Founder: Sara Beatriz Meredith

Business Name: Kaya Essentials


Equallet Business Page:

Tell us about your business:

Kaya Essentials is a social enterprise of handmade organic coconut skincare and our mission is to be handmade with care to give care. We give care with our one-for-one promise in providing school meals to Filipino children with every product purchased. We believe in purchasing with a purpose and with 60% of coconut farmers in the Philippines living below the poverty line, we source our organic virgin coconut oil from a fairtrade farm in the Philippines. We use organic ingredients because what you put on your skin is absorbed into your bloodstream. All of our coconut creations have a simple formula because we believe it’s important to understand all the ingredients in your skincare so you’re in control.

Founder’s Journey:

My love for coconut oil started from a young age, and it was much needed care product in my teenage years. My mom and I would use it weekly as a hair mask. We would mix it with avocado, banana, or whatever a DIY beauty recipe told us to do.

In college, I volunteered for a charity in the Philippines called Gawad Kalinga. To me, it went beyond charity; it was a nation-building movement. I saw how complex poverty was, and the Gawad Kalinga solution took that into account. They focus on community, health care, education, and more. I loved being part of a community that was proud to be Filipino and that helped those that were less fortunate in a way that went beyond food or monetary aid, but strived to have self-sustaining communities rise out of poverty. It was also my first introduction to what a “social enterprise” was and how business could simultaneously do-good and make a social impact.

After I graduated, I called my social enterprise my “coconut dream.” I honestly thought I would start it after I spent some time with some job so I could save money, but I decided to dip my toes and try it out on a small scale. In the first month I sold 24 handmade coconut lip balms. It wasn’t a lot, but that was 24 meals provided to school children. I instantly knew this was what I wanted to do. I feel really lucky to have found something that makes me happy.

Kaya Essentials pushes me to be the best version of myself  because it challenges me as an entrepreneur and also allows me to give back to others.

What are the 3 biggest tips you would give women?

  1. Be clear on what your core values are so it can guide you on tough decisions when growing your business.

  2. Trust the process: I believe with organic growth there’s a greater chance to sustain your business for many many years to come

  3. Self-Care: make time to take a break and compile a list of all the things that make you feel happy and relaxed.

Founder trait I was born with:

Passion! I equate passion to happiness.

Fav Female:

Meghan Markle. I listen to her speech on gender equality at the United Nations Women’s Conference at least once a month.  

Tell us something few people know:

I hate spicy food but I LOVE chicken katsu curry!