A Closer View + Giveaway - LUYA
For this post, I collaborated with LUYA to provide insight to not only the specific products that I used over the period of three weeks but as to directly connect the consumers to the mindset and vision of LUYA from Founder, Carlos Barksdale.
Carlos and I are acquaintances from outside of the beauty community and I was so eager when he extended an invitation for me to produce a genuine review and content creation for LUYA.
We all know that I am a huge fan and supporter of small business and in addition minority owned businesses. From the perspective of a small business owner in beauty/e-commerce it is essential to formulate an impact. I’m appreciative of the fact that LUYA is consumer-driven and strives to get the consumer not only invested in their health from a beauty and grooming perspective but also through a fundamental application by regular blog post and information sharing. LUYA houses products that are conscious in their crafting, formulated with the best ingredients and multi-faceted in their usages. These products aren’t catered specifically to women or men but both; which I think also bridges the barrier of encouraging males to be knowledgeable of their grooming product through the endorsement and backing of a male figurehead for the brand. Let’s read what the Founder & Owner of LUYA has to share.
Carlos Barksdale, Founder
Why do you do what you do? What inspired you to create the LUYA platform.
“I feel like Black consumers are an afterthought in the personal care, beauty, and grooming space - and I want us to be at the forefront of attention. “
That’s not only in having products that are made for us and marketed to us but also products that are beneficial for us.
If you do 30 seconds of online research you’ll find that many everyday personal care products are toxic. They can lead to skin irritation, hair loss, illness, and some women even experience menstrual complications. It’s heartbreaking.
But many of us don’t know this because we inherit our buying habits from our family and friends. In my community they say, “If you knew better, you’d do better.” I want us to do better when it comes to the products we use.
If we buy better then we’ll be better and we’ll do better - in every aspect of life. I truly believe that.
Describe what sets LUYA apart from other e-commerce brands?
We’re intentional and genuine. You’re not going to come to LUYA’s site and find 100 brands, because we want to provide shoppers the most naturally-crafted products that actually drive results that they’re looking for. We acquire, evaluate, and review products before they ever touch our site. It’s not enough for a product to just be natural and healthy. It has to work. Our evaluation process allows for us to provide the most curated selection in the industry.
“Moreover, our brands are fueled by real people.”
These aren’t multinational conglomerates. They are mothers, fathers, wives, mentors, and eternal lovers - each with their own unique story, problems, and perspective. They are our neighbors, childhood friends, fellow church goers, family members. They create the perfect products for us, because they are us. That type of authenticity can’t be faked, and LUYA’s foundation is grounded in that familiarity.
How do you define natural and high-quality products?
“Can you eat it and be ok? Haha!”
I’m only half-way joking though. Many people forget that what you put on your body goes in your body. Your skin is the biggest organ on your body. I wouldn't mix toxic chemicals in my tea. So, why put in on my skin?
LUYA provides products that are free of parabens, negative sulfates, chemical fragrances, and other major harmful ingredients.
What are the consumer concerns that your brand addresses?
Today’s consumers are more conscious than ever about what they consume - especially millennials.
“We question everything - food, education, news & media, etc. Personal care and grooming are no different.”
We give consumers peace of mind by offering a curated selection of products that are naturally beneficial for their skin, hair, and body.
As of now, what are some of your favorite items on the site and why?
“Wow. This is a trap. “
First, let me say that I love ALL of the products and they ALL sit on my shelf. Nonetheless, a couple that really speak to me are the Styling Paste by Trinity Hills and the Haitian Black Castor Oil by Kreyol Essence.
The Styling Paste draws me because I’ve had waves my entire life, and when I started my journey towards using healthier products a few years ago, I could not find a natural hair pomade that did the job. If you’re a waver then you know how important the pomade is! The Trinity Hills Styling Paste is the best pomade that I have ever used. I’m never looking back.
I’m infatuated with the versatility of the Haitian Black Castor Oil by Kreyol Essence. I use it rejuvenate my scalp, smooth my skin, and heal wounds. It’s literally like magic in a bottle. I’m amazed by the plethora of benefits of natural products, and this is one of the best oils I’ve encountered.
When people think of beauty and grooming they readily associate that image with women. Does this have any effect on your practices and day-to-day operations?
Yea, definitely. I think men are generally overlooked in the industry. That tide is just starting to change, but there are still so many segments where we just lack representation.
“The homies want good skin too!”
I want to break down the limitations of consumption. Hair is hair. Skin is skin. A good product is a good product. If it works for you, buy it. I think that providing a space where men understand that it’s okay to consume with care is important.
And we’ve already seen some of that with about half of our sales of our KAIKE brand being men. I never would have thought that!