The Leimert Park wellness store has teas, herbal remedies, organic body care, haircare products, candles, incense, and more.
By Jason Lewis
Umaar and Sharon Askia opened Nappily Naturals in Leimert Park to deliver natural products to their predominantly Black customer base. The wellness store has teas, herbal remedies, organic body care, haircare products, candles, incense, and more “to support your wellness and healing journey.”
“We follow the pattern of African holistic health,” Umaar said.
Unlike mainstream health and wellness products, the products at Nappily Naturals are so fresh that most of them have expiration dates because there are no preservatives.
“Corporate America is based off of consumption,” Umaar said. “When they make a product, they want to make sure that it can last in the warehouse as long as chemically possible before it gets to the end consumer. So they’re going to make sure that the product has (chemicals such as) stabilizers, parabens, and all kinds of bonding agents to keep the product fresh and smelling fruity and as minty as possible. The only way to do that is to add chemicals. So everything you get from a big box store, it has to have a form of preservative. Because before it gets to the store, it’s in the warehouse for six or seven months.
“Everything should be simple, raw ingredients. Lemon peel, orange peel, orange powder, lemon powder. We’re getting you back to nature. Especially if you’re African. You have a high concentration of melanin. Generally what works well for us when all things are natural.”
Nappily Naturals has teas that boost the immune system, and assist with blood purification, relaxation, and sleep.
“We assemble and source either wild crafted or organic teas. We deal a lot with the roots, because you get more nutrients from that and the green leaves. Most teas that you buy from the store is not actual tea. It’s dust. A tea should be a leaf. You have flower, roots, berries, and teas. Eighty percent of what people consume is either a flower or a leaf, not a tea.”
The Askias make custom products at the store to fit people’s needs.
“Because we have the herbs, we’re always making tonics or extracts,” Umaar said. “We’ll get elderberry and let it steep in the refrigerator for like a week. Then we can add the to ginger root and make a tonic for optimum health. We can also do that with hair products. We have food-grade essential oils; carrier oils; floral waters like lavender water, rose water, and chamomile water.”
Nappily Naturals has products for facial and body care.
“Your skin is the largest organ on your body, so you definitely want to watch what you put on your skin,” Umaar said.
Nappily Naturals is in Leimert Park Village, and like the rest of the stores along Degnan Boulevard, it has an Afrocentric environment.
“Our primary goal is to serve primarily Black people,” Umaar said. “Period point blank. Our primary target market is African Americans and people from the African Diaspora. Anyone else is always welcomed. But our primary focus, the sourcing for all of our ingredients, to our herbs, everything is geared for our consumers.”