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Art & Life with Efiya Asabi

Today we’d like to introduce you to Efiya Asabi.

Efiya, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area as the eldest of two children. My grandmother has been my greatest source of inspiration. Some of my earliest memories are of my grandmother tending to her garden and chickens and working around her yard. I loved to spend time with her because she was so kind and loving and I was fascinated by her ability to create things with her hands.

I started creating my own products when my son was diagnosed with eczema. He was six months old, and I couldn’t bring myself to use the steroid creams the doctor prescribed. I was vegan and was attempting to live a clean lifestyle, so I was inspired to create something that we could use instead. I began mixing different types of butter and oils and also started researching soap making.

I noticed that his skin started to improve and began sharing my creations with family and friends. They in turn began to request more and ask to purchase them. That was the beginning of our skincare line.

Can you give our readers some background on your business?
We are a clean beauty brand that creates organic soaps, hair and skincare products. We promise to deliver products that make people feel good inside and out by implementing recycling, green practices, and conscious minimalism. We create a product that doesn’t harm animals, people, and the environment because we believe in the harmony between nature and living beings.

Artists rarely, if ever pursue art for the money. Nonetheless, we all have bills and responsibilities and many aspiring artists are discouraged from pursuing art due to financial reasons. Any advice or thoughts you’d like to share with prospective artists?
When I am not doing my art, I work as a social worker, which I am also passionate about. I find that having a job outside of my art that allows me some breathing room so that I am not as pressed to create products to pay my bills. In the past, I have worked part time and created on my off days. It was a good balance. I have also been a recipient of a Kiva grant, which helped with securing equipment to expand my business.

I would advise a creative if they are not able to fully support themselves through their art to pursue a job that they can also enjoy, maybe as an art teacher, or something else they are interested in. Also, look into grants like Kiva that can help with expanding or growing their art.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
We participate in local craft fairs and festivals. You can also find us online at www.iyoba.com.

Contact Info:

  • Website: www.iyoba.com
  • Phone: 510.830.9600
  • Email: info@iyoba.com
  • Instagram: @iyobahandmade
  • Twitter: @iyoba


Image Credit:
Nino Fernandez

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