Nyakio Kamoche Grieco, a first-generation American of Kenyan descent, opened her skin-care line Nyakio when she realized that the sophistication of Africa was missing in the cosmetics industry. Nyakio was born in New York and raised in Norman, Oklahoma. After graduating from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in Business Marketing, the then future entrepreneur moved to Los Angeles to work in the entertainment industry.
Her passion for beauty began at a young age. Her father started the African Studies Program at The University of Oklahoma and her mother is currently Dean of Resources for Learning at Harper College in Illinois. Her father, who passed away in 2013, and her mother, instilled a passion for research and discovery in her. Her grandmother taught Nyakio her first beauty secret at eight years old when she visited her in Kenya. “She was a coffee farmer who crushed Kenyan coffee beans which she would apply to her skin with oils, and used a rod of sugarcane to exfoliate her skin,” Grieco adds. Her grandfather would extract oils in nature and use them to treat the skin and many ailments.
The entrepreneur wants all women to know about the benefits of using clean and green beauty, specifically cold-pressed oils to treat the skin. “Skin is skin, and as we age we all continue [to] lose the oils that we are born with and in order to fight the signs of aging, we need to feed healthy oils in various forms back into our skin. Hydration is KEY to younger looking skin! Even if you have oily skin, you should use oil to fight oil. Often, irritated skin is overproducing oils, so we need high-quality, clean, and efficacious ingredients to balance our skin’s natural oils,” she explains.
The Nyakio brand has ingredients from 13 counties around the globe. They are cruelty-free, vegan and free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates, butylene glycol, and formaldehyde. Products from the brand include Maracuja and Yangu Soothing Oil which helps to reduce redness, color correct, rescue, and calm dry irritated skin, Quinoa Depuffing & Firming Eye Cream, in which Quinoa naturally helps to decrease inflammation, and Kenyan Coffee Face Polish, “Not only does it help to slough of dry skin to reveal a radiant complexion, it is also an homage to my grandmother, Nyakio, who was glowing into her 90’s,” Grieco adds.
Nyakio also has a partnership with Girls Inc., a nonprofit organization that creates opportunities for young women to succeed and advocates for policy reform that brings about systemic change. Her goals for her brand are to continue to grow her network of women around the globe and look at them for inspiration to create handcrafted products to help women live in their best skin. “I look forward to growing at ULTA Beauty and giving more women the opportunity to celebrate the global and efficacious ingredients that live within the Nyakio brand. I’m excited to continue mentoring and partnering with Girls Inc. who I mentor specifically for their Operation STEM programming to help young women know that we are great at math and science. Science jobs are so much fun and we encourage them to be strong, smart and bold,” she says.
Nyakio’s advice for women who want to pursue a career in skincare/beauty is to stay authentic to their own story, their own dreams, and to do their research. She says for those who want to create their own line, they should have a business plan, share their story, seek advice, and ask for help. “Quite often if we wait for ‘the right time’ an opportunity might just pass you by,” she stresses.
Nyakio beauty products can be found at https://www.ulta.com/brand/nyakio.
For more information on Nyakio visit https://nyakio.com