By Danae Reid
In the past few years, people across the world have begun taking their all around health more seriously. One could argue that the influence of social media is the motivation behind the uptick, and I’d say I agree.
My skin has always been important to me, but as a professional model, I give my skincare the same weight as I do my hair. I’ve discussed my skin care ritual a bit in my 7/7/19 SUN column entitled “ Natural alternatives to achieve the skin you’ve always dreamed of: Five inexpensive beauty hacks you can find in your pantry.” If you remember that article — which can be accessed at: www.philasun.com — you know how much I prioritize natural and organic products.
Not long ago, Saleemah Smith, founder and CEO of A Milli Little Things, allowed me to sample some of her products, and following my use/results, I decided to interview her to find out more about her company:
How did you choose the name “A Milli Little Things?”
I chose the name “A Milli Little Things” because I wanted to be able to make any and everything that moved me. I didn’t want to be placed in a box and have my creativity limited. I want to truly be able to make or create A “Milli” Little Things.
Tell me a little about how and why you began.
I started off in 2015 with one product…Sugar Scrubs. I used to be a table game dealer, and once a year they would give us “Pampering Day.” In 2015, they taught us how to make Scrubs and I fell in love! I started making them all the time for my friends and family. Eventually my friends started asking me for them so often that I could no longer afford to give them away. One day, my friend asked for a scrub and I said to her, ‘I’m about to start charging because this is becoming a bit much and essential oils are expensive!’ Once she asked me how much I’d charge, everything fell into place. I am 67 products in and still creating.
Does social media’s influence have anything to do with you deciding to start your own brick and mortar business? Explain.
I dreamt of owning my brick and mortar prior to creating my website. Social media was a thought, but having a home for my products reside comfortably meant much more to me than building up a social media account. I wanted to create an atmosphere where I could treat my customers the way I’d want to be treated in a store. I wanted to create both a cool vibe and a comprehensive experience.
Your products are all organic and natural which is also something that’s trending right now. How did you come up with the formulas, and how long does it typically take to find the perfect ingredients and mixture for a product?
My products are about 90% organic and natural. I have a few products that have to have preservatives in them in order to maintain its shelf life, and then some with plant based fragrances as well. Some things you just can’t get away with.
I play with a ton of ingredients fairly often. Sometimes things come out great and sometimes they don’t. I’ve had a ton of flops. When I try new things and sometimes I have others try them too and give me their honest review.
I remember making a shower bar for men on time and a review said, “it lathers well, but it smells like bug spray.” I was not happy to hear that, but it was honest, so I decided not to make anymore. I say all of this to say there is no set time when it comes to creating my products.
I am self taught, YouTube taught, and read. I also ask God for wisdom constantly, so I believe he teaches and guides me as well.
I figure that people may be a little apprehensive about buying natural, handcrafted products from a small company. Since we’re all so sensitive about our skincare, how have you gone about earning the trust of skeptics who’d much rather use what they’re used to?
I believe in my products so much that I give a ton away. I really have some cool products that deliver great results.When I have a non-believer that’s on the fence about a product, I’ll also let them have it or give them a sample and wait for their review.
What’s been your best client testimonial to how well your products work? How does it feel to receive praise from a customer?
I am known for my Yoni Products aka feminine care products. I had one customer express to me that she suffered from chronic infections and nothing seemed to work until she started using my soap and herbal remedies. It’s been an entire year since she had an issue. I feel blessed, honestly. We all have so many insecurities, especially us women, so it makes me happy to know that I helped bring back her confidence.
How important is it that people know what’s in the products, and what they put on their body and face?
It is very important to know what we’re putting on our bodies and face, because our skin absorbs about 60% within 26 seconds of some of the harmful chemicals mostly found in our cosmetic products. People don’t realize that our skin is our largest organ. We must know better to do better.
What’s an important part of skin and body care that people often overlook?
People, including myself, often forget to exfoliate. I never forget, per se, but sometimes I do neglect it. Adding exfoliating to your weekly skin routine aids in the natural process of shedding the dead skin cells and revealing the healthier skin beneath. It’s a must!!!
Lastly, please drop your skincare routine!
I wash my face every night with Liquid African Black Soap imported from Ghana.
I follow up and exfoliate with our thinly sliced loofah sponge, named “Face Chip.” It exfoliates like no other! I moisturize with our “Soft Kisses” Aloe Vera based moisturizing gel. It is cooling and infused with sea salt and grapefruit. And then finally I top it off with coconut oil for my “Brown Girl GLOW.”
To purchase these great products from A Milli Little Things, visit: www.amillilittlethings.com
The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the article belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to the author’s employer, The Philadelphia Sunday SUN, the author’s organization, committee or other group or individual.