Shea Sisterhood: Leaving Our Handprint

What is the shea sisterhood?

In 2019 Perfectly Posh partnered with a small village in Ghana, Africa called Gizaa-Gundaa, home to more than 600 families and the majority of the sustainably sourced shea butter we use in the Posh products you enjoy pampering with. Thanks to your continued support of our sustainably sourced shea products, we were able to raise enough money to give back to the the community of Gizaa-Gundaa through the creation of the Shea Sisterhood. In March, construction was completed on a sustainable shea processing center and warehouse painted a vibrant Posh pink that provides the women who make our sustainable shea butter with necessary tools and shelter to improve production, thereby earning them better wages to support their families.

The Shea Sisterhood quadrupled the sustainable shea income of Gizaa-Gundaa in 2019. The cooperative used to sell shea nuts and butter on the open market, accepting the low prices offered. Now, they receive assured orders from Perfectly Posh, which provide stable, fair income for the women of Gizaa-Gundaa. With this increased income, women are better able to purchase food, clothing, healthcare and send their children to school.

Shalhatu is a woman impacted by a shea cooperative much like ours. We recently visited the Perfectly Posh Shea Cooperative and interviewed the women of the Shea Sisterhood directly impacted by the purchase of Posh products from customers like you.

Posh and the Global Shea Alliance

In addition to impacting household income, Perfectly Posh partners with the Global Shea Alliance to help support sustainability practices and improved work conditions.

Sustainability Practices 

  • Parkland management training

  • Partnerships to scale parkland regeneration

  • Planting of shea trees

  • Research to develop improved planting materials

  • Knowledge sharing between cooperatives

Work Conditions

  • Provide management and business training

  • Construction and donation of facilities

  • Access to pre-financing

  • Collaboration among members

  • Health and safety training and solutions

  • Donation of health and safety equipment

How Sustainable Shea Butter is Made

Step 1: Harvest

Shea nut trees, also known as the vitellaria, don't immediately produce nuts. It can take between 10 to 15 years before they start to bear fruit. The fruit must not be removed from the tree itself, but collected from the ground. These nuts are collected in large bowls or buckets and transported over what can be long distances back to the village.

Women of the Shea Sisterhood in Gizaa Gunda, Ghana harvesting shea nuts for sustainable shea butter in Perfectly Posh products
Women of the Shea Sisterhood in Gizaa Gunda, Ghana carry shea nut on their heads back to the village to make sustainable shea butter.

The funds provided by Perfectly Posh will allow the Shea Sisterhood to purchase two vehicles, allowing women in Ghana to more easily transport shea between the harvesting area and the processing center.

Step 2: Cleanse and Dry

Once the shea nuts have been harvested, they are prepared for processing. The fruit is removed in order to gain access to the shea nut. Once washed, these nuts are sorted by quality and dried out in the hot Ghanaian sun.

Women from the Shea Sisterhood in Ghana sort shea nuts in the sun to dry for sustainable shea butter.
4 women from the Shea Sisterhood sort and dry shea nuts in Ghana for sustainably sourced shea butter Perfectly Posh products.

Step 3: Roast and Mill

The nuts are then roasted over an open fire. They must be rotated to prevent the nuts from burning. The roasted nuts are then milled into a paste-like consistency. 

Perfectly Posh CEO & Founder Ann Dalton works with women of the Shea Sisterhood to roast shea nuts in Ghana.
A woman in Ghana works to grind shea nuts for sustainable shea butter used in Perfectly Posh products.

Step 4: Mix and Boil

The paste-like consistency is mixed by hand with water until the shea butter separates. This process, when done by hand, can take several hours. This raw butter is then boiled down to remove any impurities. Once it cools, it hardens into shea butter and is ready to be packaged and shipped. 

The Shea Sisterhood churns and mixes raw shea to create sustainably sourced shea butter for Perfectly Posh products.
The Shea Sisterhood mixes shea butter to separate the oil for Perfectly Posh products.
Sustainably soured shea is boiled to remove impurities in Gizaa Gunda community in Ghana.

Access to city water was made available in the Posh processing center, but city water can only be accessed one day a week. Water is an important part of the shea process. The funds provided by Perfectly Posh will allow the Shea Sisterhood to purchase water storage tanks that will allow the people of Ghana to process shea as needed.

Our Tribe, Your Tribe, Their Tribe: Ghana Influencer Event 

On June 23, 2019, six Perfectly Posh Influencers joined the women of Gizaa Gundaa in the processing of sustainable shea. This is what some of the attendees had to say about their experience with the Shea Sisterhood:

I spent a week in Ghana. It was hot and uncomfortable. I was there as part of a very small, select group chosen to participate in the making of shea butter alongside the Gizaa Gundaa community Perfectly Posh adopted.

I don’t know how to put into words what this experience has done for me. I don’t know that I’ll be able to truly define it, maybe ever. What I DO KNOW is that I have been forever changed by it. The love, joy, and happiness I felt on this trip is indescribable. It’s magic. Pure, true magic of the human spirit.

I’ve said for a long time that this little “side gig” of mine is so much more than just soap and lotion. It’s always been about changing lives. It takes a miracle to move mountains, but it only takes one person, doing one small thing, to start creating a miracle. 

–Robyn Darby

The women of Gizaa Gundaa were warm, kind, hospitable hosts. I was honored to have spent time working with them, spending time in their community, and learning about their livelihood and culture. 

–Gillian Rodgers

To say this trip has been life changing is an understatement. I had such an amazing experience in Ghana. I am so thankful to work for Perfectly Posh, a company that does so much good globally. Not very many people get to have an experience like this. I am forever grateful for every one I get. 

–Adam Scott

Perfectly Posh sustainably sourced shea butter products with proceeds going to the Shea Sisterhood Co-Op in Ghana.

Shea and Perfectly Posh Products

Perfectly Posh offers over 40 products made with shea and 30 of them come from sources that support women’s cooperatives. This means when you buy sustainable shea products from Perfectly Posh, you are supporting the business of women in Africa through the Shea Sisterhood. 

In addition, Perfectly Posh offers three products containing a donation that goes directly toward supporting future Shea Sisterhood initiatives in the community of Gizaa-Gundaa.

Giant Healer™ Skin Stick 

Love, protect, and calm skin with the BIG version of our favorite Skin Stick. Shea is known to calm, soothe, nourish, and protect more gently than just about any other ingredient Mother Nature put on our planet. $3 from the purchase of each Giant Healer is donated directly to the Shea Sisterhood in Gizaa-Gundaa.

Always Ghana Love You™ Shea Butter Bath Bar

A luxurious bath bar experience featuring a ridiculously high 25% shea butter from our Shea Sisterhood. Enjoy luxuriously pampered skin while you help build businesses across the globe. $1 from the purchase of Always Ghana Love You Chunk is donated directly to the Shea Sisterhood in Gizaa-Gundaa. 

Tribe Vibe™ Chunk Big Bath Bar

Traditional African black soap made with love and 25% shea butter from our Shea Sisterhood Co-op to provide an experience that is as good for your skin as it is for your soul. $1 from the purchase of Tribe Vibe is donated directly to the Shea Sisterhood in Gizaa-Gundaa.