If you currently live on the third floor of Fulton Hall, you may have received a slip under your door by a fellow resident to check out free samples of a shop called “NiyasButtersnStuff.” Behind the door of Fulton 319 is a dressed counter covered in an assortment of small colored containers, with labels including from “Lovely Lemongrass” to “Strawberry Almond” to “Citrus Explosion.”
LaNiya Boyd’s (‘23) body butters are made of whipped shea butters, with similar oils used in her sugar scrubs. Through a calculated ratio, she has found the perfect blend to create irresistible scents like Peppermint and Chrysanthemum, and Delicate Coconut. If these aren’t scents that appeal to you, then you may soon find one, as Boyd attempts to find new scents every week.
Unlike name brand lotions and shampoos that use harmful chemicals for mass production, LaNiya’s products are all-natural for a purpose. “In our everyday life we have so many chemicals put into our bodies,” Boyd explains, “I want to bring awareness to what we are putting into our bodies.”
She compares her experience living in the United States to living in Germany, where they have more regulations on foods and cosmetics for the safety of consumers. “Certain things that go into makeup here, they don’t have in Europe. It is a bigger issue in our society.” Two years ago, she decided to take things into her own hands and help her community in Virginia treat their skin differently. Today she continues her efforts from her college dorm room.
Boyd utilizes a variety of social media platforms to connect with consumers including Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Through her Instagram (@niyniya1) she posts multiple times a week to engage her online community. On the Gordon campus, she has posted flyers for her shop and has future plans to open another pop-up in her room similar to the one earlier this semester.
Boyd’s confidence is hard-earned. Even as captain of her lacrosse team back home, Boyd took on an introverted personality. “Growing up I feel like I missed out on some things because I overthink things a lot.” With the maturity as a sophomore, Boyd wants to dive into her business despite the risks involved. She uses her past experience as a leader and channels it to her products. With a fearless tone, she challenges herself to “just try it. Test the waters. And if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work.”
When discussing leadership, Boyd’s first thought is of her mother, the person who gave her the push to start selling and begin her passion for skincare. “I like the fact that even when she’s going through a hard time, she makes it so no one even knows…in the end she knows everything is going to work out fine. I really admire that about her. I hope that I can have a fraction of that when I get older.”
Family has a significant Boyd’s life, college ambitions, and her business. Her 13-year-old brother looks up to her, so she makes sure to keep her behavior in check, because she knows he might emulate her. “I’m a lot more conscious about how I carry myself. I am a big believer that you can’t tell somebody how to act if you’re not behaving well.”
The words in her pop-up demonstrated commitment, passion, and hope for her business. Her response to possible future endeavors for NiyasButtersnStuff is “you gotta have a dream. You gotta have a dream.”