We had the good fortune of connecting with Tyani Marie Geffrard and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tyani, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
When I first started my business, it was all just drawings and sketches. I remember my freshman year of college staying late nights at the GSU library until 1 am just writing out a proposal for EU4iA. I know I wanted to create something and I know I wanted it be earthy and natural. At that point I had multiple ideas, skin care being the very last ironically. I was thinking to create clothes, bags/accessories, maybe even create photography. Skin care finally came to mind because a lot of the products I’d use on my face or body were things I always made myself. I always chose home remedies over over-the-counter medicine because it’s rooted heavily in my family culture. My family on my mom’s side are all from Tanzania which is in East Africa. Growing up, I always found the things my mom and I would make to be better for my health than store bought products. I always was complimented on my skin and frequently asked what I’d use, and no one would believe that I’d be the one to create them! So I wanted to show the community that it was possible for me to create such things and emphasize the importance in going completely natural.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
The name “EU4iA” to me is that feeling you get when your body is feeling right, your skin is looking right, your spirit is untouchable, and your mind is in the right space. It’s a true euphoric feeling and all of that can be achieved when going all-natural. When I started EU4iA, I truly started from the mud. I was working at Chipotle at the time and saved up about 5 checks worth just to buy things to experiment with skin care like butters, oils, and herbs. I started EU4iA in my friend’s dorm at Georgia State because my freshman dorm didn’t come with a kitchen or enough space. It wasn’t easy at all, especially because at this time the pandemic had began. When I came back to my home and was in quarantine, that was my grind time. I hated sitting around doing nothing and felt like I was wasting time. I really wanted to invest in myself since I wasn’t used to having so much free time. I ended up working 2 full time jobs mid-pandemic just so I could have enough money to survive and enough money to put EU4iA into full effect. I was extremely dedicated and didn’t want the idea of EU4iA to flop! There were many nights that turned into mornings just creating soaps, sprays, and body butters until I perfected my unique recipe. Everything I create is handmade from scratch. I don’t have any vendors or sellers overseas or anything like that. I grow most of the herbs that I use in my products and support other local businesses to buy things like shea butter and mango butter. EU4iA grew to a point to where I now had 3 jobs and had no social life or free time, I was always working! I was always extremely exhausted at work, but when it came to EU4iA I had nothing but energy! I knew I wanted to work hard enough to make EU4iA my full time and only wanted to work for myself.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love being by the beltline in ATL. First, you gotta start off at Krog Street Market and see all of the different international foods. Then, walk up the beltline to Ponce City Market and shop around. I always meet the coolest people and vibes there. I’m also a big nature-fiend and love being around water! Going by the Roswell Mill on a hot, summer day is one of the best things you can do in Georgia. At night time, walking down Edgewood Ave. is always a thrill. Theres different bars, clubs, and eating places that stay open late like Slutty Vegan.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to give a big shoutout to my family, my mother Naserian, and my sister Keyan for supporting the idea of EU4iA since day one. All of my friends and followers motivate me to keep going harder everyday with my business and give me new ideas on what’s next to create for EU4iA! My boyfriend, Jordan, has stayed up many nights with me just helping me plot on EU4iA’s next move. Everyone I surround myself with has given me motivation unlike ever before and I’ll appreciate that eternally.