KELIA is inspired by KELIA Founder Emily Joyce Bolf’s 2011 visit to Namibia, where she traveled to fulfill her lifelong dream of visiting southern Africa. On her last day in the country, she was introduced to a natural extract that her guide was using to brighten his face. Intrigued, Emily began researching the extract Kigelia Africana upon her return home, and was stunned by what she discovered. Recent studies supported many traditional uses of a plant that is largely unknown in America and the American cosmetic market.
She immediately saw its phenomenal potential as the star ingredient in an all-natural cosmetic skincare line. Once she learned of the social impact that increasing trade of Kigelia Africana could have in developing areas, and found that it could be sustainably farmed and sourced, Emily was determined to make her idea a reality. Excited by the possibility of creating a very special product that could also give back, Emily soon began creating KELIA.
Describe your company in a few words:
During a vacation to Namibia a few years ago, I was introduced to a relatively unknown but incredibly powerful botanical ingredient. Known for its firming, hydrating and anti-inflammatory properties as well as its potent antioxidants, Kigelia Africana (or the sausage tree as it’s commonly called) impressed me so much that I felt I had to create a skincare line around this star ingredient. I wanted everyone to be able to try it! After several years of research and development, I launched KELIA with three products last summer. Healthy skin is always in style and KELIA’s natural ingredients can help restore sun-damaged skin’s glow and vitality without harsh chemicals.
Describe your personal “go to” style:
I’ve always been passionate about traveling and discovering new things, so my style is pretty low key. I like to be comfortable. My two year-old daughter also keeps me on my toes! Outfits like skinny jeans, casual tops with a bit of an edge, and slip-on sneakers are my go-to’s. I don’t have a lot of time to spend on my hair and makeup every day, so I make skincare a priority.
As a female entrepreneur, how do you interpret the Vionic Secret: “Style, it doesn’t have to hurt.”:
I think the Vionic Secret can apply to many things, including my own personal philosophy of skincare. Harsh and harmful synthetic chemicals aren’t necessary for beautiful results; skin can be nourished and restored naturally with the right selection and combination of active botanicals. And as far as footwear goes, I’m grateful for Vionic so I don’t have to choose between style and comfort – I can have both and focus on growing my business instead of being distracted by aching feet.
What’s empowering about a confident woman?
When we’re kind to ourselves, we can focus on who we are truly meant to be. That gives us the confidence to follow our dreams.
What’s your secret to feeling your best?
I’ve found I must prioritize self-care to stay motivated and focused. Taking time to connect with nature or explore a new destination helps keep me grounded and feeling like myself.