By Amaris Taylor
Aba Gyepi-Garbrah believes in showing up for herself. What began as elaborate Ghanian beauty rituals passed down from her mother later transpired into a heavily coveted holistic beauty grounding of the mind, body and spirit. The founder’s introduction to essential oils was a treatment plan curated by her acupuncture practitioner. She was captivated by the duality of scent paired with the simple question “how are your spirits?”
“I just knew I felt lighter, freer, less burdened,” Gyepi-Garbrah tells thirteen lune, “Not long after, I was inspired to create products for friends, family and coworkers.” She then decided to pursue formal studies in Holistic Aromatherapy from New York Institute of Aromatherapy and launched Aba Love Apothecary in 2016.
Now, the certified aromatherapist utilizes her love and knowledge of plant medicine to create handcrafted holistic skincare and organic aromatherapy. Her products include a Petal Facial Mist, Grooming Oil, Body Tonic, and Flower Crown Facial Serum, which all receive consistent praise from customers who are excited about this new way to experience skincare.
“Everytime a customer tells me they felt the love from an Aba Love Apothecary product, that is always the biggest win for me! It's such a special thing to give people the tools to pour into themselves.”
Within the beauty landscape today, Gyepi-Garbrah is inspired by the values and core commitments of inclusivity, sustainability and representation.
Get to Know – Aba Gyepi-Garbrah
Do you have a beauty philosophy? What is it?
My beauty philosophy begins within - starting nourishing foods and a good sweat. Once you know what works, stick to it but also always treat yourself to something special to make your rituals a bit more indulgent. Because you deserve it!
Where are you from originally?
I'm a first generation Ghanaan. I was born in Boston and grew up in Northern Virginia. I currently reside in Brooklyn, New York.
What were some of your first memories of beauty growing up? What are some early beauty influences?
My mothers elaborate beauty rituals have always inspired me. I was not allowed to wear makeup until high school - but I needed to be dressed, jeweled and braided properly. I still think about my favorite hairstyle. I think I was 7 years old. My hair was braided in a cute bob with pink and white heart shaped beads - with foil at the tips. I loved the sound my braids would make every time I jumped into a game of double dutch! Never cared if I lost any beads either (my mom did). As a woman, my biggest learning is taking care of myself and showing up for myself, too.
What does self-care look like in your life?
It's very simple and grounded from a mind-body-spirit perspective. I wake up early enough to meditate, move my body (circuit training & boxing or simple stretching and long walks on rest days). I talk to my therapist weekly. I tell my people I love them. And I enjoy simple pleasures on the weekend - fresh fruit and flowers from the farmers market is a must!
What inspires you most about the beauty landscape and industry today?
I love that there are a myriad of ways beauty is expressed - and that people allow themselves to evolve their rituals as their needs change. People are letting their values and needs inform their decisions instead of being dictated to. I also absolutely love that we are seeing more inclusivity and brands large and small have an aspect of sustainability at the core of their missions.
What has been the biggest challenge in starting your business?
Scaling, supply chain and funding.When I started my brand I wasn't necessarily envisioning what is possible now. Let alone the current challenges our industry and climate is dealing with. But now that the brand has touched so many hands - and it’s helped people experience skincare differently, I’m feeling called to pursue careful, measured growth while still being offering a niche beauty experience.
What would you like to see more of in the beauty industry when it comes to diversity and inclusivity?
I could say this and never tire of it - Representation Matters. It’s critical people feel seen and empowered by folks that look like and relate to them.