Ladies and Gentleman, please allow me to introduce to you the ever delightful, ridiculously humble yet incredibly driven lady that is Sharonda Flynn, Founder of Natural Beauty Brand Silk and Honey. I first came across Sharonda’s amazing Natural DIY Beauty Kits at the Natural Products Show back in April 14. There were an array of amazing brands on display that day, but none left their mark on me quite like Silk and Honey did and after reading this article you will begin to know why…
I have come across many natural beauty, skincare, hair-care and cosmetic brands since I began my natural transition earlier this year, but have never have come across a beauty brand that sells DIY Kits to accompany an upcoming eBook entitled ‘Natural Beauty’ containing an array of homemade recipes using ingredients you can purchase from your local supermarket before my trip to The Natural Products show with fellow green beauty writer BeiFit.
I met Sharonda a second time when I attended The Little Shop of Beauty event a month later and just knew I HAD to tell you lovely readers and followers about her and her AMAZING informative and educational beauty brand Silk + Honey.
After expressing my thoughts in interviewing her, Sharonda agreed to meet me at a coffee shop somewhat local to me late Friday afternoon just gone to conduct the interview and by doing so, has given me a World Exclusive.
I started the interview with the most obvious question I felt first time readers would want to know….
For those not familiar with your brand, can you describe in a nutshell what Silk and Honey is?
In a nutshell, Silk + Honey is a luxury, all natural, do-it-yourself cosmetic line.
When did you first make the conscious decision to begin using skincare, hair-care and cosmetics made with natural ingredients?
(giggles whilst covering her face with embarrassment before composing herself)
After making my hair fall out. Two weeks before my wedding, I decided I was going to bleach my hair blonde whilst putting a relaxer on my hair as well, and by doing so my hair fell out as a result of mixing the chemicals. I was warned by a stylist not to do it but I went and did it anyway at home to which all of my hair fell out.
I literally had bald patches in my hair and my doctor told me I was lucky that I didn’t ruin my hair follicles for my hair not to grow back.
This was two weeks before my wedding and had to end up wearing a wig on the day of my wedding. Soon after my wedding we relocated to Dubai and I decided that was it for me, I just wanted to go back to basics and emerge myself in all the things I grew up doing with my Mom. My Mom used to use all natural stuff and so did my Grandmother, I’ve come from that.
What was the inspiration behind the decision to create your own homemade beauty products?
When I was growing up we didn’t have loads of money to be able to afford to go out and buy fancy products with pretty packaging so my Mom and Grandmother used to make do with what we had around the house most of the time.
This got me thinking and I really wanted to see if using natural products was a myth or is it really fact!
I dedicated one year straight to see if I could probably use only natural ingredients, nothing else, with stuff that I can make with ingredients I already had in my kitchen.
I wanted to test the ‘natural products’ theory by seeing if it really worked; if it would clear up my skin and if it would help my hair grow back. Once all of that happened the proof was in the pudding!
From then on, I had so many women actually complement me on the way my hair and skin looked and wanted in on my beauty secrets to clearer skin and healthy shiny hair.
I informed them it was by using only natural beauty products via my beauty blog and received an overwhelming response to my posts. This is what made me decide I wanted to share my natural beauty message with the world by educating them on the ingredients to use via DIY beauty kits.
Did you find the natural transitioning process easy or particular challenging?
Well for me I found it easy, and I think I found it easy because of the position I was in. I was living in Dubai and didn’t really have alot going on so it was easy for me.
If I had been living in the States at the time trying to transition to natural products, my lifestyle would have been different and perhaps more busier so maybe I would have felt I didn’t have time to do it and probably wouldn’t have given it a shot like I did when I was living in Dubai.
By being in Dubai it allowed me to go ahead and go for it so for me it wasn’t hard at all.
Do you still use products that are not deemed as natural?
Don’t get me wrong, I still use beauty products that aren’t 100% natural because at the end of the day no one needs to be 100% natural. I’m just keeping it real.
I draw the line and avoid any ingredient proven case studies reveal that could cause / is linked to getting cancer and other types of diseases.
But if products that have a synthetic fragrance in it for example that smells lovely but is the only ‘un natural ingredient’ that’s in there, I’ll still probably use it, just like if a product say has 5 % un-natural ingredients in it, depending on what that 5% is, I might still use it.
When opting to use any type of products, it’s a personal preference on what ingredients you choose to avoid and what ingredients you don’t mind using if you haven’t’ experienced a bad reaction to it.
I won’t give up some of the things that I love just because it might have one or two ingredients in it that is deemed un natural. Saying that I stay clear of ingredients that are linked to cancer and other diseases.
Is there any particular product you miss and have yet to find a natural substitute for?
No, absolutely not! There’s nothing in particular that I miss. I haven’t given up any of the products I truly love and using natural products has given me great results!
You are originally from Chicago, Illinoi but now reside in London, UK. Do you find there is a growing demand for products made with natural ingredients in the UK?
Yes. I’m seeing a growing demand for products made with natural ingredients.
People are becoming more aware of what they put on their skin and hair. They’re keen to find out more. I feel my Silk and Honey brand acts as an educational tool for people to make their own natural beauty products which will give them control and confidence by knowing exactly what ingredients they are using to create their chosen product(s).
Who has been your biggest influence in your career to-date?
I was inspired by American Brand Carol’s Daughter. I really liked the story behind how founder Lisa Price started her brand and her own journey was similar to mine. Having followed her on social media waaay before I anticipated starting my own natural brand, I always related to her ethos and messages around using natural beauty products.
Your website states you have been making homemade beauty remedies for over 8 years, experimenting your remedies on friends and family . Out of all the creations you have made so far, which one is your standout favourite beauty treatment and why?
Out of everything that I have made?
Hmmmm, I would probably say… (ponders for a bit)
It’s so hard to choose a favourite as there are so many recipes I like and don’t particularly have a favourite. But since you’re insisting I can only choose one, I would say the easiest one, and perhaps is my favourite as you only need one ingredient is my honey face wash. All you need is honey. This is the thing that I use Every.Single.Day!
People would often tell you to use raw honey, or manuka honey and I agree as it has more nutrients in it. But before I used rich darker honey I started off by using regular store brought honey from the supermarket.
I would dab a little honey on my fingertips, and once applied this onto wet skin the honey is gonna flow without the stickiness of it.
Sometimes I would leave it on for 5 minutes or rise if off straight away depending on how much time I have in the morning. I do this routine twice a day. I also use honey in my hair and bath water.
I use honey for everything and is probably why it is hands down one of my favourite products to use.
Even though using clear honey gave me face the same finish are richer honey, I would say definitely advise people to opt for the darker raw honey over the lighter one.
As I use honey for everything, this is where the name inspiration came for my brand. Honey to me is like a magic pill.
You have been working on a book entitled which is due to launch by mid July 2014, can you give us a brief insight into the books content and homemade recipes?
My eBook entitled Natural Beauty is an incredible collection of my discoveries of all the wonderful things about being naturally beautiful and liken it to a beauty bible.
The book takes you on a journey by sharing everything from beauty, body-care, dental health, food recipes, how to throw your own spa parties, gift ideas, DIY household products and beauty secrets to look younger, stay healthier, and above all enjoy life!
Most of the recipes in the book are made using ingredients that can be found in your local grocery store. You’ll have fun making the beauty treatments and you’ll adore what they do for your skin and hair.
The eBook is due to launch on the Silk + Honey website mid July 2014.
What is your favourite recipe from your eBook?
My favourite recipe from my eBook is my Champaign Bubble Bath. It’s a nice luxurious treatment you can do at home.
Despite being fairly new the the green beaut industry, your Silk and Honey DIY Kits have created a bit of a buzz and are much sought after amongst beauty enthuiasts and bloggers alike. When are these kits going to be available to purchase?
My Silk and Honey DIY Beauty Kits will be available to purchase on Monday 30th June 2014 directly from my Silk and Honey website
All things Silk and Honey and work related aside, what are your favourite pastimes?
To distress, there is nothing I love more than paying a visit to a Health Spa!
I like to go alone as it’s somewhere where I can zone out and gather my thoughts. It is a very relaxing experience and it always leaves me rejuvenated in mind, body and spirit afterwards.
I’m not really a going out kind women. I love staying at home and snuggling up on the sofa with my Husband whilst watching movies.
It was an absolute pleasure to have interview Sharonda face-to-face. There were numerous giggles throughout and after the interview concluded we sat and talked for a good few hours. Turns out we have an awful lot in common than first thought and probably explains why we just clicked when we met each other on Friday just gone.
Let me tell you this lady is SUCH a joy to be around. Her work ethic and aura captivates you and one cannot help but be left inspired and empowered after being in her company. Sharonda’s Silk and Honey Shea Butter Hair Conditioning Mask has received rave reviews after appearing Birchbox UK June 2014 edition and I predict great things for this young lady in the years to come!
She exclusively confirmed to me during our interview that her much sought after DIY beauty kits will be made available to purchase directly from her Silk and Honey website on Monday 30th June 2014, that’s tomorrow ladies (or men purchasing for the lady(ies) in your life so be sure to make a note in your diary.
I for one am eagerly anticipating Sharonda’s Natural Beauty eBook and honestly cannot wait to start creating my own Silk and Honey beauty products following her trusted recipes! *roll on mid July 2014 please god*
Sharonda can be found online by visiting her Silk + Honey website, Silk + Honey Facebook or by simply following her on Twitter.
Photo Credits: (in order of appearance)
Photo’s 1 & 2 – Sharonda Flynn
Photo’s 3 & 4 – Silk and Honey
Photo 5- Birchbox UK