„I want to be the best version of myself. This version travels around the world, feeds the poor with healthy food and helps them recognize and utilize the vast abundance of nature. That’s what drives me and makes me want to work really hard.“
On first steps
„I believe in myself, in my vision and my power. And I believe in the universe to guide me, to show me the signs. My goal setting processes always start with sending a clear order out to the universe by visualizing vividly what I want to make happen in my world. Then, I trust the process.“
creates healthy skincare and teaches organic ways of living
Elisa and I met in the Aloha Surf Hostel on Maui, Hawaii. Her positive energy attracted me, soon we talked about visions and dreams – and this woman dreams big. She researched, experimented and created ideas for ten years. Then it was time for Elisa to make happen what she dreamt about for half of her life – she founded her organic skincare-brand feedingsmiles. This was just the start though. Elisa’s bigger picture is much greater than that. Her touching story inspires to shoot for the stars.
Elisa’s mother died when she was 13
Destiny challenged Elisa at an early and vulnerable age. The shock about the loss was felt so deeply, that she couldn’t even deal with the new reality. „That was when my vision came up for the first time“, Elisa tells about her childhood. „I escaped reality with it. It became a tool to handle what life offered me. When I realized, that my mother is not here anymore, a vivid dream planted a seed. It showed me what my life could actually look like one day. A world was created in my head, the idea of feedingsmiles became bigger and bigger.“
Feed the world with smiles
At first sight, Elisa’s business model seems kind of self-sabotaging. It includes selling healthy and organic skincare to her clients on the one hand, but also teaches them in workshops how to create their own. With ingredients, that nature offers freely and sustainably. If the goal was to get rich, she’d rather focus on the sales part only. But Elisa believes in sharing what she knows and what she loves. Her success proves her right – feedingsmiles already makes her a living. „I do a lot of research on which ingredients go well with the body and which don’t“, Elisa tells. What mixes well together and shows the best effects. I play around with it, I love to experiment with it. It’s always a process of learning and that’s where I get my inspiration from. Right when it’s done, I use the product by myself – not a conserved one that was on a shelf for two years. But freshly made, like food.“
Born in Cameroon, raised by nature
Two values were given to Elisa by her upbringing in west Africa more than anything else. Surrounded by the vastness of nature, she became aware for its abundance early in her life. „There were farms everywhere and small communities planted on the wide fields what they needed to live. I learned that everything healthy is provided by nature.“ The community based culture in her country of birth inspired her to dream big but think in small units.
Enhancing the idea of a world community
Elisa wants to use the money she earns with her skincare business to pursue her food visions. „I have this idea of a global community. I want to travel the world, connect with farmers and dive into communities. That way I can learn from them and also share what I’ve learned. I combine it with my knowledge about healthy food and raise awareness for the earth’s abundance, where all the good food is coming from.“
„Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.“ What jewish philosopher Maimonides said so eloquently in the 12th century, works well as a guideline for Elisa too. „What you eat affects your emotions. I want to help people to nurture not only their bodies but also their souls.“ Elisa’s plan: buy food with the money from her skincare business to feed poor communities, grow healthy food for the locals and teach them to do it by themselves.
Shortly before she died, Elisa’s mum organized her one-way trip to the USA
Elisa’s mother managed to buy a plane ticket, organized everything with her aunts and uncles in Maryland, sent them money to care for her and eventually died from breast cancer shortly afterwards. By the age of 13, Elisa started her new life. She lived with relatives in Washington DC, then Virginia and Maryland. She switched three schools in 1,5 years – hit hard by fate, uncertain about the future, overwhelmed by possibilities. With 22, Elisa changed her home for the last time until now – to Portland, Oregon.
She studied film and photography. „I didn’t really know what I was doing there“, Elisa tells. She started working as a beauty adviser in Spas, did make ups, gave skincare advice. „That was when I realized: I really like this stuff!“ What Elisa didn’t like, was the skincare products she worked with. „They smelled good, but were pure chemicals. I ended up giving my clients the advice, they shouldn’t use these products. Just take lemon and salt or stuff like that.“ Her boss was not amused: „We know what you’re doing here. We love you, but you have to sell these products.“ That was when Elisa knew: „I can’t be here any longer. So I left and explored my love for skincare.“
Elisa met her dad 2,5 years ago for the first time – that was the boost she needed
It was in Nigeria, her father’s country of birth. She wanted to know the story of how she was born, if her parents were in love and why dad left. It was not until she met her grandmother – also at that time in Nigeria – that she found out. „Obviously, my parents wanted to have a baby and tried hard but for some reason they couldn’t. So my dad went to a shaman and asked for some medical plants. Believe it or not: it worked. My mum drank that special mix of herbs and got pregnant with me four months later. That was when I suddenly knew: I owe my life to plants.“ That obviously formed a deep and powerful connection to nature.
Her passions for skincare and nature turned into a purpose
„It’s funny how life goes, but if I hadn’t met my father, I wouldn’t have learned about that intimate reality of how I came her. It was a clear signal to me.“ A few months after Elisa met her dad, she founded her company feedingsmiles. „I didn’t have any excuses anymore, but a lot of ideas that called loudly for being shaped into reality“, Elisa shares the process of taking her first steps with a bright smile and sparkling eyes. One can see, here is passion at work. Self-affirmations helped her a lot during this process and still do. „Every morning I would wake up and say things like ‚today is the best day of my life’, ‚the universe is on my side’, ‚I am abundant’ and ‚I can do this’. I want to send these messages in my bloodstream so that they can activate me on all levels.“
Today, Elisa makes a living by feedingsmiles
„More and more people want this kind of conscious, healthy and sustainable skin care. It’s highly demanded“, Elisa tells. She took her first steps, created her reality and walks now on the path for even greater visions to realize. „This is where I wanted to be with 25 when I was 15 and this is where I am.“