Senior Ashirah Cimone Simpson is no ordinary student.
In 2015 she started her own company by making body scrubs in hair dorm room. Simpson’s business, Seek Divine Collections, sells natural hair and organic skin care products.
Simpson is a business management and environmental biology major from Chicago, Ill. Growing up she was teased for having eczema on her skin.
“When I was younger I was teased a lot because of my eczema,” Simpson said. “My skin was always dry and I was always trying to figure out what to do. I was diagnosed with dermatitis.”
Simpson founded Seek Divine Collections because she was allergic to ingredients in skin care items she purchased from stores.
“As a woman of color with sensitive skin,“ Simpson said. “Many corporate ingredients are harmful to my skin.”
Simpson expressed that becoming knowledge of ingredients is beneficial.
One of Simpson’s more popular products is the Miracle Growth Oil.
“This growth oil can help hair grow on women and men,” Simpson said. “The formula originated from my mom. She used several oils on me as a child and I perfected it into this product.”
She also sells a variety of skin care products including body scrubs, soaps and bath salts.
“I have several types of body scrubs including a brown sugar scrub, and a tropical mint scrub,” Simpson said. “I have several types of scents such as herbal mint, warm vanilla, and soothing lavender. The bath salts have a matching soap. I also have a shea body butter.”
Simpson hand makes each of her products with the exception of two.
“The only thing I do not make is African-black soap,” Simpson said. “I purchase raw shea butter and I whip oils in it. Everything else is handmade.”
Her first product was a brown sugar body scrub she created in her dorm room in 2015.
“I was really just testing things out by ex-foliating my skin,” Simpson said. “People started wanting it so I began charging people.”
Seek Divine Collections was founded in 2017 and in 2018 the brand was incorporated as a limited liability company.
Simpson targets generations Z through X because in her opinion the age group is the most knowledgeable about natural products.
“Millennials are game changers and it is important for us to lean towards organic beauty products,,” Simpson said. “A lot of the products in the market have endocrine disruptors that include chemicals not good for your body. Down the line it can create negative health outcomes such as cancer.”
All of the Seek Divine Collections products have natural and non-GMO ingredients.
“Quality is one of my competitive advantages,” Simpson said. “You are able to see my product through the packaging which is not something you see in many stores.”
Simpson said that skin care is important to her because skin is the first thing someone sees when they look at you.
“Your skin is your outward image,” Simpson said. “My ultimate goal is to own a healthcare facility and I would like to focus on health within there. I want to focus on holistic health. I want my products to be so advanced and so scientifically researched that I would be able to provide them as a way to improve health.”
Simpson faced difficulties when starting Seek Divine Collections.
“It was hard for me to break brand loyalty within customers,” Simpson said. “In the beginning it was hard because no one was really purchasing anything. Many people support me because I am a black owned business and because I am knowledgeable.”
One of Simpson’s tips for young adults interested in starting their own business is to be patient.
“Perfecting your craft is important,” Simpson said. “I always want to keep learning more about ingredients to provide the best product.”
Simpson said that this is only the beginning for her business. She has not faced many challenges balancing school work and while maintaining business.
“I believe I’m starting to create a impact,” Simpson said. “With good time management skills and organization, it isn’t hard to balance school work and being a CEO.”
Simpson said that it is important to be knowledgeable about products people use on their skin.
“I want people to read more into what they are consuming and using on their skin,” Simpson said. “You don’t necessarily need to get my products but with more knowledge you can make better decisions overall for your health.”
You can purchase Simpson’s products on SeekDivineColl.com