Check Out This Tropical Beauty Brand Founded by a Certified Aromatherapist
We are elated to share an interview we conducted with Annya White, founder of NaturalAnnie Essentials, who creates safe products made in small batches.
CHECK OUT OUR INTERVIEW:
When and why did you start NaturalAnnie?
The idea for NaturalAnnie essentials came about in 2014, however I opened my online store on Etsy in 2015.
For consumers, what does it mean for you to be a certified Aromatherapist?
Being a certified aromatherapist sets me apart to my consumers as they not only see me as a mom “trying her thing”, but a mom who knows her thing, a professional. This was a very important thing for me in the beginning stages of my business, and was why I got certified. Personally I like to know that people really know what they are talking about if they are offering me something, anything! Essential oils are nothing new, but not used appropriately in terms of using the correct oils for what, or using the correct dosage, can cause more harm than good. Being certified also puts me in a better position to share with my audience what I know about oils, and teach them how they too can easily incorporate it into their daily lives.
Explain a bit more about why essential oils and herbs are the most ancient and powerful remedies?
I grew up with my grandparents and great grandmother in the very rural parts of Jamaica (I am a country girl). Back in the day when anyone would get sick, there was always some “bush” (herbs) or oil to remedy it. I remember frankincense was always in the home, and olive oil was essential. This was what they grew up on, and this was what I came to know. Herbs and oils can be traced back to the bible- so it’s really nothing new, it’s more “acceptable” and mainstream now, but the powers of herbs and oils remains the same. Crush some peppermint and put it on your temple and watch that headache go away, it worked when my grandma used to do it - and just like magic it still works today :)
What are the core ingredients for your products and where are they sourced?
Our core ingredients are essential oils - and that’s where the Essentials part of our name comes from. All our skin care products are scented with pure therapeutic grade essential oils source here in the US because they smell great and are the perfect alternative to artificial fragrances. We are also big on essential oils because not only do they smell amazing, but they offer tremendous therapeutic benefits. I like to think that my products not only makes you look and smell good, but also FEEL good.
How do you define beauty?
To me beauty is what the individual defines it to be. Beauty for me can easily mean I get 8 full hours of sleep and wake up feeling relaxed and happy. It’s a feeling one must have, a feeling that produces joy. I feel beautiful when i am well rested. I feel beautiful when I water my plants, and yes I also feel beautiful when I get dolled up!
Does being a woman of color influence your brand? Having island roots? If so, how?
Absolutely! Growing up there were very few women of color out there doing big things unapologetically. There were very few women of color doing what they really wanted to do and not what was expected (go to school, get your degree, work for a company, get married, have kids, the end.) Fast forward to today, these are exciting times and I get to inject it into my brand. There has been numerous outcries for companies to be inclusive, women of color are now demanding representation and these things matter! And I am thankful everyday to be able to be a brand that can bridge the gap and provide for my ladies.
My Island Roots is also a big influence on my brand. From the very tropical packaging to the scents. Recently my Island Vibes collection was launched and this collection was hugely inspired by my roots and the very rural Jamaican village I grew up in. You’ll find the essence of that little slice of paradise flows like a waterfall through this perfectly-curated collection of beauty treats. It is my belief that nature is beautiful, from the brown dirt, the green, to the array of colors you’ll find in flowers. Most green beauty companies will stick to the earthy stuff, but we are about the array of colors from the flowers - we love bright and colorful.
What has inspired you the most?
My work is largely inspired by plants, but my family is my greatest inspiration. When my first daughter Tiffany was born with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus, I turned to natural remedies to help her skin. This was when my creative juice started flowing again, and it brings me so much joy to create. I now have two girls, and I do all this for them. I want them to be inspired by my work and have an example of the greatness a woman of color can sprinkle into the world to make it that much greater.