Najma Jamaludeen: Inside the Baltimore-Based Temsah Products

Temsah Products uses organic Shea butter, one of the best healing moisturizers around for skin and hair, in their line of natural body and skincare products. The family owned business is dedicated to creating quality products free from artificial fillers, chemical binders or unwanted preservatives—and our October subscribers will get to test the product first hand with a sample of their Shea Buttery Cream in ‘Pear’adise’. We went behind the brand with Najma Jamaludeen to learn more about the healing properties of Shea butter, find out how the company comes up with such delicious fragrances for their products, and discover what we can look forward to from the brand in the future.

What are some of the perks of operating a family owned business?

I am passionate about having a family business. It is hard work, but rewarding work. One of the biggest perks of being a part of a family owned business is having more uncompromised time with my family. My schedule is one that I develop with my family and much of the work I do is done with my family. This allows me to teach my girls valuable life skills and be a part of their creative development in immeasurable ways. Another perk is the freedom that my own business allows me to explore and develop my own skills. For me it really comes down to choice and independence, especially as a black woman and a black family, but that is a whole other topic isn’t it?

How did you initially begin working with organic Shea butter?
I was introduced to Shea butter about 12 years ago. My husband is from The Gambia and he brought some back during one of his trips there. I began using it on my body and my children’s bodies. I was amazed at how well it cleared up my daughter’s eczema and made all of our skin moisturized and soft.

I grew up in a family business where we developed, manufactured and produced aromatic products, so this was something I was very familiar with doing. I showed the product to my sister and brother and turning it into a business was like an automated reaction. It grew from that space to what it is now.

Tell us about some of the healing properties of Shea butter in your products.

I don’t want to sound cliché when I say this, but, Shea butter is a remarkable product. The public is much more familiar with it now than when I began 12 years ago, but it really still is one of the best moisturizers and healers for the skin and hair. Shea butter contains an unusually large healing fraction when compared to other seed oils. Where other seed oils may be great for moisturizing, they don’t heal as well. The nutrients like vitamin A and E found in Shea butter regenerate and renew skin and hair cells like no other oil. It works superbly on rashes, skin allergies, hair breakage and conditions like psoriasis and eczema. It’s always healing on any area where you use it.

You have created some really delicious scents for your buttery creams and soda scrubs! What is the creative process like for deciding which ones you’re going to produce?

Sometimes it is a very conscious business decision like with our essential oil line. We know that we want to offer a variety of fragrances using essential oils that not only smell good, but are reasonably priced. So we will have a top note fragrance that we start with and then we will add other notes based on where we want the fragrance to go in terms of personality: whether it is sophisticated; feminine, masculine or unisex; flirty fun and so on. Other times, like with our fragrance called Lovely Day, scent creation can be very organic and random. With Lovely Day I was mixing something else which had nothing to do with finding a scent and the blend found its way together. Now it is one of our more popular scents.

Subscribers to our October Box will have the pleasure of trying a sample of your Shea Buttery Cream in Pear’adise. Is there anything specific you would like them to know about using the product?
I would suggest using it on what you would consider a problem area first--like your heels or elbows. If you have or can get Temsah’s Soda scrub, then use that to clean first. If you don’t have any of our products, then clean with what you usually use and apply the Pear’adise Shea Buttery Cream after. Or if it’s your hair that you really want to work with, wait until you wash your hair using your usual products and routine, but use the Buttery Cream instead of your usual moisturizer and massage it in to your hair. If you start out using your sample on your problem areas then you can really see the wonderful results. You will love the spiced fruity scent as well.

How can consumers find your products in their local areas?
You can always find them online. If you live in the Baltimore, MD area you can find Temsah in Mareck’s Salon. If you live in NC you will find Temsah Products in Berrybrook Farm Natural Food Pantry located in Charlotte, or African American Art and Deep Roots Market located in Greensboro, NC. If you are in the Detroit, MI area, Temsah Products are sold in Organic Food and Vitamin in Ferndale, MI.

What’s next for Temsah Products?

There are a lot of new products coming to Temsah. We are expanding our product line into more hair care and facial products. I’m putting the finishing touches on a hair maintenance line right now that is just fantastic.

Don’t miss out on discovering other great brands and skincare products. Subscribe now to make sure you receive the arsenal of goodies in our November Box!