Jackie Aina is looking to her Nigerian roots for her latest product collection.
The influencer and brand founder is celebrating the two-year anniversary of her Forvr Mood lifestyle brand with the release of its Owambe four-piece candle collection, which celebrates the brand’s anniversary and her own birthday.
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For the collection, it was important for Aina to pay tribute to her Nigerian roots both with the candle scents but also with the collection’s packaging, so she looked to collaborate with Cameroonian American fashion designer Claude Kameni, who takes inspiration from Nigerian culture for her designs.
“This was the first time since we launched this brand where, although all of our collections, the imagery and the brand message have Black excellence written all over it, this was the first time that I wanted to do a collection that was really inspired by my Nigerian heritage,” Aina said. “I started to look at what scents that remind me of home and the scents that remind me of being around my Nigerian family. I’m African American and I’m also Nigerian, so these are two very different cultures, so I really wanted to pull it in and have visual references and cultural references that just remind me of the beauty of African excellence.”
Kameni, who has worked with Aina on previous projects, started her design process by looking at Yoruba culture, seeing what colors and patterns are primarily used in the Nigerian culture. Together, they settled on a circular pattern that included rich colors like emerald greens, mustard yellows and dark oranges.
“I am mostly inspired by bold, vibrant prints and the Nigerian culture because we’re all one,” Kameni said. “When Jackie and her team reached out to me to work on this project, I was super excited because this is my niche and this is what I do. I knew I could get this to be the best thing she has ever seen.”
For the scent profiles, Aina gave a nod to common Nigerian phrases and ingredients. The collection includes Spice of Life, which Aina said “marries culture and season so beautifully” with a blend of ginger, lemongrass, black pepper and vanilla for an “icy meets spicy” scent.
There’s Soft Life, which was named after a popular TikTok hashtag that relates to a similar Nigerian saying that embodies someone who loves relaxing and being pampered. The scent includes notes of cinnamon, caramel, ginger, buttercream vanilla icing and nutmeg.
Soro Sókè, which translates to “speak up” in Yoruba, was inspired by the recent social movement in the Africa diaspora for people to speak up against corruption. The scent includes ingredients like bergamot, cinnamon, peony and musk.
The collection is rounded out by No Wahala, which is slang for “no trouble.” The scent is meant to be the most decadent and lavish, with a blend of cinnamon, bergamot, ginger, jasmine, musk and vanilla.
“With the scents specifically, there was a very deliberate and thoughtful direction toward looking at some of those ingredients that come from the Nigerian culture, so that’s why there are some spices threaded throughout,” said Asha Coco, president of Forvr Mood. “We worked with perfumers at Firmenich and IFF on this collection and what was great was they could really bring these natural raw materials and combine them with the wizardry of perfumery to make Jackie’s concepts come to life. There are these little nods to the culture and concept while also building beautiful home fragrance compositions.”
Forvr Mood’s Owambe Collection comes a year after the brand entered Sephora, marking its first retail expansion. The brand first launched in August 2020, at a time when home fragrances were booming as people were stuck at home. Upon launch, the brand sold $700,000 worth of products, selling out its inventory in just a few hours.
Aina has seen consistent growth since launch and has cultivated a loyal customer base that makes repeat purchases with each new launch.
“I love seeing the brand loyalty and I feel like it’s not just the product that people keep coming back for,” she said. “People love supporting Black-owned businesses. Black-owned businesses are being really pushed to the forefront, rightfully so, and for a lot of our supporters, I feel like they’re supporting something bigger than just the physical products.”
The Forvr Mood Owambe Collection retails for $38 per candle, $50 for a mini gift set and $143 for a large gift set.