Black Business Month: Nyakio Grieco
Nyakio Grieco is Preserving Her Kenyan Heritage with Nyakio Beauty
“Brown skin girl. Your skin just like pearls. The best thing in the world. Never trade you for anybody else.” – Beyoncé
Ancestral knowledge reigns king. From the passed down beauty secrets that kept your grandmother aging gracefully to the little known ingredients that left your mother’s skin radiant, family recipes often reap the best results. Nyakio Grieco, an entrepreneur and founder of nyakio beauty, is sharing her family’s Kenyan beauty wisdom with the world. “My grandmother was a coffee farmer who taught me my first beauty secret using Kenyan coffee and sugarcane from her farm to exfoliate my skin. My grandfather was a medicine man, he had the ability to go out into nature and extract oils to treat the skin and many ailments,” explains Nyakio. Using this sacred beauty wisdom as the blueprint for nyakio beauty is a testament to the importance of preserving heritage. “Preserving heritage is how we keep ourselves honest and pass down legacy to future generations,” Nyakio affirms.
Beyond fulfilling an ancestral calling to amplify the work of her Kenyan heritage, nyakio beauty offers a niche in the beauty industry: An elevated brand that celebrates Africa. As a young woman working in Hollywood prior to developing the brand, Nyakio found herself working with a lot of actresses and subsequently being gifted a myriad of beauty products from PR hopefuls. When speaking of this experience, Nyakio shared, “I realized the continent of Africa was very rarely celebrated in beauty in a sophisticated way. I was raised with a deep appreciation for the efficacious and clean ingredients that came from Africa.” This gap in the market coupled with the lack of deeply affirming African beauty products led Nyakio to leave her job, creating nyakio beauty as a way to share her global beauty secrets with all women.
Nyakio is creating a way for other Black women through founding a brand that celebrates African heritage. She is thoughtful as she explains,“It is important for Black women entrepreneurs to have a seat at the table and I know my purpose is to lift up other women and pave the way so that the path of entrepreneurship can be a little easier for the future generation.” Nyakio is in the midst of her most exciting career moment yet, with nyakio beauty launching at Target this year. This an 18-year-old dream realized for Nyakio, a dream that’s had a life of its own come to fruition. Keeping in mind the gravity of this dream realized, Nyakio turns to recognizing the importance of dreaming. “There are so many discouraging statistics around being a Black entrepreneur including widely distributed facts that often serve to deflate our conviction. It is true that there is a lack of funding and opportunity, there are far too few of us in the space. Do not let that deter you from your dreams!” She continues, “Drown out the noise, keep your eyes on the prize, don’t just take money from anyone – be discerning, go easy on yourself and make us all proud! You got this!” One success is all of our success, no matter what. Be sure to shop nyakio beauty here.