Written by Dadé Akindude owner of Awomi Naturals
In honor of Mother’s Day, we searched for a business owned by a mother and daughter to highlight for this week’s tribe stories. Dadé Akindude founded African skincare product line Awomi Naturals with her mother, Lola Abiodun-Adelokiki. The New York-based company was inspired by their family roots and experiences growing up in Africa. Dadé reflected on her experience founding Awomi with her mother and what she’s learned working with her to grow the family business.
“Our mom was the daughter of a woman who spent her days at the local Nigerian markets selling produce from a garden she grew in order to put her children through school. “Girls only go to school to get pregnant” was what my grandfather told her whenever they’d discuss the possibility of sending their daughters to school. Though she was 1/4 of a polygamist marriage, she was determined to see her children rise above the culture of the time. Because of her, my mom & my Aunti Kemi have found themselves today in a position most of their peers could only dream of.”
“Growing up, we’d always hear stories about what it was like waking up at 4am to follow our grandmother to the market all before reporting to school. So it was no surprise that my mom & Aunti Kemi jumped up at the thought of recreating this experience.”
“I remember my sister & I coming home to my mom and her sister, Aunti Kemi divvying up a room full of shea butter they had just brought from their latest trip to Nigeria. My mom’s grandchildren suffer from severe eczema so they partnered with a local group of women who were eager to supply us with traditional remedies. “
“We soon recognized the need for authentic African skincare products and culture in the mainstream market. Awomi Naturals is our attempt to educate the world about the true value that the African woman has to offer the world. Organic skincare has been the song of most African cultures for centuries. It is disheartening to see how undervalued African women are in today’s skin care industry. “
“The term ‘Awomi’ is a Yoruba word that means “my skin”. Yoruba is the main language I had always heard as a child and came to understand fluently. Being the first of my family born in the USA, it was important for me to grab hold of all aspects of my heritage. Being raised in America has challenged much of the traditional Nigerian values my mom wanted to see in us. There have been times where we just didn’t see eye to eye.”
“The birth of Awomi Naturals has become the peace between us. It has certainly given both myself and my mom the platform to learn from one another. On any given day, we are knee deep in conversation via WhatsApp discussing packaging and various opportunities as they come. She would explain to me how to haggle with our suppliers while I emphasize the value of good IG post. It has been a genuinely purposeful adventure working with my mom. The experience has shown me how different we are when I no longer have to just do what she says. It’s empowering to see such a strong woman like her care so deeply about my opinion. I see the joy in her eyes as we talk shop each day.”
“Awomi Naturals has become more than just a brand. It’s a bridge between cultures, generations, and a conduit to demonstrate traditional values in a modern era.”
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