SheaBroJae’s Natural Expressions
Location and Contact Info:
330 Main St., Racine, WI 53403, (262) 456-2941,
Hours of Operation:
9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Wednesday – Friday
9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Saturday
Broderick and Janela Smith
Please share a bit about your background:
Janela and I met in 1992 while I was stationed in Panama. After I was discharged from the Army in 1993, we kept in touch and were married in April 1995. I started working at Abbott Laboratories in 1998 and we moved to Racine in 2000. Janela learned to braid as a teenager in Panama and has been working on Natural hair care ever since. She learned about natural product remedies from her mother and later became certified loctician, specializing in dreadlock care, maintenance and style. She developed her passion for jewelry design and started selling her Heavenly Creations in 2004 at the Peddler’s Market on Lathrop Avenue. In 2006, we started SheaBroJae’s at Flatiron Mall, when Janela started blending her own shea butter products based on her mother’s customized blends. In 2015, we moved to our Sixth Street location and we’ve been at our larger Main Street location since May.
What was the inspiration for your business?
After the death of her mother in 2003, Janela suffered from major depression and was suicidal. Traditional treatment and medications made her feel like she couldn’t think. One day she walked into Funky Hannah’s and fell in love with beading and jewelry making. She attributes the discovery to literally saving her life and freeing her from medication, believing “a diagnosis doesn’t dictate your dreams.” She’s since expanded her artistic creations to clothing and artwork.
What’s your most popular item(s)?
Handmade, unique hats, jewelry and paintings. We’re also developing a following for our shea butter products, containing 100% shea butter and essential oils.
Do you have a little-known specialty?
Education about how to care for Natural hair, particularly for the white parents and foster parents of biracial and black children. We can offer help with techniques and use of products in a comfortable atmosphere.
Can you share a sneak peek to your future plans?
We’re working on our new Shea Butter Bar, where we can customize shea butter blends for our customers.
We’d also like to host small groups for beading nights and shea butter blending parties.
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