NC A&T Professor embraces natural skin care

NC A&T Professor embraces natural skin care

Marisa Comer, theCulture Lead Reporter

The New Student Union Elements store is one of the few homes of the products of the Black Belt Soap Company, a natural goods business created by one of North Carolina A&T’s faculty members, Dr. Temeka L. Carter.  Dr. Carter is a Liberal Studies Professor and Coordinator of Women’s Studies here at North Carolina A&T. Carter has been working at A&T for ten years.

Black Belt Soap Company sells natural, handcrafted, moisturizing soap and skincare products in small portions. Their goal is to reach out to those who are socially and environmentally conscious and support positive change, which is why they also donate a portion of their proceeds to a non-profit organization.

“Our ‘skin food’ is made from therapeutic grade plant-based oils, fragrance, herbs, spices, fruits and vegetables, tea, beer, and goat milk,” Carter explains.

Dr. Temeka Carter’s business is inspired by her late Great Grandmother who used to make soaps. Though she did not learn how to make the soaps from her, she does give her Grandmother partial credit for stimulating her company.

“My interests in artisanal soaps began when I stayed at a luxury hotel that had seaweed soap in all the rooms,” she says. “When I tried it, I noticed that the lather was distinctly different and highly moisturizing on my skin!”

Carter then spent time buying and researching handcrafted soaps. Eventually, she took a soap making class and distributed her soaps among family and friends. After noticing how much they enjoyed her creation, she decided to take her soap making to the next level, thus initiating the Black Belt Soap Company in 2015.

The products have been well received by buyers and are now in a variety of  stores , such as Natty Greene’s Kitchen + Market, the GreenHill Center for NC Art’s Gift Shop, and soon the local West Elm Store.

Dr. Carter is extremely proud of her company and how much they have achieved within a short period of time.

“We have accomplished a lot in three years, especially with this being a part time venture,” she says. “I look forward to the business expanding and becoming a household brand!”

In the future, Carter hopes to expand into a larger production facility and also hire college students to work for the business.

Dr. Carter credits part of her success to the love she has for her business, and wants aspiring entrepreneurs to know that if they love what they do, they too can be successful.