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New Beauty Product for Women of Color, Y.A.M. by Bekura Beauty

With so many hair and beauty products on the market specifically targeted to women of color, it's hard to figure out what works--especially when you're browsing the endless choices at your favorite drugstore or beauty supply store.  Well, a new product to consider is the Southern cuisine-inspired Y.A.M. Nectar Hydrating Hair Nourisher ($20) from Bekura Beauty. The product line was founded in 2011 by Rashida Jefferson, and we chatted with Rashida about her mission to promote more "me-time moments."

Bekura Beauty founder, Rashida Jefferson.
When did you start Bekura Beauty, and what inspired you to start your own hair, bath and body product line?

I launched Bekura Beauty in July of 2011 under the name, "b.a.s.k. beauty."  The idea to create a spa collection was inspired by my love of traveling and getting pampered at destination day spas.  I would visit these beautiful, serene resorts, but didn't quite benefit fully from the treatments as they were designed. Most didn't cater to my particularly drier skin and textured hair. I would make requests like, "Could you add a little coconut milk to that?" or "Please leave out the clay for my treatment."  After enough trips and special requests, I started playing around with ingredient blends and began making my own DIY treatments at home. Using culinary ingredients from the gourmet food market, I put my own spin on some of the native spa treatments I'd experienced.

What's the significance of the name, Bekura Beauty?   

The word Kura is Polynesian for "treasure."  In thinking about the Bekura woman, we thought about the "always on" girl who's treasured by her friends and loved ones, but who makes it a point to pamper and take care of herself, too. 

What distinguishes Y.A.M. and your other products from other products, especially hair care products made marketed to African-American women?

Our products - specifically within our hair collection - are what I call "indulgent spa treats" for textured hair.  We craft them with authentic, concentrated ingredients such as pure cocoa absolutes, vanilla bean infusions, and even premium whiskey! Like rich desserts, you wouldn't indulge in Bekura's treats on a daily basis like you would the regular maintenance and styling products found in most natural hair brands.  We encourage our customers to maintain their daily regimen, but to also take some time out once in awhile to truly pamper their tresses with our unique treatment products. 

What's the most rewarding thing about having your own business?

The most rewarding thing is being able to use my business as a platform to encourage women to set aside more "me-time" moments. Between the demands of work, motherhood and community involvement, we just don't pamper ourselves enough. My long-term goal with Bekura is to spread that message of encouragement to the overworked and under-pampered (I made that word up!) woman, through partnerships with brands and individuals who value leisure as much as we do. 

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