Private labeling cosmetics is what I prefer to do these days. When I am asked how do you make shea butter, I always say it’s easy, go on the web there are many sites that provide tutorials. I don’t mind giving out formulas or recipes to many cosmetics, but I do draw the line when it comes to Shea Butter. I adore the entire science behind Shea Butter. In fact, Shea Butter science is my platform. I love teaching about, lecturing and bringing added value to the cosmetic industry as I travel from conference to conference, convention to convention or training other formulators. Shea Butter science is still so new in the USA. When I started out making products there was virtually nothing available on the internet or in books regarding Shea Science. Largely, most things about Shea Butter wasn’t even written about. How could such a hot commodity be so ignored? I’d later learn that it is true for many native butters, oils, herbs that are not indigenous to us, to not be studied extensively because many of these products are in poverty stricken countries. They lack the resources to make these products mainstream. Many of these oils today in these countries are still used for traditional cooking, medicines and cosmetics to a lesser degree. Since any of these are not regulated they haven’t until recently found their way into the USA. But, I have digressed.
Private labeling cosmetics gives me the benefit of helping a company or individual who may not have the experience or background that I have to create a wonderful product. The satisfaction for me is that my product is still out in the public it just doesn’t bear my name. It allows me to sit in the background and still reap the benefits especially if the company is more popular than I am. They have a farther reach in the market. My personal line is still small in comparison to others because my line of products focuses on a niche. For many, we want to see our name in the spotlight and that is good. We’ve dreamed about having our name and products in every household. To be honest, that has never been my dream. I’ve been lowkey most of my life until the last 6 years. I guess I’m a late bloomer. Traveling the country teaching and training has provided me such valuable insights. I’ve added product ingredients that I would have never personally used until someone asked me to formulate a specific product and I started researching ingredients. Private labeling broadens your scope of knowledge. When you private label a product your customer may want your formula, however, they want a variation to it. Although this may end of up as a custom new product, some of my best work has been when I tweaked one of my formulas for a private label customer.
As I have grown more experience in formulating, I much enjoy the private label side more so than my own line. I’ve tried to stay true to my brand and its simplicity. It is still made by hand and it is very much organic in the sense that I have tampered much with it. My pours are not always exact amounts. Some customers get way more product than they should. My colors may change if I’m more heavy handed on the colorant or if it the temperatures change. In times of backorders, my jars and packaging change. I even have fragrances that shift. A newly manufactured fragrance versus one that has aged for months may change the fragrance concentration of a staple product. This is the part I love about Laeh Shea. You get most of me in every product. Pure and Simple! But it works for me. My customers have come to love this about me. My customers want functionality and not a “off the assembly line” product. For them pretty packaging doesn’t equate to how they want their eczema, dry skin or problem skin repaired. They simply want a product that works.
When I private label, I don’t have the luxury to do that sometimes. Most of my private label companies want consistency over time. They desire a product that looks the same every time they purchase. I get that and truly understand it. But, consistency rarely happens if you want TRULY ORGANIC. They very nature of organic should tell one that no two are alike. I’m so sadden with the misappropriation of the word Organic. Everyone wants organic, but we still want it to look pretty or the same every time we purchase it. This is especially true for Shea Butter. Every where on the internet we see Organic Shea Butter. The truth of the matter is that the Shea trees grow in the wild, and even alongside trees that are crop dusted. How can anything be truly organic after that? Droplet are known to travel hundred to thousands of miles. So, in all honesty we can’t say organic. Additionally, some of these trees were planted twenty five to hundred of years and there is no documentation on how the tree was planted. My thinking may be extreme, but we can’t account for hundreds to thousands of miles of trees.