Name: Makeba Guilan Lloyd AKA Keba Guilan
Brand: Butter By Keba
Hometown: Harlem, NYC
What motivated you to start Butter by Keba?
I needed a product that would work well on my legs through the winter months. I couldn’t find anything that worked well after a day in the cold and smelled amazing all day. So, I recreated a homemade product that was given to me as a gift, adjusted the formula and added the perfumery component to it so that I could also wear it as a fragrance. My coworkers loved the product and told me it would be selfish to keep it all to myself. So, I branded it and started selling at local farmer’s markets, fairs and online.
What would you consider your hero product from your brand?
The body butter hands down, hence the name Butter By Keba ;-)
What standards/non-negotiables do you take into consideration when thinking about enhancing or developing new products?
They must be paraben, sulfate and phthalate free, plant based and as clean as possible. And, incorporate an aromatic synergy of essential oils.
What do you think are some of the biggest challenges for "beauty/wellness" brands today?
Getting exposure to new customers and educating the consumer. There are so many options on the market but we may learn about just a few at a time. There are also many modalities when we think of wellness and beauty so we need to pick one and figure out a way to educate our customer about the benefits within very short stints of time. There is so much information being fed to us so grabbing and keeping the customers attention is paramount which can be very challenging. You have to me “on” 24/7.
What has been one of your proudest moments since creating Butter by Keba?
I had my biggest month ever in December 2016 when I did a radio spot on the Tom Joyner Morning Show with Jacque Reid for her “In Her Story” segment. Jacque has been a loyal customer for over 10 years. She called me the night before to ask if I would come on the show to share some tips on how to start a home-based online business. I thought “sure, how easy can that be”? Well, I forgot that TJMS is nationally syndicated with over 6 million listeners. We received so many orders I thought my website would crash. But, it didn’t. We filled every order and retained a good portion of those customers even though it took 4-6 weeks for us to ship every order. That experience taught me so many lessons.
What can we expect in the future from Butter by Keba?
When covid19 hit I started making aromatic hand sanitizer because I could not find any at the local drug stores. I used aromatherapy skills I had just learned after taking a certification course at the School of Aromatic Studies formerly the New York School of Aromatic Studies. I would like to continue to use those skills to formulate products that will assist us with keeping our nasal passageways clear of microbes and bacteria thus making it more difficult for airborne pathogens to hide out and make us sick. Aromatherapy is a wonderful modality for doing just that.
What advice would you give customers who want to make the most out of your brand?
Combine product categories and fragrances to create your own unique signature scent while leveling up your moisturizing regimen. I like to do this myself. My favorite combination right now (because I have so many, lol) is my Citruese Bath Salt Scrub in the shower. After I towel dry and lightly lather with my Green Tea Lotion, add a light layer of Georgia Tea Body Butter and finish that off with a few spritzes of our Citruese Organic Travel Cologne. Talk about an experience and the people around you will love you more! Everyone loves the smell of a sweet treat.
How do you start your day?
I give thanks for the light in my life and ask for light to shine in places where there is darkness. Then I start my self-care regimen in the bathroom which includes a nice shower. My mailman usually arrives just after that to pick up orders. Next stop, the kitchen for a huge fruit salad and then I get my work day started.
Do you have a morning/evening ritual?
I burn Paolo Santo morning and evening. I also do Qi Gong movements. It’s a type of Tai Chi .
What is your daily skincare routine?
Face - I wash with PCA pigment bar, it’s the best. Then, raw aloe plant, 3 drops of hyaluronic acid or vitamin c and 3 drops of some kind of face oil (right now I’m using Glow by Brown Girl Jane) then a smear of SPF.
Body - Scrub every 2-3 days and lotion / butter every day
Do you have a daily wellness routine?
Yes, I’m big on elimination. It’s the most crucial part of my day. I drink teas and take magnesium and flaxseed at night to make sure I completely eliminate just about everything I ate the day before. I awake around 5am to start this process. I think America is probably the most constipated nation in the world. Our toilets are poorly designed and we gawk at the idea of spending quality time to go to the bathroom. We’re not given enough time in the morning to do so because we’re always rushing off to school and work. And, once we’re there God forbid we spend more than 15 mins on the toilet before someone is sent in to make sure we’re okay. The fact that we have been home quarantining over the last 6 months is a very good thing. I hope people were able to repair their digestive systems during this time. Disease starts in the gut. The more we eliminate, the healthier we’ll be.
What is a beauty product or tool you can’t live without?
My body butter... seriously. If it weren’t for my coworker, I’d still be making it just for me.
What do you do for R&R when you need to reboot?
I used to travel. I still do... well in my head... haha. I actually took a short trip to the Vineyard last month. It was on my list of ways to de-quarantine safely while getting adapting to our “new normal”. It was well needed and quite relaxing. I have a trip to Aruba on standby until after this crazy election. I enjoy dance (afro beats all day) and a comfy robe. I also commit to a serious work out called RokMil fitness 4 times a week. It really helps keep my head clear so that I can sleep deeply at night.
What are your must haves when traveling?
I always bring a kaftan, a sarong to lay over the bed, my body butter and Paolo Santo.
What selfcare advice would you have given yourself 5 years ago?
Take more trips around the world.
Do you have any beauty/wellness advice for our followers?
Drink as much water as your stomach can take. Give yourself enough time in the morning to sit on the royal throne. If your money is tight and you can’t afford that favorite face serum cut open an aloe plant and smear it on your face. It’s magical. Use oil based, waterless moisturizers (like Butter By Keba) on your body right after the shower. Your skin will thank you.