The roots of The Shea Company's story are in Mali, West Africa. It is here in a Women's Co-operative, in the village of Fourou, 6 hours drive from the capital Bamako, is where all the shea butter that is the primary ingredient in our balm is hand made.
Paul and Richard, our two founders, first found the the co-operative whilst spending time in the area whilst working on other projects. In a part of the world where paid work is typically scarce, providing employment had an incredible impact on the local community.
Native to West Africa, the shea tree is harvested for it's nuts and the yield has been used for a source of food, medicine, and skin care in the area for centuries. The women of the co-operative gather together to process the nuts into raw shea butter which is used in a myriad of ways by women, men and on babies for skin healing, protection and beauty.
Paul and Richard have since become involved in Solar Home Systems installations to further support the co-operative's members and the surrounding Fourou community. These systems are a specific, targeted and massively impactful means of improving quality of life in a very underdeveloped community.
To date,150 units have been installed and are change lives by providing lighting to cook under light, lighting for children's education, energy for phone charging and many other applications. The technology was unheard of there until very recently and we're excited to be helping.
As our business grows we will continue to support development of the community and to obtain our main ingredient from communities where we can provide the greatest help. We will keep our customers posted here as part of Our Story.