My journey in African Soap making, "Kiffy Naturals"
Updated: Mar 23, 2021
Geat advice, ideas and links to amazing groups you can join in your soap making journey.
My name is Kafayat Oyeniyi and I am a plant lover and a lover of nature. I'm from Africa, so I believe in the empowerment of African women by buying African black soap, cocoa butter and shea butter to help raise their standard of living. I am a stay at home mum of five, and a creative research mixologist at "kiffynaturals" where we create handcrafted bath body and haircare products with herbs backed by science and locally sourced raw materials from Africa.
How I got started on my Journey?
My mum had a super sensitive skin when I was growing up, and she had to use expensive imported olive oil soap bar that was not made in Africa.
"I promised myself that when I grow up, I will develop something natural & locally made by myself to help her (mom) as a soap and moisturizer."
I was able to achieve that dream in 2015, Alhamdulilah Robil alamin. I also happen to have three daughters with a 4c hair (tightly coiled strands that are more fragile and have a very tight zig-zag pattern that is sometimes indiscernible to the eye) and as a covered muslimah, we couldn't just go to any conventional salon outside to make the African weaves and haircare. I had to come up with products that will make our hair healthy and grow despite being covered.
If there is one thing I've have discovered about formulating handmade soap and cosmetics, it is that when you are agitated or psychologically unfit you can't be productive. I had a lot on my mind on that particular day and I decided to make soap to calm myself as my usual therapy. But because I wasn't settled, I got the calculations wrong and had to trash all of it afterwards. Subsequently, I have learned my lesson and I always advice my students to be calm while creating their products.
DAILY MANTRA: "Yes, I can do it!"
If people have believed in me and I delivered, then I can believe in myself.
You are beautiful just the way you are. You are just a creature under the command of a creator, so why not take your matters and entrust it in his hands.
You need to have passion and love for what you're about to venture into. When the chips are down, and revenue dwindles, the love for what you do and the lives you have impacted keeps you going.
How I test my soap products!
Converting a new idea takes a minimum of two years, from the conceptualization stage, to formulation, to batch testing, and compatibility with the human skin. Once I have a new idea, I try to research natural plant matter that will be beneficial to that idea. I look at research that has already been done and backed by science. Then I look at different suitable ways to adapt it into a product and make several batches to perform stability test. I have to first to see if my preservative system is intact. I proceed to use it on my skin first for about a year before sending out free samples, getting feedback, and getting back to the drawing board to finalize the idea.
Then comes brain storming on name for the product, what packaging will suit the products. Because I work with essential oils that can't be exposed to direct sunlight, I need to find packaging that do not lose their healing potency.
Best places to join for more inspiration in soap making.
I am a versatile researcher, so I have lots of places I learn from and get my inspiration.
Being a member of the handmade soap and cosmetic guild of the USA for 3 years, has really given me a good support system of like-minded individuals that I can rely on.
Amy wardens soap challenge club is also an awesome learning resource for soap makers.
Kennas modern soap making has given me lots if resources and ideas to boost my soap making knowledge.
Soap fanatics on Instagrams offers great marketing ideas for soap makers too.
Modern medicine started from research in plants. Trust nature to have answers to skin and haircare issues. It all began with nature, and that is where the world is coming back to.
Get in contact with Kufayat by followng her on instagram @kiffynaturalsusa
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