A fun chat with True Moringa Founders
We hope you enjoy our conversation with Kwami Williams and Emily Cunningham, founders of True Moringa. We talked about their inspiring brand, the product featured in the Shine box and the power of Moringa.
To kick things off, can you tell us more about your background and how did you start with your brand?
My background is in development economics – I studied undergrad at Harvard and got the opportunity to intern at SEWA microfinance bank in India before landing at MIT’s D-Lab where I met my co-founder Kwami.
Kwami was born and raised in Ghana. His family won the diversity visa lottery and immigrated to the US when he was just eight. Fascinated with robotics at an early age, he studied aerospace engineering at MIT and eventually worked for NASA. He was living the American Dream when a mentor of his challenged him to return to his native Ghana.
It was here that we were first introduced to the moringa tree. Farmers told us about the incredible benefits of moringa for nutrition, skincare, and the climate. The leaves of the tree contain more iron than spinach, more calcium than milk, and more protein than yogurt. But farmers had no way to make money from the tree – no access to market. So we took the unused part of the tree – the seeds – and cold-pressed them into a highly nutritive oil that penetrates deep into the skin to nourish and protect. We set about building a supply chain to connect farmers to the local and global market for moringa.
Can you share more about your brand mission. For those who may not be familiar with the brand yet, what can you tell us about your ethos?
True Moringa believes in wellness for people and the planet. We work directly with 5000 small farming families throughout Ghana to cultivate our natural ingredients. We operate West Africa’s largest solar-irrigated organic regenerative farm, and to date we have planted three million trees to combat malnutrition and deforestation. We provide women who previously lacked access to land with the tools, training, and services they need to participate in tree crop farming.
What is/are the products from your line that you always carry with you?
Our Simplicity Pure Moringa Oil is an absolute essential. I bring it with me everywhere I travel to use as a daily facial moisturizer, cuticle oil, and makeup remover. It’s such a multitasker!
Can you share more about the product featured in the Ambrosia box?
Our roll-on moringa oil is the perfect daily facial moisturizer and is the perfect size to pop in your travel bag. Nothing compares to the baby-soft, smooth feeling of applying it after cleansing! It can be used as an under-eye treatment to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles or after cleansing to even and nourish skin. It’s also handy as a moisturizing makeup remover – tough on water resistant mascara and impurities and gentle on the skin.
Users typically experience an instant increase in moisture with daily use and healthier, youthful looking skin with consistent use over 4-6 weeks.
What is your inspiration and creative process when you come up with new products?
When designing products, we start with the pain points our customers are facing in their skincare and wellness journeys. Do they need a more affordable or natural option for a product that is already on the market? Do they need to address a particular skin concern or nutrition deficit?
Once we have a product concept, we look to nature and centuries of local knowledge about the superfood ingredients we cultivate on our organic and regenerative farms. We ensure that this knowledge is backed by science and work in partnership with cosmetic chemists and formulators to bring the look, feel, and function of the product to life.
Our products are always vegan, paraben free, sulfate free, but also packed with superfood ingredients. We aim to make wellness simple, affordable, and accessible to all.
The theme of our summer box is Shine – What makes you Shine?
We love hearing success stories from the farming families in our True Moringa community! We shine when farms grow and farming families win!
What is your favorite wellness ritual?
Running and drinking plenty of water!
What small habit makes you feel good?
10 minute daily meditation is the best thing for stress relief and focus.
What is next for your brand? What are you working on at the moment?
We just celebrated 10 years of True Moringa this month! As we enter the next 10 years, a major focus will be on regenerative agriculture and growing other compatible superfood ingredients (fruits, vegetables, nuts, and staple crops) alongside our moringa trees. This will enable our farmers to earn more income per acre and improve biodiversity and soil health.
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