Tammie Umbel: How Women Can Change The Stigma of Aging

We stumbled upon SheaTerra Organics while searching for a clean vitamin E serum. On the back of the product, the ingredient label states, “Contains only:” before listing just good stuff.

The creator of Shea Terra Organics, Tammie Umbel, was kind enough to share much of her beauty wisdom with us. This interview goes far beyond skincare, and we hope you enjoy the wisdom of this remarkable woman, who is making a true difference in the beauty industry.


We’ve tested out other Vitamin E serums and they don’t absorb into the skin like yours does. What makes your oil different?

A. Our Kigelia 7X Antioxidant Face Serum Age Defense has a high percentage of Vitamin E, but the main ingredient is pure Marula Oil. Marula Oil absorbs well into skin. We only use non-clogging, high-absorption oils in our products. 

How do you create your products pure with natural ingredients and still provide a reasonable price point?

A. High quality, pure products at reasonable pricing is what SheaTerra Organics was founded on. I feel that we cannot help our suppliers in Africa if we raise our prices far beyond what we pay for them. We have always imported all ingredients direct from sources in Africa, which keeps our prices down.

We don’t use distributing companies, like the products you find in drug stores, so we are able to produce high quality products and pass the savings on to our customers

You live on an organic farm and your work allows you connect with nature, but you’re still running a thriving business. How do you keep yourself balanced and handle stress?

A. I don't really "handle" stress. I limit all forms of stress. I delegate farm responsibilities to my children and my workers all know their responsibilities. This frees me up to work on the creative and sourcing side of SheaTerra Organics.

You’ve traveled the world and worked with women in third world countries. What have your travels revealed to you about inner and outer beauty?

A. As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. In Tamil, only women with mustaches are beautiful. In reality, our beauty is only a test from the One who created it. Often, our pride taints our hearts and makes us very bitter because, as we all know, “beauty” fades with time. Even the beautiful spring flowers shrivel away. Wouldn’t the world be a better place if women worked as hard to make their actions, deeds and words as beautiful as they work to make themselves up each morning?”

"Each of us can choose to revere our older sisters, rather than constantly frowning on the whispers of time.”

Women hold the keys to future womanhood in their own hands. Women in countries like my own, in America, can choose to change the tide of attitude that we have toward our aging selves.

Many of your ingredients are sourced from Africa. Why is that?

A. I started out importing from many third world countries many years ago, in order to build a thriving business that would open markets to people in need, but also preserve their natural resources. Because we offered pure Virgin Shea Butter at such reasonable prices, we built a huge business on just shea butter back in 2000.  I decided later to expand to other parts of Africa, hoping for similar results. In my opinion, Africa has the most to offer and the most to lose.

Can natural products have anti-aging properties?

A. Natural products absolutely have anti-aging properties to them. The product of ours that stands out the most is our Authentic African Black Soap. This is an amazing all herbal soap that people in West Africa invented many years ago. This amazing soap breaks down dead skin and reveals beautiful new skin better than anything I have ever seen. It also has amazing firming capabilities. 

What are five things you swear by?

A. I only swear by the Creator, but as far as my must haves for healthy and young living, there are a few I share with all my customers.

  1. First is quality of sleep. Quantity of sleep is not enough. The quality is very important. One’s ability to rest peacefully through the night is vital to one’s health.
  2. Secondly, is the ability to control one’s stress level. I frequently relax with a cup of iced tea. However, I often do this with friends, which is my next must have.
  3. Friendships. The importance of being able to come together with local people and just enjoy one another’s company; find some conversation people can enjoy with one another.
  4. Fourthly, nature walks. Nature walks are very important to me. Not only are they good for muscles, but they are powerful for controlling one’s stress and enhancing one’s appreciation of life.
  5. Lastly, creating is very important for me. That might include writing a new company brochure, creating a new product, creating a new meal…

For over a decade,Shea Terra Organics’ founder, Tammie Umbel, has been helping native Africans to preserve their wildlife habitats by sharing their indigenous, healing ingredients with the world. Shea Terra Organics are also the backbone of economic sustainability for many hardworking families across the continent. Since early 2000, they have worked closely with cooperatives and conservation groups to introduce Africa’s time-tested ingredients to the world.