Natural. Sassy. Chic
Home to San Diego, Shea Chic Boutique — offering all-natural lotions, creams, candles, and bath products — has become one of the fastest growing brands in the region, boasting a 300 percent growth spurt in the past year and a half. With an ever-present tenacious spirit, Founder April Leffingwell has created quite the buzz from Hollywood to New York; not to mention a true California luxury.
How It All Began
Born out of illness, craftswoman of ‘all things fragrant’, April Leffingwell began Shea Chic nearly by accident. “I simply couldn’t get out of bed one day,” she explains. April found herself homebound due to a degenerative spinal condition that kept her in bed for nearly six months. Trapped and forgoing a robust career in radio, she was used to the simple pleasures of perfumes, creams and soaps which, ironically, were to begin a therapeutic value soon enough.
As her husband began bringing scented treasures home to lift her spirits, an idea began to emerge in April’s mind about making soaps and creams of her own. Some of her research revealed harsh chemicals present in one of her previously favorite products, and ultimately, April decided to seek out only natural ingredients for her own creations. After recovering some mobility, she began making products, and after sharing some of her soaps and creams with friends, an inspired enterprise was born.
What Is in a Product – Shea Style
Using Shea Butter as a foundation with its healthy cellular-invigorating and moisturizing properties, April began experimenting with all kinds of scents to create designer-inspired fragrances that she loved. As a fatty nut grown in Africa, Shea Butter contains vitamins A and E and has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory qualities. In addition, it protects against harmful UV rays and is effective in ameliorating some skin disorders like eczema and psoriasis, among others.
In addition, Shea Butter’s rich moisture melts into the skin and with April’s deft hand at fragrance combinations, it is easy to see how the business has skyrocketed so quickly. “One customer told me she is addicted to the Goddess cream,” says April, smiling. It is almost as if you want to keep applying it because of how silky your skin feels and how tantalizing it smells.
Currently, Shea Chic boasts more than 90 products of creams, soaps, bath salts and bombs, candles and lip balms for women; there is also a line of soaps, creams, and fragrances for men as well, with a shave cream in early testing. Even more so, the company has grown 300 percent since its inception in August 2010. Remarkably, Shea Chic has provided products in gift bags at the Emmys, American Music Awards, Golden Globes and the Oscars this year alone, a stunning accomplishment for any company so new to the market.
Finally, Shea Chic’s fresh fragrances and product names are evocative of the Southern California culture and lifestyle: names like Surfer Girl, Bite Me and Zen, to name a few. In fact, April’s hope is to make Shea Chic a ‘must buy’ item for California natives and visitors alike. “It’s all about the experience of pampering yourself,” she says. “Someday I hope the Shea Chic name becomes a ‘must take away’ thing for people after visiting California.” With such a meteoric rise and over 300 celebrity endorsements on record, that day could come quite soon indeed.
Shea Chic Boutique