An interview with Gina Barron, Founder of Rituals Aesthetic Skin Care
You recently returned from your first trip to Kenya. Tell me about why East Africa and its people made an impression on you?
For me, I felt I was in the midst of where it all began. I was so stunned by the beauty of God’s creation. The people were the most beautiful I had ever seen—smiles lit their faces. Many East Africans have very little, yet they seem so happy. They live with simplicity and it seems like they don’t need more. [Being in Africa] is such a feeling and it resonated so deep within me that there are no words. I wasn’t prepared for that. I left Africa knowing I wanted to do something.
Tell me why you are passionate about the Village Enterprise’s Akina Mama Initiative?
I feel that here in the US there are so many organizations that help empower women but there is much less organized support in Africa, especially in rural areas. I was surprised to see a woman carrying a huge load of firewood on her back and wondered where she had came from. Women walked as far as four hours to sell their wares at a market we attended. On a visit to a Maasai village we learned the women are the ones who build the homes and carry the firewood and water. Seeing these women inspired me.
What I have here as a business owner makes me feel so fortunate. If I can provide resources for one woman to start her own business and bring her out of poverty, it can bring so much hope and inspiration to other women.
As the founder of Ritual Aesthetic Skin Care, how does your own experience impact your interest in supporting women in business in Africa?
I married young and decided to have my family instead of a career, but always worried that if something happened to my husband, I wanted to know that I could support my family if needed. Skincare was my passion and going back to school and starting my own business was so empowering for me. I want to empower other women to support their families too. As women we are a force to be reckoned with. If one woman starts a business, it creates a domino effect and gives other women hope. Owning a business doesn’t have to seem so out of reach.
What prompted you to support Village Enterprise?
Seeing Africa for myself gave me the connection to their work. I knew immediately I wanted to be a supporter after hearing about how Village Enterprise empowers women. They don’t just give money and wish them luck. They take responsibility to make sure businesses are run well, educate these women, and give them tools to succeed. Village Enterprise is responsible to their donors, and at the same time making those who receive the grants more responsible as well.
Rituals Aesthetic Skin Care is donating 15% of sales of its best selling anti-aging serum TGF-B Booster to Village Enterprise. Stop by Rituals Aesthetic Skin Care located at 249 Park Road in Burlingame.
Founder, Rituals Aesthetic Skin Care