The beauty industry can be a tricky place, and for some, it truly is rocket science. After a stint at NASA, Kwami Williams launched True Moringa, a natural beauty company aimed at skin of all types, plus giving work to Ghanaian farmers.
From aerospace engineering—studying as a rocket science at MIT and interning with NASA—to creating a Moringa company, Kwami Williams co-founder and CEO of Moringa Connect and True Moringa, reveals to COOLS all about his moringa-based beauty line that is not only revolutionizing the skincare industry, but powerfully impacting the lives of farmers in Ghana. True Moringa is a full ecosystem in which all players collaborate (including us as consumers) to improve the lives of farmers in Ghana and the environment. Basically, for every product sold, one moringa tree is planted.
While studying aerospace engineering at MIT, Kwami had a moment in which he realized that although he was intellectually stimulated—and what he was learning was important—he was a long way from actually helping people. He realized that if through mechanical and aerospace engineering we can put a man on the moon, then perhaps through the problems he was learning to solve, we can focus efforts closer to home, putting food on the table for those living in poverty. A mentor of his suggested he go return to his original home of Ghana, and start from there.
In Ghana, Kwami realized how much tangible need there was, and at the same time learned from farmers about a “miracle tree” called moringa. He to studied and analyzed data, quickly realizing the significant scientific proof that backed up the farmers’ claims of miracles. The moringa tree’s leaves were, in fact, incredibly nutrient-dense. “They have more iron than spinach, more calcium than milk, and even the seeds of the tree have an oil that outperforms coconut oil and shea butter to effectively moisturize skin,” Kwami explains.
Shortly after, Kwami launched True Moringa. During a class at MIT, he and his co-founder, Emily, decided to embark on the journey, basing themselves on the importance of co-creating solutions in the developing world, rather than simply coming up with solutions and imposing them on to people.
Now True Moringa has been running for almost 4 years, retailing products in the US. Products like oil serums for face, body butters, lip whips, and soaps.
The moringa oil used in all their products is cold pressed and organic, while the rest of ingredients used are also 100% natural and sourced from rural communities in Ghana.
True Moringa has engaged with 2,900 farmers, giving opportunities to individuals who have having nothing, allowing them to turning themselves into productive farmers. They have provided over half a million dollars of income for farmers and created 80 new jobs in Ghana. True Moringa also embodies the idea that what is grown in Ghana is also processed in Ghana.
Kwami wants to keep growing his company’s environmental impact with the rule that for every consumer who buys a True Moringa product, one moringa tree is planted. His dream is to not only help farmers in Ghana, but to help farmers in places around the with weather where moringa can grow.
Kwami’s final words of wisdom to entrepreneurs wanting to create a business with a strong social and environmental impact: “There’s so much in nature that is underutilized. Science tells us constantly that the solution exists in nature. Ask yourself: what is around me? Look around you and put on a lens of opportunity. Have the humility to know that you don’t know it all. You can have a degree from MIT in rocket science, but you can learn so much more from a farmer in Ghana.”
Head of Video: Tina Rosh DP: Paul Terrie