Contributing Editor: Juliet Cangelosi
It is an immense privilege for any soul to be merely in the orbit of Abena Boamah. The Hanahana Beauty founder carries herself as one piece of a greater whole, her own success and inspiration seemingly inextricable from those of the people around her. When her community wins, she wins. It is only fitting then, that she is dedicated to building her business as a kind of human ecosystem as well, ensuring everyone is cared for on a holistic level. From the employees mixing and packaging by hand at the Chicago-based headquarters, to the women in Ghana harvesting the raw shea butter that inspired the brand’s inaugural product— Hanahana Beauty truly is the sum of its parts, a business built from scratch by Abena and sustained in part due to the family and friends that have surrounded her along the way.
Abena, who I’m grateful to say has become a dear friend of mine in recent years, will never let me leave her company without having offered food or drink (—I recall a visit to HQ and hearing her Ghanaian mother on a phone call in the background, reminding a hungry Abena to feed the people around her). Over a warm cup of freshly chopped mint and rose tea, I spoke with Abena on family, inspiration, and her human-centered approach to sustainability for Womanism 1.8.
Images, Videography + Interview: Juliet Cangelosi
Video Editor: Sam Roberts
Producers: Selva Negra