Shenell Bolden has successfully created products that you don’t normally see many African Americans creating “vegan friendly” skin and hair products. This visionary scientist and entrepreneur has created products that are so user friendly that her clientele includes pregnant women, brides, and people with allergies. She is hoping to expand her clientele to potential male clientele, because her products are for all people that want to use organic products. I had a chance to sit down with Shenell to interview her about her skin care line. I was surprised by the interview. At the end, I thought about how Shenell reminded me of a modern day George Washington Carver. However, you read the interview and tell me what you think.
Tiffany: What is your background?
S.B.: I am a Biologist by trade with degrees in Biology and Molecular Biology, Biochemistry and Bioinformatics. Surprisingly, I am not a vegetarian. I love my veggies, but every now and then I do partake in a steak and potatoes! However, I also understand the need for good skin care products that are not animal based and I celebrate that. I believe in these products. So much so that two years ago I stopped using store bought lotion. Aside from customer testimonials my own hair and skin are in living color proof that these products work.
Tiffany: How did you come up with the idea to create a vegan friendly skin care line?
S.B.: Actually, “The Sweetest Serendipity” was birthed after years of concocting my own recipes for creams and oils for myself. I found it extremely frustrating going to the store to purchase extremely expensive “all natural” products only to discover after reading the ingredient label that these products weren’t all natural at all. Some of the active ingredients in our soaps and lotions that we use daily contain the same active ingredients as the household cleaners that we use to scour and degrease our kitchens and bathrooms.
So, I started mixing specific oils that I liked and then blending fragrances to them for special occasions, etc. When I started making soaps, my friends wanted to try them out. Eventually, they convinced me that I should start selling them and now I am the founder of my own company. One day, I hope to open The Sweetest Serendipity salon and day spa. A place where you can come to purchase my products for home use or plan a day of pampering for yourself, mom, bridal party’s, couples, etc. naturally.
Tiffany: What are your best sellers?
S.B.: Although my personal favorite TSS product is the lip balm, the most popular products are the Honey Oatmeal soap bar with the body scrub coming in at a close second. The Honey Oatmeal soap has real oats that exfoliate the skin as well as honey and essential oils like coconut oil and shea butter to moisturize the skin leaving it soft and supple after each use. The scrub aptly named “Scrub-a-Dub-Dub” is great for all skin types but I get kudos from customers with eczema, especially in the winter time when skin is most vulnerable to dryness. Not only is this scrub a great exfoliant, customers who use this product love the fact that they do not need to use lotion after showering. Ladies love the smooth and silky feeling they get when they use the scrub after shaving.
Tiffany: Are you developing any other products?
S.B.: Yes, I have recently received an inquiry about creating a medicated lip balm for extremely chapped lips, dryness from winter winds, and protection from the summer sun. I look forward to this challenge because it is a customer idea so I know that the product will be well received and appreciated.
I am also working on creating a TSS body wash. Solid soap bars have been very kind to me. However, I haven’t quite mastered the liquid soap recipe and that has also been a customer request. My husband has been the guinea pig of past endeavors but it is not quite ready for the public. Be on the lookout for it in the future!
Tiffany: Where can we purchase your products?
By: Tiffany A. Flowers