buttrmlk is on a mission to share a little piece of Ghana with the world.
It was back in 2019 that Vania Raquel (a Toronto-based artist and professional dancer) ventured out to Ghana and discovered a natural resource that would be the perfect ingredient for an independent skincare brand she was working on.
“During my trip, I noticed how accessible shea butter was to me which helped me make the decision to base my brand around that ingredient.”
Being of mixed race, Vania was also eager to experience and share a part of her African culture with others, while delivering an amazing product.
“Through buttrmlk, I want to highlight the natural resources in Ghana and their value. Shea is a world renowned natural moisturizer that is loved and adored for its properties. Giving all respect to the source, I want people to enjoy the natural benefits of this amazing butter.”
With the pandemic further inspiring Vania to launch her own e-commerce business to work for herself, Vania had buttrmlk in the works by January 2020 and officially launched the brand in March 2021.
“It was an easy start to buttrmlk, I have always taken pride in my skin health and routine so it aligned with me naturally. Starting buttrmlk gave me insight into the type of life I wanted, I am proud that I was able to give myself that opportunity.”
What research did you engage in to develop your skincare products?
The research and development stage consisted of what ingredients work well together with shea butter, base formulas for body butters, lip moisturizers etc. Aside from formulas, packaging research was a focus as well, seeing what style was best for each product and what type of packaging consumers liked best.
What makes buttrmlk different from other skincare brands?
What sets buttrmlk apart from other brands in skincare is, you know exactly where the ingredients are coming from, its place of origin providing authenticity to the consumer. Our minimal ingredients and all natural formulas are loved by our consumers because of their simplicity and effectiveness.
What do you love most about being an entrepreneur/small business owner?
I love seeing the vision I had on paper come to life and thrive and as a woman of colour it feels empowering to own and run a business independently.
Anyone in particular who has inspired you along this journey?
Shannon Whelan, creator and founder of Euclid Farms has been a mentor of mine for many years. She has always been there for me helping me handle any questions or concerns about business and how to scale and grow effectively.
What’s some great feedback you’ve received from customers so far?
Our customer base is extremely satisfied with the formulas and their versatility. The branding has been a huge success as well which is something many consumers factor in when purchasing.
Future plans for buttrmlk?
Expansion, expansion, expansion. Over the next few years I want to expand the product offerings to include a variety of bath and body goods. I would also like to expand into other retailers to reach a wider consumer base.