Self-care is at a premium during the pandemic, and one woman-owned business is leaning into that truth with a line of small-batch soaps, butters, scrubs and bath products made with pure ingredients.
Havilah Asher is the founder and visionary beyond Boujee Bar Skincare, with products distributed locally in the Cincinnati area and nationally through e-commerce. But before she was an entrepreneur, she was a consumer in search of products to address her own skin concerns.
“My job at the time was like a bit stressful,” she explains. “I was dealing with acne and eczema and was trying to develop something to minimize the effects. I started dabbling in soapmaking and then later essential oils, and it evolved from there.”
The DIY products worked, and Asher became a believer in the power of clean ingredients to nourish the body and soul. Seeing her passion and enthusiasm blossom, her friends and family quickly backed her efforts.
Soon her hobby turned into a full-blown business and her support network only strengthened. Asher formally launched in January 2020, right before the pandemic took hold. The timing was impeccable, with more people spending time at home and experimenting with beauty rituals. In fact, some industry experts are wondering if our relationship with skincare will be forever changed.
Pandemic or not, Asher says her brand was founded on the belief that self-care is essential. The brand’s name is a nod to that sentiment, but there’s more to it than face value.
“It’s not just skincare,” she says. “It’s a form of personal mental health care. “I’m always encouraging people to support themselves in that way. Boujee was born because I wanted to encourage women in particular to indulge in luxury as a form of self-care.”
Her products are one means to that end. Asher says they’re more than just aesthetically pleasing, Instagram eye candy. They’re effective, too, because she refuses to compromise on the quality of the ingredients. You’ll find organic coconut oil, rich olive oil, and West African shea butter, to name a few. This is in contrast to a lot of beauty products on the market that contain harsh chemicals.
So what’s next for this ambitious founder? In the short term, she’s working on the release of her March collection. Looking past that, she says she’d like to hire more people and get a distribution facility to help her scale.