Thursday, 22 December 2011


We have been retailing and distributing the fabulous Tropic Isle Living range of Jamaican black castor oil in UK/Europe for 2 years and we are celebrating today with some price rollback.

We have also reintroduced FREE samples of this oil - great for the purse to slick back the hair, keep those eyebrows and lashes in check.

Get Tropical ..........


Sheabutter Cottage

Sunday, 4 December 2011


I just love concocting products for both skin and hair and can now reveal 2 new products from the Cioccolatina range of natural toiletries:

* balance serum - a multi-purpose serum combining cucumber + ximenia oil for all types of skin

* sankofa oil - a soothing/stimulating oil with a herbal mix of amla + bhringraj

Sheabutter Cottage

Monday, 28 November 2011


We will be attending the AFRIDIZIAK event this Saturday as a vendor.  Details can be found at

Don't forget to print the coupon - we look forward to serving you.

Sheabutter Cottage


Tuesday, 22 November 2011


I have had my head literally buried in boxes since my return from the Kingdom of Swaziland.  
Anyway, I know how we all want to save so why not take this opportunity.  Some items listed have savings between 10% and 30%. Minimum quantities apply on some.

Happy shopping
Sheabutter Cottage

Monday, 7 November 2011


I have the whipped shea, passport, reading glasses, cotton dresses and journal.
I also have few things for Vele and would like to thank all our Sheabutter Cottage customers who continue to support our helping hand programme - I will report back after visiting Vele + Swazi Secrets. 

I hope to update our  facebook fanpage but this depends on time, etc.

Best wishes

Saturday, 29 October 2011


I know I have been lazy keeping up with the blog posts whilst quite active on our Sheabutter Cottage facebook fanpage.
Things have got hectic at the "cottage" lately in between planning trips and ordering stock.

It is almost midnight and I am looking forward to enjoying the extra hour's sleep.

I just however wanted to leave you with this quote.

No smile is as beautiful as the one that struggles through the tears.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011


Oh, allanblackia has a very gorgeous natural scent.  A soft vanilla aroma with a melt-in-the-mouth texture.

Get to know more 

Tuesday, 4 October 2011


We will be attending the Naturally Fabulous event this Saturday as a vendor.  Details can be found at

I hope you have already bought your ticket.  Well, you can now print this coupon which is self explanatory:

Please note that we will not be showcasing all our products so you can order online for collection on Saturday - just let us know and we will refund your shipping charges.

Sheabutter Cottage

Saturday, 1 October 2011


Good afternoon on this nice and sunny first day of a new month.
My cheeks feel warm to touch but not because of the warm weather but because of your support - thank you to everyone.
Yes, your order does make a difference and I can confirm that we have today paid health insurance for all 118 members of the 2 shea co-ops [Gubdanda + Gub-Kati-Gbai] in Ghana as well as Arahanatu Abukari  (circled below) who is 7 years old and lives in Gumu.
(image taken at the Gubdanda inauguration in June 2010)

Arahanatu attends a school about 3 miles from home. Her mother Memunatu works at the shea co-op she will receive her share towards her education as follows:
₵20 per term
₵40 for books for the year
₵20 for school uniforms (including fabric + sewing)
₵5 health insurance
₵15 for 2 pairs of second-hand shoes

Thank you very much for supporting our helping hand programme which is stretched beyond Ghana.

Have a great month
Sheabutter Cottage

Monday, 12 September 2011


I am sure I am not alone in stating that my body can't get used to the cold damp British weather :(

Here is a recipe to boost the blood circulation, increase my vitamin C and hopefully kick sore throats and chilblains to the kerb. Blend all the ingredients together:
* 673g fresh pineapple (I chose the one from Ghana as this is not toooo sweet)
* 300g fresh orange juice
* 100g freshly blended ginger (adjust to suit)

The above recipe is quite thick and ginger is the first taste on the palate.


Akua Wood

via BlackBerry

Saturday, 10 September 2011


On behalf of the entire Ekuase Bretou abusua of Asante Effiduase, Banko, Konongo-Odumase, Bompata, Abetifi, Yonso, Baworo, Attaasemanso, Akrofenso; the Royal Bretou houses of Mampong Botaase and Adanse Ahensan; the Oyoko Royal clan of Adwumakaase-Kese; the Royal Badoe family of Ekpu and Benyin, please accept my sincere gratitude for joining us last Saturday.

God Bless You

Akua Wood

via BlackBerry

Monday, 8 August 2011

Sunday, 7 August 2011


For all you JBCO lovers, we are awaiting delivery of our consignment and can confirm that we will be stocking the 8oz size of the lavender bottle [we only have few bottles left of the 4oz].
We hope to receive the items next week.
I have been applying this on my hairline before bedtime for the past 2 days and boy oh boy, I sleep like a baby.
Until then, grab your bottle of Jamaican black castor oil

Saturday, 6 August 2011


There is a lot of confusion around about whether to oil the scalp or not. Well, I was brought up to oil my scalp since not all of us can produce enough oil to "feed the hair" and apart from alopecia from thyroid problems, I have never had any issues with oiling my scalp.
Our scalp butter is made with carefully selected natural ingredients including mafura butter which we source directly from Swaziland to soothe the scalp and help strengthen the hair shaft. The scalp butter is subtly scented with essential oils and now has a new packaging. Check it out -

Wednesday, 3 August 2011


"Prostate cancer generally affects men over 50, and is rarely found in younger men. It is the commonest type of cancer in men. Some ethnic groups have a higher chance of developing prostate cancer than others. For example, black African and black Caribbean men are more likely to develop prostate cancer than white men. Asian men have a lower risk of developing it."
I have been researching into prostrate cancer for few months now and it is refreshing to know that some vegetables/fruits we eat can help in the fight against this dreadful cancer: Macmillan cancer support Pomegranates and Prostate Health: A Research Report I was reading yesterday's newspaper when I came across this
Eat tomatoes with broccoli to fight prostate cancer: Tomatoes and broccoli are both known to help fight cancer, but together their impact is even more powerful.
Apparently, the combination of these colourful vegetables are effective in reducing the growth of the tumour. Tomatoes contain lycopene which is more effective when heated Broccoli contains polyphenols. Make your dish even more colourful with the addition of yellow [sweet] bell pepper which is a good source of antioxidant.


Saturday, 23 July 2011


I love moringa tea and recently made a tea with horsetail & nettle. YouTube will not allow me to upload the video via our old channel so here is our new channel which you can subscribe to This is a snippet of our "1st" video

Wednesday, 22 June 2011


After dispatching all the orders last Friday, I ended up packing my suitcase around 11pm to board a 7am flight to Berlin to attend an award event. I must admit that I was tired but was really looking forward to the trip as I had never visited Germany.
It was straight into a workshop on my arrival to meet other members of the African Women in Europe [AWE]. The workshop was led by Kanini Mutooni who did a fantastic job. Still bleary-eyed, I decided to visit the Berlin wall - well, you can't visit Berlin without seeing this historic wall. I thought a 30 minute round trip would earn me a sleep before the main event in the evening. How wrong was I!!! I ended up getting lost on my way back to the hotel - yeah, clever me disembarked at the wrong stop and ended up walking in the rain for almost 45 minutes to the hotel. By that time, I just needed a stretcher and a hot bath and probably my bed.

The main event started well meeting some dignitaries; His Excellency the Ghana ambassador to Germany - Mr Paul King Aryene, South African Embassy Deputy Head of Mission - Mrs Cassandra Mokone, the commercial attaché of Kenya embassy - Mr Konje.
Moving onto the award ceremony, I could not believe it when I received not 1 but 3 awards.
It was such a pleasure and emotional receiving the 3 awards in Berlin on 18th June 2011 for:
* innovative person
* company of the year
* AWE 1st award

AWE stands for African Women in Europe and it is a platform for socialising with other motivational & inspirational women.
I am still trying to recover from the event. I love what I do and just get on with it through trial and error. As a small business, we always insist on quality. We never compromise and this has led us to pursue our other passion which is looking after those at the 1st step of the supply chain - THE FARMERS!
We are pursuing this path because I feel it the right way to "put a little back" into their hard-work even if it means a lot of sacrifice including lack of sleep - I will continue to push along this path.

One of the awards included a FREE flight ticket to anywhere in Africa
and while most thought she would fly to her native Ghana, she chose Swaziland to visit Swazi Secrets.
"We are delighted that she is taking the opportunity to come to Swaziland and visit Swazi Secrets," said John Pearce, the International Marketing Manager of Swazi Indigenous Products, the company responsible for manufacturing Swazi Secrets products using the marula fruit.
Wood has another link to Swaziland as she uses her profits from Swazi Secrets sales to sponsor a young boy from Mpaka, Vele Maziya, to attend St Joseph’s School.
Pearce said she was very much looking forward to the opportunity to visit him and check on his progress.
"Akua has been selling Swazi Secrets for four years now and has built up quite a link with Swaziland, both with us and with sponsoring Maziya’s education," he said.

I would like to take this opportunity in thanking all our supporters and dedicate the awards to you and the farmers/supply chain.
Much love

Thursday, 16 June 2011


I always love Wednesday. Maybe it is because I was born on that day?!

Anyway, yesterday, I managed to finish work earlier at "the cottage" even rewarding myself with a very very rare "me time" at THE BITE in Emmer Green.

I arrived home to a box waiting for me. The box contained copies of the lovely book The Science of Black Hair well written by Audrey.

You can grab a paperback black & white copy for immediate dispatch.

Akua Wood

Wednesday, 15 June 2011


We recently introduced 2 types of rewards at Sheabutter Cottage:
Earn points when you refer-your-friends to shop with us

Collect points every time you shop with us.
You can use the points to pay for your shopping.- simples! :)

Monday, 6 June 2011


Well, after a loooooong wait and the rather non-typical British grey weekend, it was the samba this morning when I finally took delivery of 4 packages from Brazil containing virgin/unrefined murumuru butter, cupuacu butter, tucuma butter and pracaxi oil.

And here is the golden girl - pracaxi oil - so soft and moisturising with lots of behenic acid to help "iron out the wrinkles".

You can purchase the Brazilian range as follows:

Tucuma butter
Cupuacu butter
Pracaxi oil
Murumuru butter


Monday, 30 May 2011


The mad kitchen chemist in me loves concocting so in a need of a henna treatment before my next braids, I decided to mix the following - please read through

* 279g asparagus juice (left over water after boiling asparagus) - for silica content to strengthen the hair
* 148g rosemary leave-in conditioner or thick yoghurt - for extra conditioning
* 121g water

* 86g henna - to strengthen the hair

* 56g garlic - for sulphur content to help stimulate hair growth

* 30g shea oil - for gloss

* 20g dried nettle leaf - for silica content to strengthen the hair

* Cling film (saran wrap)

* Shower cap


I never use henna for its colouring effect but rather for its strengthening benefits.

To start this process, I added the nettle leaf to the asparagus juice + water and simmered (not boiled) for 20 minutes. I strained and left it to cool.
I blended the whole cloves of garlic with the shea oil, added the nettle/asparagus juice, blended together before straining into the henna.
I then added a jar of our rosemary leave-in conditioner which had to be used up and left the mix to sit for 12 hours as I was too tired to proceed with the treatment at this point.

I had just taken my braids out so it was ideal to wash it before the henna treatment. I used a small amount of our afro shampoo bar.
Ah - shrunken afro - can't get away from this due to the nature of my hair.
12 hours later, I just love the consistency, not dripping.

First layer of henna applied - just look at how my shrunken afro has bounced back to life.

Second layer of henna. I never thought I would be using this much henna but I managed to slap everything onto my head.

3 layers of saran wrap + shower cap + 2 hours later: Time to wash out the treatment. Make sure you rinse it out with lukewarm water before washing with shampoo. What I did to finish off this treatment was to add a dollop of leave-in conditioner to a small amount of argan liquid shampoo and rinse out the treatment. This treatment was much easier to rinse out that my first attempt at henna some months ago.

Towel-dried the hair and braided it.

I am very happy with this treatment although the garlic scent was quite strong, I could feel it working on the scalp together with the rosemary.

More pictures from the process can be found on our facebook fanpage

Wednesday, 25 May 2011


I am not getting any younger am I? Well, I guess I am the only one who can answer that!!! Yes I know.

I sometimes get asked about my beauty secret?!?!? Well, I use pure unrefined grade A shea butter from Ghana to keep my skin supple. I always keep a pot in my bag to moisturise my hands (soaps in washrooms dry my hands out) and to moisturise my lips.
I wanted to "shoot a video" today to answer few questions on unrefined shea but after a 48-hour diet of soup and fruits, I was not yet ready. Not been feeling too well lately and yes, I have also been massaging my chest with some shea.

Get a pot of pure unrefined shea and feel the difference

Sheabutter Cottage

Thursday, 19 May 2011


As a soapmaker, I love the magic that happens when I stir a pot of oils with water and sodium/potassium hydroxide. However, I have more fun when I am making soap in a group.
African black soap is not an easy soap to make. It involves smoke, smoke and more smoke and has to be cooked outside in the open space. I had so much fun making a batch back in Ghana in April 2011. Unlike most bars of African black soap on the market, this is unique as it contains unrefined cocoa butter, neem + moringa and it is supplied in pack sizes of 50 for your own packaging/labeling/branding.
I hope you will have fun designing your own label. You can order your pack of soap here

Saturday, 14 May 2011


As I sit back and reflect on the journey I have taken as a baby in Kumasi, through the boarding school of Achimota, learning the meaning of ILS and PAPI on a construction project in Accra and being a near middle-aged woman in Berkshire [UK], I smile through all the memories I have.
I have been lucky to always have easy access to toilet facilities from the bog standard to the unimaginable. However, every time I sit down to reflect on my visits to Gumu - Ghana, frustration sets in. Why? Well, because this village still lacks the use of a public place of convenience.
I visited the community in April 2011 and this is the progress so far
The money raised has been used towards the purchase/moulding of blocks for construction. We are still a long way in completing this project and I can not wait to see this community benefit from the use of the KVIP.
So, if you are feeling charitable today then please feel free to donate via this page - GUMU APPEAL Thank you for your kindness
Akua Wood
Sheabutter Cottage

Monday, 9 May 2011


It is a new day and the beginning of a new week and I am rather chuffed to see this headline "Florida teenagers told to 'pull up their pants' by new law " via The Telegraph. Read the article here

Monday, 25 April 2011


Yes, don't shriek :)
There is something unforgiving when you are a soapmaker + a confessed kitchen chemist even without the degrees and certificates to prove it.
You might know by now that I am a big fan of pure unrefined grade A shea butter <<<-this is my beauty secret.
Anyway, I have always been on a shea mission to prove that this is a wonderful ingredient that you need in your life :). With the weather being so lovely in Britain (temperatures around 27°C) at this time of the year, I thought why not try my hands at shea laundry soap with just simple ingredients at home and last Saturday was the perfect day to put my kitchen chemist hat on.
The bars are curing at the moment but I could not resist today, trying to wash one dirty piece of item from my trip. I think the photos speak for themselves.

Akua Wood
Sheabutter Cottage

Sunday, 24 April 2011


Returned from a very interesting and rewarding although expensive trip to Ghana few days ago. If you have been following my posts with blurred photos on our facebook fan page, you would know learn a lot from this trip.
Anyway, today is Easter Sunday and in my attempt in avoiding stuffing myself with bars of chocolate, I decided to indulge in wrapping bars of our Afra cocoa butter soap.
This luxurious soap is made with a high amount of premium unrefined Ghanaian cocoa butter - indulge ♥

Happy Easter
Sheabutter Cottage

Saturday, 19 March 2011


I like planning ahead but unfortunately, most of my suppliers seem to have a different agenda. It has been quite stressful lately trying to "crack the whip" so imagine my surprise when I returned home from the "cottage" last Wednesday to an e-mail that I had been nominated for the AWE Awards. My reaction was "Say WHAT? Me - 2 nominations!! WOW. Event in Germany?!?!"
I am truly honoured and would like to thank all those who have cast their votes. You may cast yours here

Thank you
Akua Wood
Sheabutter Cottage

Tuesday, 15 March 2011


I always seem to get excited at the sight of brown boxes but cringe when i have to lift them up. Although it was quite back breaking for me today, I managed to unpack all these 8 HEAVY boxes of Jamaican black castor oil goodies from Tropic Isle Living.
Sorry about the blurred image - I was very excited as the stress levels were easing off
There is only one way to find out what got delivered including 2 new products - check out the Jamaican black castor oil range at Sheabutter Cottage
Off to burn the midnight oil.

Sheabutter Cottage

Friday, 11 March 2011


You know what it is like when you have good intentions to handmake things. Well, sometimes your plans get delayed due to lack of ingredients and trying to find the right time to slot everything in.

After months of selling out of our lovely sankofa face cream, I can now happily say that we now have a new batch in stock including a limited supply of 100g jars. We still handmake our creams which can sometimes take 4 - 6 hours from preparation to decanting into the jars.
Have a great weekend
Sheabutter Cottage

Saturday, 26 February 2011

GHANA @ 54

I am always like a kid on coca-cola when I go shopping and find many products from Ghana. I am very proud of my heritage and still have my Ghanaian passport. That pride stops me from swapping :)
Join us starting from 6pm today in wishing Ghana AYEKOO as the country celebrates its 54 year of independence. Over the next 10 days, we are offering gift vouchers worth ₵5.40cedis [£2.50GBP : $3.60USD : €2.70EUR] against your next purchase. Just add any product from our Made In Ghana range to your order and we will pop the gift voucher into your box - SIMPLE :)


Akua Wood
Proud to be a Ghanaian
Sheabutter Cottage

Sunday, 20 February 2011


There are times at the "cottage" where lagging 25kg boxes around can be tedious but not when I have to carry a box of premium unrefined Ghanaian cocoa butter. The lovely rich aroma just melts all the aches and pains away - at least in my mind! Yes, I know, I have been called Rambo recently but the only knife I hold is normally to decant this decadent butter full of rich flavour. .

Join us this week in saying ayekoo to these hard working farmers who harvest this wonderful product dodging snakes as without them, we can't feed our chocolate craving nor pop our curls, nor "fade" our stretch marks nor bubble up with authentic African black soap.
Akuafo - ayekoo

Akua Wood
Sheabutter Cottage