Customers who use the natural body and hair care line Oyin Handmade will see a familiar name on Target shelves next month.
After a two-year process, the Baltimore-based company announced that it has been approved for national distribution through Target stores.
“This is one of the most gratifying experiences I’ve ever had,” said Airic Jerrod, the company’s general manager. “Just to see where a small company started from and looking at the progression on a yearly basis—it makes us proud to know that we’re creating jobs in our community and hopefully it can make Baltimore a better place.”
Taken from the Yoruba word for “honey,” Oyin Handmade products will still be made by hand with no fillers such as parabens, petroleum, or silicone.
According to Jerrod, the company was born in 2001 out of creator Jamyla Bennu’s desire to better control the products she used on her body and in her hair. Husband Pierre Bennu joined the team, and in 2003 the company took their product online.
“I feel like when you do things that are for yourself you do it with more concern and pay a little bit more attention,” Jerrod said. “People of color have some awesome hair: it’s strong, it’s healthy, and it’s beautiful.”
“Self love and reversing the program of being told that what you have isn’t beautiful is important, and it’s nice to see Black people making progress and being successful,” he said.
Though the company sells products through its website, www.oyinhandmade.com, the company also has relationships with wholesalers in the Atlanta, New York, and North Carolina areas. They have also held a long partnership with the company Naturally Curly, located in Texas.
Last year, the Harbor East location of Whole Foods in Baltimore began selling Oyin Handmade products.
Jerrod said that approximately two years ago the company went to a natural hair show in Atlanta, where they met representatives of a sales company that linked business owners to large distributors.
From there, the Oyin product was tested and logistics were worked out for a soft launch in 107 Target stores around the country.
Oyin Handmade products include body washes such as the “Honey Wash” and “Frizzy Milk Shake Effervescent Bath Powder” with soap products starting as low as $7.
Men, babies, pregnant women, and people with sensitive skin all have products directed toward their skincare needs such as blended after-bath oils, “Honey Hemp Conditioner,” and a variety of whipped shea butters.
“All companies say their product is made with love, but we take pride in that we make sure this product is good for you right from the ingredients,” said Jerrod.
Oyin products will be available in Target stores in March.
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