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Inspiring Conversations with Charity Dinko of Northshea

Today we’d like to introduce you to Charity Dinko.

Hi Charity, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
My name is Charity Malia Dinko and I am the CEO and Co-founder of Northshea. Let me take you back to 2010. I had just graduated from HS when I found out I had won the diversity visa lottery. I quickly packed up my bags said goodbye to my family and friends to left for the land my dad called the “land of opportunity” the United States of America.

After two years, it looked like I had adjusted to my new environment. I landed two jobs working at Mcdonald’s and Walmart. I got my first used car, enrolled myself in community college then got my bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia. Life was ok but I never stopped worrying about the less fortunate women and children I had left behind. You see, all the way in a village in Northern Ghana, several women are being exploited despite their hard work. All for what? Shea butter. You may be wondering, what is Shea butter? Well, it’s a natural vegan oil that is extracted from the shea nut and used mainly in cosmetics and, probably to your surprise, Chocolate. Although I wanted to help these women, I thought I didn’t have enough from my fast food and retail jobs to make a difference until one day that changed!

Sitting at the traffic light, I locked eyes with a homeless man asking for money. I wanted to help but only had 25 cents in my car, which I thought was too small. As I battled with myself whether or not to give him the money. God spoke to my heart and reminded me that my 25 cents could be all he needed to add up to his 75 cents for a drink that afternoon. So I gave it to him.

That evening I thought about how many of us do absolutely nothing because we could only do a little. I understood that any little contribution I had could greatly help my community and could change a life. I was inspired to start a school feeding program with my mother, who was a teacher at one of the village schools in the south. That evolved into a no-interest microloan program and now Northshea.

Northshea is named after the region where our Shea nuts come from. We are an all-natural and purpose-driven shea butter company that works to eradicate poverty among hardworking women in Ghana through Shea butter production. We do so by cutting out the middleman in the shea supply chain, which significantly increases the living wages of the women. Not only are we making a difference in the lives of women, but our customers love our products. Since our launch in August 2018, we have produced and sold over 13,000 lbs of shea butter which has transformed many lives.

Before this conversation ends, I want to leave you with these three questions: What if buying a bag of shea butter could provide a meal for a little girl in a village in Ghana? What if buying a bag of shea butter could provide jobs for people in Ghana and the US? What if buying a bag of shea butter could transform your skin and hair forever?

Northshea knows how to end exploitation in the shea industry and is doing just that with the support and help of our customers.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
During the heat of COVID, two men broke into our storage and went away with everything we had worked so hard to build. We lost all our inventory, supplies, and tools. We had to start from scratch. With a great support system and tribe, we were helped to get back up to our feet in less than a year.

As you know, we’re big fans of Northshea. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
We are an all-natural and purpose-driven shea butter company that works to eradicate poverty among hardworking women in Ghana through Shea.

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