Eager is the word that comes to mind when I think of student Ayanna Ngina. She registered for 5 classes straight in a row. She was eager to learn and absorb all that she could about the natural soap making and bath and body classes she had registered for. She had a desire to apply what she learned immediately as I would get the update in the next class of the supplies she was waiting to arrive. It was a delight to have her in class and the energy she gave off was a pure passion for all things natural in beauty. I introduce to you Ayanna Ngina, the owner of Aya’s Natural Treasures.
What classes have you taken with the Handmade Soap Coach? Liquid Soap Making, Spa Products from Your Kitchen, Cold Process Soap Making, Body Butters, Lotions
What made you decide to register for the class? I wanted to take my love and hobby of making natural bath & body products to another level. I was ready to create a business, but I didn’t have any soap. Soap Making was my number one interest in terms of the classes, but once I learned of all of the other classes, I knew that I had to be there.
What did you like most about the class? I loved the entire structure of the classes. We learned the history behind what we were doing, as well as, the craft itself. To go home with a finished product was very rewarding and inspiring. I would rush home to create, create, create!
How did you first start making soapmaking? My first try was an absolute disaster. LOL I followed a YouTube tutorial and my soap came out horrible and un-usable, so I knew that I wanted to take classes.
If you were already making body products what new products did you make after taking the class? After the classes, I designed a hand & foot butter and an All in 1 Liquid Soap. I also enhanced a few of the products that I was already making, such as my bath salts and sugar scrubs.
Why did you decide to start a body care product business? Each year, around the holidays, I would order in bulk natural bath & body products from a particular business. Although the products were awesome, the customer service was horrible. Shipping was extremely slow and I was also sent the wrong items. This experience pushed me to learn how to make the items myself. I have always been a crafty person, but I didn’t have a clue when it came to body care. I started my research via the web, as well as, reading the labels on some of my favorite B&B products. My first creations were Strawberry Lemonade whipped shea butter, Lavender Kiss Bath Salt and Brown Sugar Scrub. My family and friends absolutely loved their gifts, but one of my closest friends wanted the products in her natural hair care salon in Philadelphia, Pa. This was the birith of Aya’s Natural Treasures.
What inspired the name of your business? My name is Ayanna Ngina. Ayanna means flower, but when you cut my name in half, you get Aya. Aya is a West African Adinkra Symbol which means endurance and resourcefulness. Endurance and resourcefulness are the foundation of my business. I consider my products natural treasures, hence the name: Aya’s Natural Treasures
What do you enjoy about making your own body products? I love working with my hands. I love being creative. I also love to look and feel good. When I create a product that I love, I can’t wait to share it with the world!
Of all the soaps/products you make which one is your personal favorite and why? My Strawberry Lemonade Whipped Shea butter is my favorite because it is my first creation. I am still making adjustments to my soap line and cannot wait to unleash them. My favorite soap right now, is my Oatmeal, Almond Milk and Honey soap. It is just awesome!
Do you have any plans or goals? My plans and goals are to continue to build on what I have and create a successful Nationwide bath & body line.
How can people purchase your products? People can purchase our products through our website: Aya’s Natural Treasures. Our website has a calendar section, which indicates any events where we will be vending.
What is your current professional career? I am a sworn law enforcement officer with the State of New Jersey.
Do you have any recommendations for others who may thinking about taking a natural personal care product class? Take them!! They are fun, informative and you may leave with a new craft that can become a business.
Do you have any advice for someone thinking about starting their own soap and/or bath and body beauty biz? You have to love what you do. If you have the passion and desire, go for it! Do plenty of research, take plenty of classes, and build your brand. Focus on one product and then build from there. You will overwhelm yourself if you don’t take your time.
To connect with Ayanna and Aya’s Natural Treasures you can:
Follow her on Twitter
Friend her on Facebook
Visit her website Aya’s Natural Treasures Website