It is no secret that the health of our skin plays an important role in the overall health of our body. Taking care of our skin not only aids in cell regeneration it also protects us from the harsh effects of aging and the environment. Investing in high-quality naturally sourced skin care products is crucial in maintaining the health of our skin, but finding the right brand can be difficult in such a saturated market. Odehyee LLC is a 100% Black-owned skincare brand focused on creating handcrafted vegan products that are both good for your skin and good for your wallet.
Odehyee LLC was founded in 2020 by Ghanaian-American Nana-Akyaa. The idea for an affordable holistic skincare brand came about over a decade ago when her now husband gifted her a custom body butter. However, it took a global pandemic for Nana-Akyaa to re-evaluate her life goals and passions to finally open her business.
“ I would say what really ignited my passion was when my now husband, over 12 years ago, used to make body balms for me. Of course, the base of the balm was shea butter, but he would add my favorite fragrance and customize it for me and I thought that was really special. When COVID hit people had ample time to think about their dreams and aspirations they wanted to pursue, but weren’t able to. I started thinking that maybe this was the best time for me to start building my business as I now had spare time. Let me start putting things in motion.”
Currently, the brand has several whipped body butters, hair pomades, and bath essentials ranging from 6 to 20 dollars under the product line titled Amammere ne Amannee. Odehyee and Amammere ne Amannee were born out of Nana-Akyaa’s desire to share her Ghanaian heritage and vegan lifestyle with the rest of the world.
“The name of the business is Odehyee, and Odehyee means royal or royalty in Twi. Twi is the language of the Akan people, specifically the Asante of Ghana. Since this is my tribe and being that I am a royal, I decided that that would be a great name for the business. Amammere ne Amannee is translated as tradition and customs. The Asante people follow certain customs and traditions in terms of how the royals are handled, how one becomes a royal, and all of that. The idea behind the name is that I wanted people to feel like royalty when they use my products.”
All Amammere ne Amannee products are hand-crafted and formulated with extreme care. The ingredients utilized are all plant-based materials such as Shea Butter, Mango Butter, Avocado Butter, Cocoa, Essential Oils, Herbs, and Flowers. These ingredients can all be found on the African continent and have been proven to improve the appearance of skin and hair quality.
“Shea Butter, traditionally, along with other ingredients, has been used by West Africans, not just Ghanaians, to protect their skin, and to moisturize not only the skin but also the hair. Shea butter acts as a natural barrier, some would even call it a natural sunscreen. Shea butter has many vitamins and antioxidant properties that benefit your skin. It will give your skin a nice glow, and moisturize your hair. For folks that have more coarse hair, it can be very beneficial in maintaining its health. I also use other butters that are known to be good for your skin including mango butter as well as plant-based oils. I use almond oil and jojoba oil. Jojoba oil is non-comedogenic meaning that it won’t create blockage in your skin that may lead to acne. I use oils that are light and won’t cause irritation or aggravate the skin for individuals that have skin sensitivity like eczema.”
Sticking to Nana-Akyaa’s objective of “emulating the beautification practices of the ancestors” all of the Shea butter used in the Amammere ne Amannee line is ethically sourced directly from Ghana. Maintaining the Ghanaian identity of the company is of the utmost importance and many products are named with her country and family in mind. One of Odehyee’s best-selling body butters is called Mama Rose in honor of Nana-Akyaa’s late mother and people who use the product say it smells like concentrated love.
For the time being Amammere ne Amannee products are sold exclusively online, however, Nana-Akyaa has hopes to follow in the footsteps of Carol’s Daughter founder Lisa Price and Donna’s Recipe founder Tabitha Brown and begin selling at brick-and-mortar locations in the upcoming future.