Beauty Entrepreneur Creates Organic Collection Drawing Inspiration From Her East African Heritage

With the triggering consciousness of people about health and wellness within the U.S., a new wave of companies have been born promising to only use natural ingredients that promise to yield better results and be healthier for your overall well-being. Two working mothers decided to come together and create a new beauty brand focusing on prioritizing your self-care.

Selam Kelati is the co-founder of 1+1 Botanicals, with Jennifer Culpepper, the founder and creative director of Brant Joint, an award-winning branding studio designing for the cannabis and hemp industries. Inspired by her East African heritage, Kelati was determined to create products good for the body and the soul.

“We wanted to create a company that made a positive impact in the world. But primarily, we wanted to create products WE wanted to use,” said Kelati in an email interview with Black Enterprise. “We developed the I+I beauty brand due to a lack of practical and natural skincare products. As working mothers, we understand the unique pressures on women. We are often the caretakers, nurturers, healers, problem-solvers for everyone in our lives.”

“That does not leave much in the tank for our own well-being. One way we aim to help is by creating products that are simple to use and blend easily into a busy daily routine,” she explained.“In addition, the products are created to provide an uplifting experience with subtle aromas from natural (and organic) essential oils, and a luxurious feel on the skin. To develop each of our products, we tapped into our ancestors and the known benefits of amazing essential oils. We incorporated our generational family secrets that incorporated the use of natural ingredients to develop I+I healthy skincare products.”

Kelati says she draws inspiration for her products from the natural remedies and herbs used by her own family in their daily routines. She learned about the benefits of different medicinal plants and oils and makes sure to use them in her products without the use of harsh chemicals. “Every ingredient is meticulously researched—and that includes how and where it is sourced. Our ingredients are organic, non-GMO, and gluten-free. We do not allow the use of any toxins, harmful chemicals, artificial dyes or fragrances in our products,” says Kelati. 

“We believe in transparency, so the quality of our ingredients and the reputation of our suppliers were extremely high on our list…Each of our products is infused with lab-tested and American grown hemp-derived CBD…Through our products, we are encouraging positivity and self-love. Self-care is a necessity and not simply a luxury.”

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