Awa Mbaye is the founder and CEO of Natural AWA. She is a natural beauty passionate who loves nature and has a passion for helping people in need.
She grew up in Senegal, in west Africa, where she was naturally exposed to raw ingredients from an early age, from her grandmother’s daily rituals to her mom’s natural remedies. Natural ingredients such as shea butter, baobab fruits, and hibiscus petals, among others, were embedded in her daily lives.
She came to the USA after high school for college and earned an undergraduate degree in Business Administration and a graduate degree in Finance. After 15 years of working in corporate America, she embarked on a journey which combines her passion of making natural products and her desire to improve people's lives.
She then created Natural AWA to help people love the skin they are in and celebrate their natural uniqueness regardless of their skin color. She believes in embracing our uniqueness and celebrating our authenticity by staying beautiful without using harmful chemicals on our bodies.
My passion for natural skincare started after I became self-conscious about my darker complexion. As a child, I had a bubbly personality with big dreams, but I was bullied a lot because of my darker complexion. I was told I was too dark and not beautiful. This made me lack self-confidence. I became shy and had no self-esteem, which was a major barrier in my life.
However, this did not prompt me to use skin bleaching which was, and still is, a popular practice in Senegal and in many cultures around the world which associate beauty with lighter skin color.
After I came to the USA, my mom would send me natural beauty ingredients from Africa. I was taking them for granted until I started experiencing dry, itchy, and irritated skin due to the new weather conditions I was living in. Since nothing else would work on my skin, I would make my own moisturizer using different mixtures of oils and butters. My passion for natural skincare started to grow. People complimented me about my glowing skin and my complexion. I started gaining confidence in myself by embracing my darker skin color. I realized I was beautiful just the way I was. Using natural ingredients not only made my skin smoother, softer, and more radiant, it also built my self-confidence.
Becoming a mom made me more conscious about the ingredients used in the skincare industry. I would only use natural products on my kids which made me research even more about natural ingredients. I became more passionate about natural products and enrolled in a Diploma in Natural Skincare which enabled me to professionally formulate my own products.
By creating Natural AWA, I want everyone to feel confident in their own skin and celebrate their natural uniqueness regardless of their skin color. I believe in embracing our uniqueness and celebrating our authenticity by staying beautiful without using harmful chemicals on our bodies.
Natural AWA’s mission is to help build self-confidence. We believe in authentic beauty and want everyone to feel beautiful and confident in their own skin. Self-esteem is crucial because a lower self-esteem is a barrier to any potential. Therefore our mission is to help everyone be confident and empowered to accomplish their biggest dreams.
Zero waste products
We believe in clean and green beauty. Our main ingredients are zero waste. The date of the desert can be used for an example: the pulp is used for nutritious benefits, the kernel pressed for the oil, the residue is composted and used in community gardens, and finally, the shells are used to make cooking fires by the women producers.
Natural AWA’s packaging has been carefully selected to reflect our commitment to the environment and the conservation of nature. We value the environment we live in. Our containers are made of recyclable materials such as glass, bamboo, and biodegradable paper which can be easily recycled or reused..
Our glass containers are green frosted to conserve the authenticity of the products, as they are formulated with precious and luxurious oils which are cold pressed and organic.
Our vision is to improve communities through beauty by empowering the women we work with.
Natural AWA works with different cooperatives of women from Senegal and Mauritania by providing fair trade and sustainable income to these rural communities.
Africa has so much to offer and so much to give, yet there are still underserved communities. Therefore we want to impact those communities by ethically sourcing our ingredients and providing sustainable income to the cooperatives of women so they can have decent lives with their families.
Our logo says it all. Bese saka, which means sack of cola nuts, is a West African adinkra symbol which represents abundance, togetherness, unity and how agriculture and trade bring people together. At Natural AWA, we see the world as a community and together we can impact each other’s lives and improve the world.