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Shea Terra Organics

American Made Since 2000

Tammie Umbel

Sterling, Virginia
Mom of 14 creates natural skin care line to make women feel beautiful while helping save African wildlife habitats and women survivors of rape.
Style, Beauty

Tell us about your business.

Shea Terra Organics was founded in 2000 by mom of now 14. We manufacture high quality, natural and wild sourced skin care products in the US by teaming up with community projects throughout Africa. I wanted to create jobs in my community while helping those in living in the most destitute, impoverished conditions. Our powerful skin care products have helped countless women, teenagers and men feel good about themselves. Our beauty secrets, many straight off a tree, have gotten rid of acne, controlled rosacea and made people look younger than ever. Our customers feel good knowing that while they are improving their self confidence their purchases are also giving economic opportunities to some of the world's poorest people while giving them economic incentive to preserve their dwindling environments.

Tell us about your workspace, shop, or studio.

My husband and I make our famous Black Soap Wash in our warehouse right outside the Dulles Airport. I have trained my other workers in the craft of making lotions and creams.

What inspires you?

Making the world a better place. We really can, you know? I believe that we can improve every community for the better without taking away from another.

What makes your business stand out?

There are several things that make my business stand out. First off, I started my company as a mother of seven children. I now am mom to 14. I don't brag about how many children I have. It is not a competition. But I choose to use this information to let women know that they are more powerful and capable than they think. I want to see women stand on their feet, chase their dreams, and never give up. The next way that Shea Terra Organics stands out is my business model promoting how two communities can best work together to create a better world. The ingredients that I promote from Africa truly help communities. There are no American equivalents. However, I am dedicated to using these ingredients to create American made goods. It is a win win situation for both communities. My model also helps to educate others and to build understanding and compassion. And other countries like China and Korea love to sell our American made goods.

What advice would you give an aspiring creative entrepreneur?

First off. Don't waste your time. Bounce your ideas off others and if they don't think its out of this world then rethink it. Secondly, you can do it. But it takes round the clock dedication and you simply can't give up. If you give up you have failed by default.

What does American Made mean to you?

When I started Shea Terra Organics the US economy was booming. There was so much wealth exchanging hands. This was not the case in Africa where infant mortality rate is staggeringly high. I wanted to do something for those who had little opportunities. At the same token, I am a firm believer of local economy. I believe that every local economy should work toward better servicing its own needs. I believed that if I was going to import ingredients from African projects to help them help themselves, and then sell these products in America, then these products should be made in America. I promote the importance of African local economy, Chinese local economy, and I emphasize the importance of American local economy. We manufacture all of our own final products from creams, to lotions to soaps. And I source as many of our supplies made in the US as possible. This includes our bottles, labels, etc.

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