By: R. Maxwell Bone
How does a stay at home mom from New York City with a background in marketing and publishing start a multi-national company and empower women from rural villages, many of whom are illiterate and have received no formal education? All that one needs to do to find out is look at the inspiring work of Katharine L’Heureux.
In Katharine’s story, what was planned to be an exotic vacation to Morocco, turned out to be a game changing trip through possibly one of the most unexpected ways possible. While departing the United States to fly to Morocco, her facial oil was confiscated by the TSA. She thought that she would be able to make it through her trip without it, but after four days travelling through the desert she decided that there must be something she could do in order to get over how dry her face was becoming.
She decided to ask her guide what the local women use to keep their skin moist, and he informed her that they often use the oils from the Argan plant in order to moisturize their skin. She decided why not give it a go, and little did she know, using this oil would be a life changing move for her.
Katharine found that this simple oil worked amazing. It immediately made her skin moist again, and on top of that, it was all natural, pure, and organic. She realized that this was the type of facial oil she had been searching for over many years, she just expected to find it in a department store in the United States, and not in the deserts of Morocco.
After returning to the United States, Katharine came to the realization that she had fallen in love with two things, both the people and country of Morocco and the natural oil she found in the country’s desert. She decided that she wanted to do something with this newfound passion.
This led her to take several trips back to Morocco to look into using this amazing oil to empower the people of Morocco whom she had come to love so deeply. During this process, she had come to admire the dedication of the women who assisted her in sourcing the Argan oil.
As she continued to develop ore products within her new brand named Kahina Giving Beauty, she came to realize that the true idea behind this project was the empowerment of the women who were making this product. She assures that they are represented at every step of the production of the product, and even designed the boxes in which her various products are sold to include the signatures of the very women who make the product across the Kingdom of Morocco.
The brand of Kahina has seen great success over the past few years, and provides multipurpose oils for dry skin, as well as natural face masks and eye creams formed from both the Argan oil, as well as remnants of natural clay from the High Atlas Mountains.
The High Atlas Foundation is incredibly proud to partner with Katharine and Kahina Giving Beauty, and the women that deeply benefit from this enterprise. Kahina Giving Beauty and HAF have built bathrooms for rural schools, which is not only essential for a positive learning environment but also increases girls attendance.
Check out an exclusive interview with Katharine to learn more about this product!