WWD Studios: What inspired you to create Twila True Beauty?
Twila True: As a consumer, I see constant replication of similar ideas. It’s not as common to connect with the soul — the definitive heart of a brand — and that has inspired me to stay true to my vision. I wanted to create a brand that shares the deeper meaning of female empowerment and redefines true beauty. I want Twila True Beauty to bring value to the consumer, not only as a quality product, but also as one that goes deeper.
WWD Studios: What distinguishes your brand?
T.T.: Twila True Beauty, one of the beauty brands within our portfolio, pulls from my story, which is one that hasn’t been told by the beauty industry before. As a Lakota Sioux Native American, I was taught that success is not always defined monetarily, but can also be measured in our hearts and souls. It is these experiences that will earn you a lifetime of wealth.
To have a beauty product that represents this message is extremely important to me. The products contain clean formulas that embrace natural ingredients like oils and plant extracts native to my hometown, Pine Ridge Reservation. I selected simple yet modern packaging, so that it has a chic look, but helps represent our main brand principle: true beauty lies within.
Within my culture, natural homeopathic remedies are used for many different ailments, so having products that have multiple functions, and provide real results, is something of which I am very proud.
WWD Studios: Your brand works with the True Sioux Hope Foundation. Why is that important to you?
T.T.: Not many people know of Pine Ridge, South Dakota: this is the reservation where I am from. It’s one of the poorest places in the U.S., yet the majority of Americans have never heard about it. Pine Ridge Reservation is the size of Connecticut, and has a staggering unemployment rate of 90 percent. The average household has 17 people. The True Sioux Hope Foundation seeks to alleviate the poverty of Pine Ridge and empower the youth that live there to reach their full potential.
I have always been deeply rooted in my heritage and feel it is my duty to return to the reservation and aid my tribe members. Twila True Beauty has a large role in providing consumer goods and resources to the thrift store, True Thrift, that we opened in May.
True Thrift is the first store on the reservation where household, personal, and essential items can be purchased at nominal prices. Twila True Beauty collects both personal and corporate donations and delivers the goods to the reservation. It also provides feminine care and beauty items to the women who otherwise might not be able to afford them.
WWD Studios: What lies at the core of Twila True Beauty?
T.T.: Twila True Beauty shares a positive message through our logo, which is our brand’s interpretation of the sacred Sioux Medicine Wheel. Each arrow represents characteristics of the mind, heart, body and soul. It is believed in native culture that when each of these areas of your life are balanced, you become enlightened and whole again.
The beauty industry does not always offer depth, but the message I have to share is that beauty is found on the inside. We redefine what true beauty means using the medicine wheel as a compass to guide us — that is what this brand is about.
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