My dream is to make people feel good about themselves. Cancer is not a full stop.
On 2 June 2012, I was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia and had to go through several doses of chemotherapy, total body radiation and a bone marrow transplant on 16 May 2013. My skin was damaged; my hair and nails fell out. I found myself with very dry, sensitive and itchy skin and nothing safe enough to use. Some companies used the natural ingredients all right but added artificial preservatives to increase the shelf life. The problem I found was that the preservatives were harsh on my already damaged skin and came with a long list of side effects.
That was when I decided to put my knowledge of natural ingredients to use.
I spent my recovery time creating things to heal myself. This meant that I carefully looked into the ingredients and considered the benefits for my skin. Every single ingredient has been carefully thought about and as the products were for my use, I sourced the very best with no expense spared.
With time, my body gradually healed and my confidence level grew too. People were commenting on my skin and asking what I was using. Sometimes I would share my products and watch them in amusement when they asked where they could buy. One query led to another and I realised that people who were going through cancer treatment needed something just for them to fix their skin concerns.
Growing up in Nigeria, I was surrounded by exotic plants that produced the most beautiful flowers, fruit trees that filled the air with the scent of ripe mangos, wide open spaces and a lot of love. It's a combination that gives a 7 year old plenty of room to get up to mischief! After many a game with my brother under the hot sun ended with my skin burnt, my knees scraped and my ego bruised, my grandmother would tend to me with Shea butter, Neem oil, Aloe vera and a hug.
I grew up and moved continents but the love for green spaces and nature's remedies remained strong. As did my curiosity. Before long, I was making my own soaps and potions for friends, family and just about anyone who would give them a try!
Today, after many years spent honing my craft, I would like to share with you the one thing that I am most passionate about – luxurious, natural skincare – named after the one person who's inspired that passion most: my grandmother, Etie’no. Now my brand.
Etie’no's good gift to me was her passion for transforming the plants that grew around us into soothing butters, healing oils and moisturising soaps.
My good gift to you is to add to her knowledge a little science and a lot of attention to detail so that you can be sure every product is not only made with love but with care for the environment and communities.
To discover the Etie'no range please visit the website