When Rose Anne Foley read the label of her facial cream from a department store, she could only recognize about five ingredients of the 40 listed on the label. This realization, along with her dedication to promoting fair trade African shea butter, inspired Foley to create her own brand, Indira Shea.
As she began to build her brand, Foley immersed herself in the research of ingredients used in facial creams and lotions. “As I was formulating and developing this business I got very familiar with the ingredients,” she said. “I immersed myself in the study of what these ingredients do.” This in-depth study of ingredients led Foley to the realization that the refined ingredients that are staples of the facial creams and lotions sold in drugstores and department stores, oftentimes do not benefit one’s skin. “The refined ingredients have basically been stripped of the nutrients that are nourishing to the skin,” Foley said. For this reason, Indira Shea uses raw, unrefined ingredients, which are full of nutrients that benefit the skin.
In a small lab off of her kitchen in her home in Northern Michigan, Foley creates all of her products in small batches. Foley uses local ingredients, like lavender and carrot seed that were wild harvested in the Grand Traverse area or beeswax from Benzie County, whenever possible. Indira Shea products are also created to order so that Foley’s customers get the freshest product possible. “When (customers) buy local they know that they are getting a product that has been made fresh, without need for chemical preservatives.”