Shakeera Springs says “goodbye” to corporate life and “hello” to her own, all-natural skincare line
STORY: Juliette Cheatham
PHOTOS: Stephen Payne
It’s a narrative that has become increasingly common in the corporate workforce: Employees feel unhappy with the rigidity of office life and find themselves yearning to spend less time in their cubicles. Shakeera Springs, the founder and CEO of the all-natural skin care brand So Refreshed, can relate.
Suffocated by work-related stress and long hours away from home as a financial analyst, the mother of four jumped the corporate ship to spend more time with her family and to pursue a lifelong passion of holistic skincare. Since launching the line in May 2015, Springs has been stocking the shelves of local Midtown, West Midtown and Downtown salons with organic skincare and bath products. Her products will soon find their way to Whole Foods in Old Fourth Ward as well.
“When I was 8 years old, I said I wanted to be a brain surgeon,” Springs says, laughing. “I guess I’ve always been obsessed with the human anatomy, and this career allows me to get back to focusing on health and holistic living.” Springs, a self-proclaimed risk taker, left the corporate world in early 2015, and in just three short months So Refreshed launched online. Although an exciting endeavor, Springs admits her new career has been a bit of a slow burn. Starting from the launch date Springs would process one or two orders a week. After tireless social media initiatives via Instagram coupled with attending local beauty and wellness conferences, Springs is happy to report orders are now flooding in at a rate of up to 100 per week.
The So Refreshed line currently includes an eyelash serum, clay and mud masks, a lip scrub, a dark spot remover, bronzers and body scrubs, to name a few. Springs also designed a line of all-natural healing acne products inspired by her teenage daughter’s experience suffering from severe acne and eczema. Harsh chemicals and soaps designed to dry out the complexion unnaturally seemed to make both conditions worse. “We were unable to find a cure through prescription medication or chemical treatments, so I created my own,” Springs says. The So Refreshed Acne Facial Wash, which retails for $25, combines raw African black soap and organic tea tree oil to cleanse, as well as organic coconut oil, aloe vera juice and organic sage oil to moisturize.
The FDA-approved Hydrating Aloe Vera Facial Toner ($20), which is So Refreshed’s best-selling item and comes in rose, lemongrass, lavender and tea tree, will be available at Whole Foods on Ponce de Leon this fall. Locals can currently purchase an assortment of products at Universal Salon Suites in West Midtown and at Swet 209 at Sweet Auburn Market. Guys looking for a grooming fix can stop by Klipz ATL barbershop Downtown to pick up So Refreshed moisturizers and beard oils. Due to the pure and preservative-free nature of So Refreshed products, lip scrubs and bath bombs are available online only and made the day they are shipped to ensure that ingredients stay fresh.
For her corporate cohorts who are also considering ditching their gigs for something more fulfilling, Springs has three pieces of advice: Don’t rush, choose something that is a passion and, despite what anyone says about your ideas, make sure you have the courage and self-assuredness to stick to it.