Shea Sisterhood: Leaving Our Handprint
In 2019 Perfectly Posh adopted a small village in Ghana, Africa called Gizaa Gundaa; home to more than 600 families. In March, construction was completed on a shea processing center and warehouse painted a vibrant Posh pink.
The Shea Sisterhood quadrupled the 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 meet the needs of their families. They can 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 directly impacted by the purchase of Posh products by our customers.
In addition to impacting household income, Perfectly Posh partners with the Global Shea Alliance to help support sustainability practices and improved work conditions.
Parkland management training
Partnerships to scale parkland regeneration
Planting of shea trees
Research to develop improved planting materials
Knowledge sharing between cooperatives
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
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.
*The bonus provided by Perfectly Posh will allow the cooperative to purchase two vehicles that will allow them to 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.
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.
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.
*Access to city water was made available with the building of the processing center. City water can only be accessed one day a week. Water is an important part of the shea process. The bonus provided by Perfectly Posh will allow the cooperative to purchase water storage tanks that will allow them to process shea when 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 shea. This is what some of the attendees had to say:
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.
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.
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.
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 shea products from Perfectly Posh, you are supporting the business of women in Africa.
In addition, Perfectly Posh offers three products containing a donation that goes directly toward supporting future initiatives in our community 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 our community in Gizaa Gundaa.
Always Ghana Love You™ CHUNK 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 our community in Gizaa Gundaa.
Tribe Vibe™ CHUNK 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 our community in Gizaa Gundaa.