Niambi Cacchioli was born in Georgia and raised in Kentucky. No matter how much money her family members had, everyone had a garden or vegetable plot. So, she grew up with the notion that Black folk are green folk. For 12 years, Niambi lived in London and then Paris researching the African Diaspora in the Middle East and working with cultural outreach initiatives for the Africa Centre and UNESCO. When she couldn’t find products suited to her combination skin, she would go to the local apothecary, load her shopping cart up with butters, oils, plant waters, and clays, and experiment with the simple beauty recipes that her Nana taught her.
The thing Niambi loved most about her work was connecting with communities of African descent in countries that we normally don’t associate with the Diaspora. Her friends even joked that, if there are Black people in a country, Niambi would find them. One of her favorite travel rituals was to visit the local artisan markets. No matter where she travelled – Iran, Turkey, Morocco, India, or across Europe – she always found African descent artisans and herbalists selling personal goods that reminded her of the beauty recipes she learned when from her Nana. Clays, scrubs, hard butter salves. She began to think of this as a “Diaspora SkinCareCulture” where African-derived beauty wisdom is adapted with local ingredients.
As an academic turned beauty activist, Niambi infuses Pholk with the tradition of innovation at the soul of global Diaspora folk beauty. Our mission is to welcome women of color into the natural skincare space. We do this by thinking about both lifestyle and skin needs. As many melanin-rich women have a tendency toward combination skin, they can be oily, dry, dehydrated, or sensitive all within a single year. For that reason, we formulate our products with oils that won’t clog pores like watermelon, hemp, and cucumber seed oils. We also package and price our collection so that women can curate a skincare regimen for the season that they are in. And we delight in a brand narrative that celebrates women of color as innovators of culture and cool.