Body Care Beauty Shop In The U.S. Virgin Islands Marries “Nature With Science”
By Rachel George
As a black woman who loves to embrace her naturally kinky, curly hair, I’m always on the prowl for natural products and stores. No one product is the same, but I love finding products with key natural ingredients and have multiple uses. Cultured Naturals, your one-stop shop for all of your beauty, body and hair care needs, makes sure its products are made with love and natural ingredients. This shop boasts a large selection of products from natural deodorant and organic Haitian black castor oil to facial cleansing nectar and leave-in hair quencher and beauty bars.
Founder Ramone Reid discovered her niche “marrying nature with science.” After serving her community in Jamaica as a nurse for over 10 years and dealing with some health issues, Reid realized she was stepping into the next phase of her life called “self-preservation.” This time was now about caring for herself and her well-being. Her grandmother spent 40 years as a nurse and a community healer, known for using natural alternatives. She learned the value of natural ingredients grown right in your own backyard, everything from coconut to aloe vera to “the charcoal my grandfather made.”
She wanted a product that was not only marketable but that had multiple uses on hair, face, skin, and the body. In 2008, Reid began blending essential oils, fruits, and other locally grown, raw ingredients, testing them on locals and customers at a local health food store, essentially forming Cultured Naturals.
Most of their products are 95 percent vegan, except for a honey face mask. Just about every ingredient is sourced from local food markets, farms and simply from her own backyard. “We also use castor beans, boil the meat of the coconut to make oils and use moringa powder. People pay an arm and leg for moringa powder and we have it here and loads of it,” she said. Her hair products are universal for all hair types made to nourish, hydrate and strengthen your hair. Each product explains the benefits to the skin, hair, and body on the back of labels. The Reviving Conditioner & Co-wash contains moringa and castor oil, essential to maintaining moisture and softness of hair.
Reid spent years back and forth between the Bahamas and the USVI before ultimately residing in the beautiful St. Croix, where she established her first store. It was destroyed after Hurricane Maria in 2017. But Reid pulled together some resources, used her connections in the community and the support of her family and friends to rebuild her business. “I had a dream and a voice said, ‘Ramone, look in Christiansted.’ I saw this door on an old Danish building. A woman came out and on the inside of the door was a ‘For Rent’ sign. I knew it was God.” Last September, she opened a brand new location in Christiansted, one of St. Croix’s prime business area and home to the Agrifest. You can find a beauty bar in-store, for customized products for customers based on what they like or need.
“In the future, with Cultured Naturals, I want to create jobs for the community and build a legacy for me and my family.”
Want to know more about Cultured Naturals? Visit their store at 55 Company Street in Christiansted on Tuesday through Saturday between 11 am-6 pm. It is also online at etsy.com.