Natural AWA (A
onders from A
frica) is a beauty brand based essentially on natural ingredients. It was born from a passion and love of nature and everything it offers, to a desire of building self-confidence and improving lives in communities.
Growing up in Senegal, in west Africa, I was naturally exposed to raw ingredients from an early age, from my grandmother’s daily rituals to my mom’s natural remedies. Natural ingredients such as shea butter, baobab fruits, and hibiscus petals, among others, were imbedded in our daily lives.
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 push me toward using 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 high school, I came to the USA for higher education. My mom would send me natural beauty ingredients from Africa and 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 be 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.
I live by these principles and I embed them to my kids to build their self-esteem so they can love and accept themselves and be empowered to accomplish anything they put their minds to.
My name is Awa Mbaye. I was born in Senegal and came in the USA to pursue higher education after graduating from high school. I earned an undergraduate degree in Business Administration and a graduate degree in Finance and worked in the Financial industry for more than 10 years. However, I always felt something was missing. As a child, I always wanted to make an impact in the world and wanted to work for organizations whose missions are to improve the lives of children or populations in need.
Today, my mission goes beyond working for those organizations. I want to have an impact on people’s lives, particularly young girls and women who lack confidence in themselves.
With a leap of faith, I embarked on a journey which combines my passion of making natural products and my desire of improving people lives. This led me to the discovery of nature’s best kept secrets.
Creating Natural AWA was a way to make people feel beautiful in their own skin by embracing their authentic beauty using only natural ingredients.
Mission and vision
Natural AWA’s mission is to help build self-confidence and communities using natural Authentic Wonders (ingredients) from Africa.
We believe in authentic beauty and want everyone to feel beautiful and confident in their own skin. Self-esteem is crucial, especially for young girls, because a lower self-esteem is a barrier to their potentials. I lacked confidence growing up and I do not want my daughter, or any young woman, to experience the same. The mission of Natural AWA is to allow young girls and women of all color to be confident in themselves and empowered to accomplish their biggest dreams.
Our vision is to build 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 incomes to these rural communities.
Africa has tremendous natural ingredients which enhance our beauty without compromising our uniqueness. This is why Natural AWA products are inspired by Africa’s best kept beauty secrets ingredients which go back to the ancient Egypt. We would like to take you on a journey of discovering nature’s best kept secrets which will enhance the beauty of your skin to make you feel confident in your own skin regardless of your skin color.
Natural AWA products are formulated with authentic, luxurious, and precious natural and organic ingredients sourced from women producers in Africa.
Africa has so much to offer and so much to give, yet there are still underserved communities. Natural AWA wants to impact those communities by ethically sourcing our ingredients and providing sustainable incomes 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.
Zero waste products
We believe in green beauty; all of our production chains have zero waste from start to finish.
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 residues are 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 repurposed.
Natural AWA’s 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 future goals are to create a foundation for the empowerment of girls and women in the USA and in Africa to help build self-confidence and break barriers. We also want to improve the lives of our producers in Africa by helping build schools, hospitals, roads, and all the necessities for a decent life.