The Shea Butter Story
My name is Gifty Serbeh-Dunn, I was born in Ghana West Africa. An invitation to Canada to visit family friends turned into a very long stay. When I arrived in Ottawa in 1981, I had no idea what life had in store for me. A month after I got to Ottawa, there was a military coup in my home which turned out to be violent. My family decided that it was best for me to remain in Canada. I did a year of High School and completed my post secondary education at Carleton University. It was four years after I arrived in Ottawa before I could return to visit my family. The separation always kept me yearning for home. I resolved to move back after graduate school, to work on women and children’s issues. I visited home as often as I could during my university years.
My plans to return home took another unexpected turn- I met and married Wayne who is Canadian and plans changed. In my heart and mind, the change was going to be temporary but I was wrong. We decided to move to British Columbia, landed in Mill Bay on Vancouver Island which I now call home. It is a home filled with much noise, joy and laughter as our 12 year old son, Kabore is an avid hockey player. He enjoys having his friends over to shoot pucks. We also have a 3 year old Rhodesian ridgeback who likes to chase and play with the boys. He is the four legged team mate in the mini hockey games.
My desire to work on women and children issues in Ghana was reignited 10 years ago when I visited my family, brought along a great deal of gifts and was told by some of the women elders that I didn’t need to bring them gifts, but to create work for them. I quickly assured them that the request would be impossible for me to fulfill. I didn’t think that I could create work for women in Northern Ghana from Mill Bay, Vancouver Island. However, a seed was planted and when I noticed that shea butter was becoming popular in North America, I found the answer. How you might ask?
Most of the women in my community make shea butter; if I sold shea butter then I would be able to create work for them. I discussed the idea with my husband who was incredibly supportive. I set into motion a shea butter import business and was incredibly disappointed with lack of significant sales. My husband advised me to create a line of skin care products; I enlisted the help of an aroma therapist friend who taught me how to make products using shea butter and essential oils. With the new skills in product formulation, Shea Butter Market was launched.
We purchase bulk shea butter directly from women’s groups in Ghana and work in partnership with them on various development projects. Our beautiful line of shea butter products are sold in Health Food Stores, on BC Ferries and online at www.sheabuttermarket.com. Although, I don’t physically live in Ghana, my dream of making a difference in the lives of women and children in Ghana is being realized in more ways than I could have imagined!
Have you Ever Tried Shea Butter?
Disclosure: Journeys of The Zoo did not receive any compensation in exchange for sharing this company with you.
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