the staging I’d just done for my first shoot, looking at the ladies getting their faces beat to the heavens, my heart felt so full! My eyes welled up because my life is unfolding in a glorious way and it scares me like I don’t know what! But those ideas in my head are becoming tangible. And I’m praying someone, anyone else who has ever been guilted about being a dreamer finds some resolve in that and goes for “it”!! Whatever “it” may be!!!