Baraka: What is in the Name?

  • 2 min read

What is the story behind the name Baraka?   We often get that question.  In truth, it is an interesting question and the answer links tradition, historic cultural interaction and  Baraka’s brand purpose.

What is now Baraka started off being called SheaCare in about 2011.   The name was selected to represent the ethos behind the activity of procuring shea butter from women in Ghana for sale to makers and users in North America and doing it in a way that provided care and support from one end of the supply chain to the other.

We wanted to portray the care that  the hard-working women in northern Ghana took when making shea butter, using all the knowledge and techniques passed down through generations and to also capture the fact that when our customers purchased shea butter from us they were able to care for their skin and their customer’s skin, and also help care and provide for the hard-working women who made it.

A couple years later, after conversations with local women and leaders and wanting to come up with a more locally rooted name we switched to Baraka.  Baraka means Thank You in Wali, the local language of the women who make our shea butter.  It has Arabic roots that go back centuries and is closely connected to the Arabic word meaning blessings.  

Baraka not only localized the name, giving it local meaning, but also connected it to the fact that as humans we are all connected through time and geography.

A couple years later, about 2015, as we were starting to try harder to sell more product so we could provide more income for local women, we added Shea Butter to Baraka, changing the name to Baraka Shea Butter.  We had been told that this would help people to find us online.

In 2019 we changed the name to Baraka Impact.  This was because we had started to carry additional butters, oils and other products beyond shea butter.  And, our brand-purpose had solidified around impact.  The social, economic and environmental impact we had for hard working women and their communities in Ghana as well as the impact their amazing products were having on the skin and hair of our customers and our customers’ customers.

The reality is that Baraka doesn’t really create the impact.  We simply facilitate it.  We are the vehicle that lets our customers and their customers directly impact the lives of the hard-working women in Ghana who make our products and lets the skill and care the women take in making the products impact the skin, hair and well-being of our customers and their customers.  Baraka is truly the  Bridge that Connects.
Baraka: What is in the name