Aviela Shea Butter Products

Me & Patricia

Me & Patricia Monney – Aviela Founder

My current favourite product for moisturising my body is the Avelia Shea Body Butter, I use it every day (Ingredients Butyrospermum Parkii(Shea Butter) Oil, Vitis vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Shea Olien,  and Persia Gratissima (Avocado) Oil).

I first came across the brand at the professional beauty show last year where I met the owner Patricia Monney. Like many a natural entrepreneur Patricia started making her products in her kitchen at home in Hemel Hempstead. This month she shared some delightful news with me so I decided to have a quick catch up with Patricia to find out more…

Patricia Monney

Patricia Monney

So for those who don’t know your brand, Aviela is 9 years old. What inspired you to start?
Aviela Shea butter products started as a result of my daughter Charissa .  Even though I knew a lot about Shea butter because I come from Northern Ghana which is the hub of the Shea tree, I paid no attention to it at all.  But when Charissa was almost 2 years old and was still not walking as a new mum, I became worried.  While on holiday in Ghana I decided to visit a doctor to examine my daughter’s condition. The first doctor I saw confirmed that there was something wrong with her left ankle and she would probably need surgery. He then referred me to a bone specialist. When I met up with the bone specialist, he examined Charissa’s foot and asked me if I had ever heard of Shea butter. I excitedly told him that it was my mum’s favourite remedy for every skin and hair problem she had. He advised me to take Charissa home and massage her ankle with it twice a day and after 2 weeks he would determine whether an operation on her ankle was necessary.

I was quite upset about the prescription I was given and was thinking of not returning to see him. When I got home, I told my mother about my prescription and she said to give it a try. My mother took charge of it and massaged her granddaughter’s ankle with the Shea butter every morning and evening.

Three days afterwards, I saw Charissa on her feet trying to walk. By the 4th day, she was walking without any aid. I was so shocked and could not wait until the following week to see the doctor.

When I met the doctor after two weeks I asked him how the Shea butter had solved the problem. He explained to me that the cartilage in her ankle was very stiff, causing her not to stand properly, but the anti-stiffening agent in the unrefined Shea butter helped to induce some softness into her cartilage which helped her to stand on her feet comfortably, to allow her to walk. That very night when I got home I started calling all my Aunties and Uncles to find out more about Shea butter.  When they told me about some of the benefits and the many ailments it had helped healed I knew I had to find a way of bring it to the whole world.

The stand at the professional beauty event

That is incredible, the power of Shea!! So now you are an expert what is your favourite product in your own range?

I love all the products in the range, and what I use depends on the weather and season, for instance during the winter I can’t live without my body butter and foot butter for my feet, in the spring it will be my lotion and oil, then getting into Autumn it will be the body crème.  As for black soap I use it all throughout the year, morning and night.

So what was the good news?


That’s fantastic news is it in all Superdrug or are there certain ones we should head into?
Currently our products are being sold on their website, superdrug.com, but Superdrug have 4 types of stores which are respectively the Premium stores, the Prestige stores, the Family stores and the Travel stores, we have had discussions that the products will sit in either the Prestige or Premium stores but most likely in the Prestige stores.  We are still awaiting confirmation as to which stores it will be and where those stores are located.

How important do you think it is for our natural products to get into mainstream stores?
More and more people are becoming aware of the benefits of natural products and would want to buy them, but they sometimes find it daunting just to go to natural product websites or stores and get them.  If the product is easily available to them they will much prefer that, so I believe it will be helpful if we made it more easily accessible by putting our products in the mainstream stores so they can easily get want they want and enjoy the benefits natural products has to offer.

Any advice for a natural product company trying to follow in your footsteps?
We all know that running a business is not easy, but you have to be able to define what you want and what you want your business to achieve, and be persistent and determined in achieving what you want irrespective of what people will say or think of you.  There will be a lot of ‘No’ but just remember that ‘No’ means not now but later.  I initially approached Superdrug a year after I started my business and never got a response, 8 years on I went back again and this time the decision wasn’t difficult for them to make.

Congratulations Patricia.

Readers to find out more you can visit www.aviela.co.uk

You can also visit www.superdrug.com to find the range on their website


From Fuerteventura with love…

Well… I’m not actually writing from Fuerteventura, I am back in the UK but wanted to share some of my holiday with you.

Fuerteventura is one of the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa. It is politically part of Spain. When people visit the Canary Islands they go to the more popular Tenerife but hubby and I wanted something relaxing and we were not too interested in clubs so that’s exactly what we got.  We spent mornings jogging along by the beach, followed by long indulgent breakfasts, I snorkelled in the clear warm waters and we went on few tours.

Goat's Milk Soap

Look what I found on one of the tours, 100% Natural ingredients, Goats Milk Soap I haven’t tried it yet though.

One of the tours I have to tell you about is when we went to visit the Aloe Vera Factory.

The tour started with the guide telling us how many illegal immigrants they get from Africa each year and pointed out the army barracks/detention centres these poor people were put in. The Island is only 20 hours by boat from North Africa and one of the most popular routes into Europe. So people from many countries in Africa give it a shot.  Sadly not many survive the journey; the boats are often ill equipped and overcrowded so many people end up at the bottom of the sea with their bodies washing up on the Island. Or their motors run out, so they end up drifting in the ocean for weeks eventually dying of thirst.  Despite this, sometimes the reasons to leave outweigh the reasons to stay imagine if you are fleeing from war. Of the boats that do arrive or are intercepted safely the inhabitants are interrogated and often sent back home (Sigh).

Anyway….Fueteventura is a volcanic island and some years they get only 7 days of rain, some years 3 and some years nothing. The perfect climate to grow Aloe Vera organically.

The Aloe Plant's

The plant farm

It really is a Volcano the whole Island! Look at me picking my way over the rocks in sandals!

It really is a Volcano the whole Island! Call this a beach?

Now to be honest I have never taken much notice of the plant. As a Jamaican many of my family members own one and claim that they use it for medicinal purposes. This tour gave me the opportunity to learn properly what it is for and why you would use it.

The Guide Giving us the info

The Guide Giving us the info

So here is the lowdown.

Of the 300 varieties of Aloe Vera (Which is actually a lilly not a cactus) Aloe Barbadenis Miller is the most superior of them all. So if you are going to get one get that one.

The leaf of this plant contains 200 separate ingredients including: 13 Vitamins, 13 Minerals, 16 Enzymes, 21 Amino Acids, Natural Aspirin, and Acemannan (google it) but you need it to be at least 7 years old to get all that good stuff.

So when you pick your leaf how what do you do with it? Peal it as you are looking for the slimy jelly part inside which you put in the blender.

You need to peal it like this

You need to peal it like this

Its this Jelly you need. I rubbed this into my skin and it sank in straight away with no slimy residue

Its this Jelly you need. I rubbed this into my skin and it sank in straight away with no slimy residue

How to use it Internally:
Aloe Vera strengthens your immune system and detoxifies your body (it also is a gentle laxative so be careful).  have 1-2 teaspoons daily pure or mixed with a cold drink or a yoghurt.

How to use it externally:
Its a rapid skin moisturiser, it also has anti inflammatory, antibacterial, antibiotic and astringent ingredients so you can put it on a cut, a bruise a mild eczema even sunburn. It stimulates natural cell renewal and sooths irritated skin.

How to use it on your hair
Aloe vera has been used for hundreds of years on the hair. Be careful if you buy readymade products check the ingredients list as many only have a small amount of the stuff in.

Aloe is an amazing product for hair. It helps with the following: Promoting hair growth, hair loss, dandruff and itchy scalps, restoring balance to either oily or dry heads. Restoring the sheen, softness and strength of your hair and with no buildup it also combats frizz.

As a deep conditioner you can strain the blended jelly so that the white bits don’t get stuck in your hair. Then saturate your hair with it from root to tip. Put on your plastic cap and leave it on for a while or sit under the steamer with it on. Then wash it out as usual. Some people use it as well as their normal deep conditioner.

It can also be added to your spritz as a moisturier.

So that’s everything I learnt! You know I am now about to hop on Google to see if I can buy an older plant. Do you ever use Aloe Vera, how, in what form and have you found any benefits?




Cioccolatina Sankofa Face Cream

Autumn is finally here and I am hearing a lot of people discussing what they will do with their hair over winter.

I don’t currently need to change my regime but I think I am going to live in two strand twists.  It’s going to be something like,  three weeks of twists and then a weekend with them out, then wash again for three weeks of twists until I get fed up. Are you doing anything different over the winter?

Can you remember how I said before I want to slowly change all my products to have a more natural lifestyle? I started with deodorant then shower gel but recently I was looking for a moisturiser for my face.  I noticed that my skin was feeling much drier than usual and saw little lines I have never had before.  I have never used a specialist face moisturiser but a friend told me that your skin changes in your 30’s so you need to change with it.

When Shea Butter Cottage posted on twitter “you don’t need pemtapeptides you just need to try our Cioccolatina Sankofa Face Cream” I thought why not, let me give it a shot.  It’s £10 for 45g and the most I have ever spent on a specialised face cream.

Cioccolatina Sankofa Face Cream-Shea Butter Cottage

Ingredients (well you might have to google some of these but all natural)

aloe barbadensis, rosa centifolia, butyrospermum parkii, sclerocarya birrea, ximenia americana, carica papaya, olea europea, behentrimonium methosulfate (and) cetearyl alcohol, veg. glycerin, simmondsia chinensis, tocopherol (pure vit. e), boswellia carterii, rosa damascena, citrus aurantium, potassium sorbate, geraniol, linalool, citronellol, limonene, farnesol, eugenol, citral
Offical Description
How do you like your face cream? Rich, nourishing, moisturising, rehydrating, soothing? Well, this little pot ticks all the boxes. A rich face cream with pure unrefined shea butter, community traded ximenia, papaya and marula oils enhanced with the rejuvenating essential oil blend of frankincense, rose and neroli. You only need to apply a little bit. 

My Verdict
Well I hate the smell, it’s just not a nice smell to me and one I can’t really describe. However I used this cream a little in the morning and a little in the night and I started to notice how lovely my skin was looking. Its true you only need a little as it is very rich and very moisturising. Could it reverse the effects of ageing? I don’t think any product can really do that but let me tell you my fine lines were gone (perhaps my skin needed more moisture) I would go as far as to say that my skin loves this stuff its actually glowing.  I took two pictures one with and one without flash so you could see.

No Make up without Flash – skin is glowing
No Make up with Flash…

What do you think? I am definitely going to be using this over winter to help my skin battle the elements. 

Cioccolatina Sankofa Face Cream £10  available from Shea Butter Cottage