For the next 3 months, I refined my body butter recipe. The current recipe was too heavy for the 30-degree temperatures in Ghana. I registered the business. My brother used his office as a testing ground, asking anyone who came by to sample some creams and give feedback.
I thought about my mother, affectionately called Auntie Suzie. A creative genius of her time. She spent 30 years of her life as a Home Science teacher in a high school. She could make anything. She cooked, baked, made soaps and creams, she sewed our clothes and mended the hems of my dad's trousers. She had a poultry farm and tendered a vegetable garden. She decorated. She did all these things casually like they were things everyone did. When I saw Martha Stewart for the first time on TV, I called her and told her she could do a TV show with her creative ideas. She rolled her eyes and chuckled. She wasn't proud of her career. She didn't see it as a career. She was against it when I wanted to study Home Economics at Wesley Girls High School. A school built 180 years ago by the Methodist Church to teach young women home skills. Where she had studied 35 years before me. "You too smart for that", she lamented, "Your grades are good, study Science". So I majored in General Science with Elective Maths in High School. When I was writing my high school graduation exams, she was in the hospital. She sent me a card that read; "The past can't be changed, but the future is in your hands. Your faith in God will provide for you". I still have that card.
Auntie Suzie passed on, on July 30th, 2001 during my first year at University. The most multi-faceted, powerfully talented woman I have ever known. A proud woman, who poured her life into her 4 kids and the many more she mentored. Here I was, 13 years later, doing what she told me not to do.
Will she be proud? Will she have encouraged me to give up my whole life for this? Would we be a mother, daughter team if she was here? Whether it's for the Home, Science, or Economics, Cosmetics is a billion-dollar industry. I'm taking my future into my hands as mama advised, and maybe this is my chance to change the narrative.