· By True Moringa
A Year in Review - True Moringa 2019
What a year it's been! We can safely say that 2019 has been filled with more highs and lows than any other we've experienced. Through it all, we have been so grateful for you - our community - for helping us along this journey.
what went well in 2019
We started 2019 with the goal of using our favorite ingredients from Ghana to simplify healthy beauty routines. We worked with small batch manufacturers to bring our 3 Step Skincare Routine to life - launching our Magic Black Soap Facial Cleanser and Moringa Mist.
national retail launch
We had our first foray into national retail starting with 29 Pharmaca stores in California, Washington, Oregon, New Mexico, Colorado, and Illinois this July. In September, we added 13 New England area Whole Foods stores in Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. One of the most exciting things about this process was meeting and sharing our story with thousands of new customers and dozens of store managers and team members. We grew our brand ambassador team and capped off the year at the Massachusetts Women's Conference with the Whole Foods Local Team.
farmer success retreat
We held the largest gathering of our Farmer Success team - bringing staff from every corner of Ghana together for a three day retreat to learn and share ideas to bring more farmers from poverty to prosperity.
putting moringa on the map
Spreading the word about moringa took us around the world this year. We traveled to Cosmoprof in Bologna, Italy with their African Buyer Delegation to explore new partnerships (and to hang out in a castle or two!).
We worked with celebrity makeup artists who used our moringa oil and lip whips in photoshoots and runways around the country from movie sets in California and New Mexico to New York Fashion Week.
New York became our home away from home - we worked with CEW + Refinery29 to run a workshop on mission driven brands, shared our new launches at WELL Summit, and honed our model, messaging, and mission as part of the inaugural cohort of the BeyondSKU accelerator.
We shared our story with Allure, Stanford Social Innovation Review, PBS and Boston local favorites Detox & Chill.
protecting the planet
This year, we implemented West Africa's largest solar irrigation project and sequestered 160,000 MT of carbon.
what we struggled with in 2019
nucleus farm and factory fire
The theme of this year from the very start seemed to be rising from the ashes. The first half of 2019 brought us fires that took 30 acres of our nucleus moringa farm - nearly all of our organic seed supply - and our moringa leaf powder factory. We leaned on our community for advice, funding, and emotional support as we navigated the rebuilding process and started writing our comeback story.
There is a reason they call moringa the "never die" tree - just a year after the fire, the trees on our nucleus farm are once again in bloom and producing seeds.
what we're looking forward to in 2020
We are so lucky to partner with some of our favorite brands in natural food and beauty to realize the impact moringa can have on people and the planet. We worked with Kuli Kuli this Earth Month to plant over 3000 moringa trees. We continued to work with Greenvines, Pacha Soap, and Thistle Farms to integrate moringa oil into their products and found new partners in Moonbath and Blackbird
We're looking forward to deepening these partnerships and building new ones! Last month, we announced some exciting plans on the horizon with PiperWai - stay tuned!
growing our team
It has been a joy to see our small team in the US slowly grow - as we expand to new cities, we're looking for brand ambassadors to help us tell our story and sample our products at Whole Foods, Pharmaca, and independent retailers (apply here!).
realizing transformational impact
We spent much of 2018 and 2019 focused on scale - establishing new relationships with 5000 farmers, planting millions of moringa trees, and building out a nucleus farm. Now that those seeds are planted, we want to spend 2020 going deeper - advancing moringa agronomy, creating a sustainable model nucleus farm, and helping each one of our farming families not just escape extreme poverty, but reach prosperity.
We're stepping into 2020 re-energized and ready to raise the bar for what it means to create natural beauty, build ethical supply chains, and care for the planet.
Kwami, Emily & Team True Moringa