Meet mompreneur, mixtress, all natural beauty product maker and mom of two Jamyla Bennu. Recognized for her love of organic beauty products, this creative starlet is the definition of a woman prepared to take over the world.
I connected with the Oyin Handmade founder (who shares the role with her husband Pierre), to discuss her journey into the beauty arena, as well as her inspirations, her super fab family, and *claps please* – her future pursuits – which includes Oyin Handmade’s presence in Target stores. (Get there fast, they’re flying off the shelves!) Take a peek at the fab naturalista, Jamyla!
Konnectshun: Tell us a little bit about Jamyla Bennu and her journey into the beauty arena? Have you always had an interest in natural and organic beauty products?
I was raised on castille soap and olive oil for body care, so yes — I’ve always known that effective beauty and body care could be natural and awesome! It wasn’t until I was an adult that I discovered I could create products myself.
Konnectshun: You launched Oyin Handmade in 2001 with your husband…what was your source of inspiration and truly, what makes the product so unique?
The line was inspired by my own need. At the time, there were hardly any commercially available products that catered to the moisture and styling needs of highly=textured hair. I have always been a crafty person, so making my own hair and body products felt like another way to exercise my creativity, explore my hair, and have fun!
I started sharing the goodies I made with friends and family and they seemed to love them! But it was my husband, Pierre, who really encouraged me to create a website to share the goodies with the world. Then, as it caught on, [he] worked with me nonstop for years to help it become successful and sustainable.
One of the things that makes Oyin unique is our belief that highly-textured hair is a pretty amazing and versatile fiber which should be treated gently and simply, enjoyed, and allowed to shine. We consider it a major part of our job to AFFIRM and ENCOURAGE our customers. One of our main slogans is “your hair is awesome – shouldn’t your products be awesome, too?”
So much beauty marketing speaks to our insecurities: be more of this and less of that with XYZ product. We always strive to speak instead to the celebratory impulse — from how our products are conceived and formulated, down to the descriptive language we use on our website, and all the way to our social media interaction. We really want individuals to feel elevated when using our goodies, to know that they were made with love with their needs in mind, and to feel inspired to treat themselves with loving care.
Konnectshun: What are the key ingredients in your collection? Actually, what does Oyin mean?
Oyin means honey in the Yoruba language, which is a fabulous ingredient for skin and hair. It promotes healing and moisture, is a humectant and a natural antimicrobial… and is also delicious! It represents both health and sweetness to us, and we try to inject both into each product that we make. Many of the products include honey as an ingredient.
We also utilize a number of other powerhouse ingredients from nature like shea and cocoa butters, olive and coconut oils, as well as wonderfully detangling and conditioning emulsifiers. Oyin Handmade is a full line of hair and body care products made with nutritious, food grade ingredients and lots of love!
Konnectshun: The packaging is beautiful, what inspired the fresh hues?
These are serious products but we didn’t want them to appear intimidating – we wanted to create packaging that was fun, exuberant, and exciting! We want our customers to feel like doing their hair is a celebration!
Read Part 2 of this interview next…