Astrida Naturals: A Plant Based Brand Of Botanical Cleansers & Moisturizers
We sat down with Maia Singletary, founder of Astrida Naturals to chat about her amazing botanical beauty brand:
When and why did you start Astrida? The name means “Of divine beauty and strength” – In what language? How does that compliment your brand?
Astrida Naturals started as a side project. I was 100% all in with bookselling when the idea came about. My family owned an African American bookstore and I started looking for natural skin care products we could feature as counter purchases inside the store.
I came across unrefined shea butter and fell in love with all its amazing benefits, but I couldn't find anything that was elegantly packaged, not refined with chemical additives and also smelled great. Having a background in design, I decided to create my own and Astrida Naturals grew from there.
The name Astrida has Norse origins and the beautiful simplicity of the name really spoke to me. It’s also a slight nod to the minimalistic Scandinavian aesthetic I was really digging at the time.
How do you define beauty?
Beauty is about acceptance and being at peace with who you are. Seeing beauty is often a choice. Once you decide to see it, it’s everywhere.
How do you define sustainability?
For me, sustainability is about ethical sourcing ingredients in a way that doesn’t harm the environment now or in the future.
What are the core ingredients for your products and where are they sourced?
Unrefined shea butter is the hero ingredient in our line and it’s sourced from Ghana. I love it because of it’s versatility. We also feature active botanicals and essential oils very extensively. Everything is plant based and ethically sourced.
Do you see a shift of natural beauty brands? Do you see advancements in the conscious beauty industry as a whole?
I’m excited to see that natural beauty brands are starting to move away from fear based marketing to more positive and uplifting messages. I think this trend will continue as consumers are starting to get turned off by the strong negative tactics of the past. The conscious beauty buyer today is much more informed than she was 5 years ago. We can’t continue to scare her into making better choices. Education is better received when it’s not so preachy.
Does being a woman of color influence your brand? If so, how?
While I don’t specifically target my product branding towards women of color, by being African American myself, I think it can’t help but to have some influence on the products themselves. For example, I’m often looking to formulate products that solve skin care problems I’ve experienced, like hyperpigmentation, that can be more common amongst African Americans. But you don’t have to be African American to suffer from this common issue. At the end of the day, I formulate to solve specific skin problems as naturally as I can for any ethnicity.
What has inspired you the most?
I’m inspired by my customer’s stories and testimonials. When someone tells me that I product I created has completely turned their skin around it’s the best feeling ever. Knowing that I can help even one person feel more comfortable and beautiful means the world to me and keeps me going through business highs and lows.
What has been your greatest achievement thus far?
Getting accepted into Whole Foods Market was a very proud moment. I walked into a local buying event with a few products, a linesheet and my awkward personality. I expected a lot of hoop jumping to get on the shelves but we seemed to be exactly what they were looking for at the time. They accepted Astrida Naturals on the spot.