If you are into organic products then you’re going to love our next feature. Madame Koiteh features organic Shea butter, cocoa butter and African Black soap. Madame Koiteh also features Yoruba metaphysical herbal and spiritual supplies all religious traditions. Enough talk and onto the feature.

Tell us about yourself.
I started crafting many years ago, actually as a child. I always loved
to sew, crochet, draw, and make perfumes. My mother and other relatives
were always making something,from soap to clothes to incense. My first
perfume was a sad little bottle of water with a peach pit and some of my
mom’s Tabu. (I was 5!) Later I would collect flowers, add spices and
perfume, and make potpourri. Only in the last few years did I decide to
turn my crafty dreams into a business, and it has been the experience of
a lifetime.

What do you offer in your Etsy shop and shops?
Now, I have the wonderful opportunity to share my lifelong love of shea
with the rest of the world. I spend most of my days developing
formulas that feature the goodness of pure African shea butter combined
with the elegance of modern western beauty care. I use techniques that I
learned from my elders in Africa to work with shea butter in a holistic
way that preserves its legendary properties. I offer the finest quality
organic shea butter, African Black Soap, handmade soaps, unique hair
, African spiritual supplies, and much more in my Etsy shop. I
have also innovated some of my own techniques to make some unique
products, such as a very limited edition “Shea Butter Pearl” bath
product that will be available later! (Hint, hint)

Where do you create?
I create most of my products and designs in my own lab/studio. Some of
my knitted and crocheted pieces featured in my second Etsy shop are made
outdoors, in the forest or by the river, where I also like to create
and meditate.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
Inspiration is a very special concept for me. It is a part
of my everyday life. I consider myself to be very blessed to be able to
draw inspiration from many sources, chiefly from my ancestors. The
ideas for much of my work comes in dreams, during meditations, and other
spiritual impetus, as well as from admiring beautiful artwork, music,
and nature.

How do you promote your business?
Most of the promotion that we get is from word of mouth, and
from being in the public at vending events, business conventions, and
industry buying events. I would like to get more involved with Internet
marketing, mainly through the social venues, but being naturally shy
this is sometimes a challenge for me. I really prefer to stay behind the
scenes and let the rest of the family shine on that!

What is one of your most important lessons you’ve learned since starting your business?
But being a good businesswoman also means honoring others. Every time
someone purchases something from you, they are extending their trust to
you, in the expectation that you will deliver what you promised and make
them happy. I’ve learned that to honor that trust is the key to
business success. Honoring your customers means being grateful for their
business, taking the time to communicate with them, providing the
finest products and service you can, going out of your way to resolve
any issues, and staying calm and friendly no matter what happens. When I
first joined the family business and opened our Etsy shop, I thought it
was all about numbers, accounting, record keeping, etc. But I learned
that all of those things are secondary to the way you work with people.
If you keep in mind that each person is worthy of honor, business
becomes enjoyable, customers become friends, and struggle becomes

2011 is a very special year for my whole family at Madame Koiteh,
because this year we have launched our first independent fundraiser
campaign for one of the causes that is truly special to us. This year we
are donating 10% of our net profits to the Sheikh Jobe Institute in the
Gambia West Africa, where severe flooding has ravaged parts of the
countryside and left thousands homeless and impoverished. The Institute
is a school, children’s hospice, and orphanage that houses more than 300
children, ranging from age 4 to adulthood. The facilities were damaged
during the floods and are in urgent need of repair. In addition, many of
the parents have lost their livelihood, and subsequently the hospice
has not been able to collect critically needed school fees in order to
maintain operations. It is an honor and a privilege for Madame Koiteh
to sponsor the Sheikh Jobe Institute and its children for the year of
2011, and we thank you for your business which also supports this worthy
cause. You can learn more at my blog

We will be featuring special products throughout the year in our Etsy
shop and other online venues to further support our goal of raising a
minimum of $5000 to be donated to the Sheikh Jobe Institute. Please
visit us frequently to check out these very special listings.

What is some of your favorite online shops on and off Etsy?
I would love to shout out a few of my favorite online shops: I love the gorgeous beadwork of SedonaSkye on Etsy (www.etsy.com/shop/sedonaskye). I also really like the beautiful soft colorations of the artwork of Daphnecellophane (www.etsy.com/shop/daphnecellophane)and the NightJar (www.etsy.com/shop/TheNightjar). I’m a big fan of OliveHue’s intense modern artwork, which is a cool blend of comic book line art with fairy tale chic (www.etsy.com/shop/olivehuedesigns). And being a devout knitter, I have to include my favorite fiber painter on Etsy (www.etsy.com/shop/JodyPoesy). Jody Poesy is awesome at creating colorscapes that look like rainbow waters flowing across the ribbons.

You can find Madame Koiteh online at:
Etsy Shops: www.madamekoiteh.etsy.com & www.scarfandskirt.etsy.com
Websites: www.madamekoiteh.com & www.thesheabutterqueen.com
Blog: www.madamekoiteh.blogspot.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/mymadamekoiteh
Twitter: www.twitter.com/madamekoiteh

Here’s some great products that can be found at Madame Koiteh:

African Black Soap Butter Variety Moisturizing

Yellow Shea Butter Organice Unrefined -1 pound

Melissa Lemongrass Handmade Bath Soap Cold Process

Rich Moisturizing Cream for Dry Hair with Pure Shea Butter

Pure Pressed Cocoa Butter Rich Chocolate Fragrance Food Grade 25 Pounds