Beauty entrepreneur Nyakio Kamoche Grieco has been prepping for the skin-care biz since she was in grade school. “My mom would always make me put shea butter and grapeseed oil on my feet before bed,” she says. Fast forward nearly two decades, and the New York native of Kikuyu descent now heads the African-inspired Nyakio line of bath and body products.
Nyakio, 31, launched the downtown L.A.-based business in 2002 and uses recipes passed down by her mother and grandmother–the latter still living on the family’s coffee farm in Kenya. “I used to watch my mom grind coffee beans in the kitchen and combine them with extracts to use as a skin cream,” Grieco says. “And you should see my mom. She looks 25.”
Nyakio, who grew up in Oklahoma, where her father is a professor of African history at the University of Oklahoma, recently added a perfume oil blending coconut oil, sandalwood, jasmine and other elements. Other offerings include citrus moluccana body wash and a soon-to-launch grape eucalyptus scrub. Nyakio prefers indigenous African ingredients such as shea butter and sweet almond oil. “There’s beauty in simplicity, which is really what my line is about.”
Apothia at Fred Segal,8118 Melrose Ave.,Los Angeles,(877) APOTHIA
Kalologie Skincare, 132 S. Robertson Blvd., Los Angeles, (310) 276-9670.