Congratulations Essie & Nyakio!

In the November 2017 issue of Essence magazine, SheaMoisture fellows Essie Bartell and Nyakio Grieco were named Small Business Owners to Watch. Both women were 2016 SheaMoisture Community Commerce fellows and fully funded by Sundial Brands to attend Dartmouth’s Minority Business Executive program. We congratulate them for being named to this inspiring list of entrepreneurs, and join Essence readers in watching their businesses’ success.

Essie Bartels, EssieSpice

For one little girl, the journey started in her mother’s tiny kitchen in Ghana where her love affair with spice was ignited. Her flavorful journey continued all over the globe, spurred by her insatiable appetite for travel. She played with exotic palates; she tested cuisines, she concocted condiments. As her experiments with spices grew, so did the demand for her homemade sauces which all boiled down to what you now find in her jars: bottled-up joy handed down through three generations to spice up your life. That little girl was Essie, and she’s now serving up Essiespice.

Nyakio Grieco

Nyakio Kamoche Grieco is the founder of nyakio, a collection of prestige skincare products inspired by beauty secrets she discovered through her family, friends and world travels. Nyakio is a first-generation American of Kenyan descent.

Her beauty journey started when she was a young girl visiting her grandmother, a coffee farmer, in Kenya, who taught Nyakio her first beauty secret – to exfoliate dry skin using coffee beans and sugarcane. She was inspired and influenced not only by her namesake paternal grandmother, but also her maternal grandfather, a medicine man, who extracted oils from natural resources to treat the skin.

Her interest in beauty, coupled with a yearning to be an entrepreneur, prompted Nyakio to thoroughly research the cosmetics industry, leading her to the realization that while many cultures were represented, the sophistication of Africa was missing. She decided to not only fill the void in the market, but also honor her heritage by bottling Africa’s timeless beauty traditions, as well as traditions from across Asia, Europe and India.

Nyakio partnered with Sundial Brands, a leading skincare and haircare manufacturer renowned for its innovative use of high-quality, culturally authentic natural ingredients, to develop her skincare line and bring global beauty secrets of natural ageless beauty to the U.S. market. Shop her collections at Ulta Beauty.

Essence Magazine

November 2017 Issue