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Meet Catherine Saunders of The Shea Parlor

Today we’d like to introduce you to Catherine Saunders.

Hi Catherine, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
Back in 2018, I got fed up with struggling with hyperpigmentation, scarring that wouldn’t fade and extremely dry skin. I hated the thought of covering up these issues rather than treating them from the source. So, I finally decided to do something about it by becoming more aware of the ingredients in my skincare products. I couldn’t even pronounce half of the ingredients on the labels!

So I thought to myself, “What better way to treat my skin problems and build my confidence than to create a natural product of my own!” I spent months researching the benefits of plant-based and organic ingredients like unrefined shea butter, jojoba oil, avocado oil and olive oil. Since the human body absorbs 70% of whatever is applied to the skin, it was extremely important for me to incorporate all-natural ingredients into my routine that were not only healthy but effectively treated common skin problems like eczema, hyperpigmentation and skin discoloration.

I created this body butter formula with the goal of completely rejuvenating my skin – and after just a couple of weeks of use, it did just that! My breakouts completely stopped, my skin tone began to even out and most importantly, I was super confident about what I was applying on my body. I was so happy with the results and after receiving so much positive feedback from family and friends who tried it, I knew that I had to share this transforming body butter with a larger audience.

I heard so many people say that the texture of the body butter looked just like ice cream so I decided to run with that idea. I incorporated a fun ice cream theme to my product and that’s when The Shea Parlor was created!

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
I’m gonna go with a loud and confident NO! haha. They weren’t lying when they said starting a business from scratch would test everything you knew about your mental strength. Along the way, there is definitely money lost, opportunities missed and days when you question if you’re even built to carry a whole business on your back.

About six months after The Shea Parlor launched is when I thought that all of those struggles might have got the best of me and I’d be ready to quit. But then (just like the issues I had with my skin a couple of years back), I dug a little deeper to find the source of my discouragement. I realized that my “struggles” only affect me as much as I allowed them to. I can pout, I can complain and I can simply say that “I don’t have enough time for this” OR I can make the choice to learn from my mistakes, speak positivity to myself on a DAILY basis and find the will and the way.

When it comes to creating the life that I want, I’ll admit that I can have a bit of an all-or-nothing attitude. You either get it done or you don’t. But by consistently training my brain to learn that I actually DO have what it takes to succeed makes my most challenging tasks become more purposeful and the light at the end of the tunnel a little closer.

Can you talk to us about how you think about risk?
On a scale from “no way” to “let’s go for it”, I’d say I’m somewhere in the middle. I can be indecisive at times which makes me not want to decide on anything, but when you’re running a business, that option flies out the window!

A recent risk that I’ve taken is deciding to expand my team and begin delegating my tasks to hired employees. At first, I was hesitant because hiring employees isn’t cheap! There are techniques and strategies that I am required to teach and I’m depending on a stranger to take some responsibility of the business.

But the good thing about taking risks is that they can be weighed and thought through first. I’ve learned to focus on the reward of those risks and remind myself to tap back into the reason why I took the risk in the first place-to get my time back!

Although it took me months and months to let go, it’s probably one of the best decisions I’ve made for The Shea Parlor so far. Now that there are people working for me, I have time to put myself in other places of the business where I am needed.


  • Whipped Body Butters – from $12-$20
  • Exfoliating Body Scrubs – $20
  • Moisturizing Lip Balms – $5

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