Coarse Culture’s Skincare Line helps with dry skin and hair
By Tia Carol Jones
VaLanDria Smith-Lash was 14-yers old when she started Coarse Culture, a skincare line of whipped shea butter. She started the company because she wanted to help her mother, who was diagnosed with Lupus, find skincare that would soothe her dry skin and scalp.
Smith-Lash researched different articles on topical solutions for illnesses. She asked doctors questions. She found natural solutions, oils that support moisture retention and that healed skin, as well as reduced inflammation. Her research led her to shea butter, and oils like jojoba and Vitamin E. She noticed that with the use of the solution her mother’s hair was getting thicker and her skin was retaining moisture a lot better.
Smith-Lash began putting the whipped shea butter in jars and sharing it with her friends and family. When the people she shared the skincare products with experienced the same results, she knew she had something. Coarse Culture was born.
Smith-Lash works with her older sister Valencia Brennan, who serves as the operations manager. Smith-Lash is a full-time college student an Evans Scholar at Miami University, in Ohio.
The whipped shea butters come in unscented, pound cake, orange twist, lavender, eucalyptus and spearmint. The cost is $19.99 per jar. Smith-Lash’s favorite scent is the orange twist, a blend of cinnamon and orange essential oils. They can be used on hair and skin because of the purity of the product and the choice of supporting oils that could be used for both.
Now at the age of 21, Smith-Lash launched her website: thecoarseculture.com recently. Coarse Culture received a lot of support from the community during its Black Friday sales. Coarse Culture was a vendor at Navy Pier’s Holiday Expo from Nov. 27th through Nov. 28th. The skincare line will be at the Blitzen’s Holiday Market from Dec. 16th through Dec. 19th, at Artifact Events, located at 4325 N. Ravenswood.
The biggest lesson Smith-Lash has learned is how to ask for help and how to delegate tasks. While she wants to oversee everything with Coarse Culture because it is like her baby, she really had to understand everything is not going to be perfect. She had to delegate tasks to people who are supporting her, so that she doesn’t get overwhelmed.
Smith-Lash journey as an entrepreneur has taught her to be more ambitious. She has heard no, but she knows all it takes is one yes to get the ball rolling. She’s also learned to be more organized so that she can juggle all that she has going on.
“With having all these things on my plate, I have to remember to take care of myself. Self-care is a must. I recognize Coarse Culture as a self-care brand, so it’s important that I am practicing what I preach. I am making sure that I take a second to reassess and regroup to get myself back together. Because running a business is hard, especially with everything else that I’m juggling,” she said.
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