Business Spotlight: Abiyah Naturals

The Gift of Abiyah Naturals

“I see you.”

Topia knew from the beginning that she wanted her store to be a place where people felt like they were understood and accepted. One step into her store, and it becomes clear how she brought that vision to life. From the quiet hum of a fan to the smell of incense filling the air, Abiyah Naturals transports you into a different world where the only thing you have to worry about is how much money is in your bank account. With dozens of special and unique handcrafted items, ranging from graphic design to clothes to plants, Abiyah Naturals is a one stop shop for all of your needs. Every item in her shop is created by her, or a woman of color from another town or country. She connects women from around the world with the customers that walk through her door every day.

Topia first started making soaps for her friends twenty years ago during her free time as a social worker. She loved creating special gifts for the people around her. It was a way for her to relax from the stresses of her demanding day job. However, things changed when her daughter, Abiyah, came into the picture.

“I was born and raised in Ardmore. Rent was increasing in the city, and I knew that it was time to go home and raise my daughter in the town that I grew up in. My family lives here too. It just felt right.”

Topia’s mother has been the biggest supporter since the beginning of her journey. She encouraged Topia to trust herself and to accept her gift of creativity with open arms. As an artist herself, her mother knows what the passion of art feels like. Her father believed that Topia needed to focus more on her job, but life showed her that chasing her dream wasn’t a bad idea at all.

The moment that jumpstarted Topia’s business was when doctors told her that Abiyah had eczema and would need treatment, Topia decided to look for a homemade alternative to the treatment. She was concerned about what effects the treatment would have on her child. Like any mother, her biggest worry was how to keep her daughter safe. Her faith in her talent and her love for Abiyah led to the creation of a butter that cured the condition.

“It completely cleared up!”

From there, she knew what she had to do. She had been juggling her job as a social worker, her products, and raising her daughter all on her own. It was time to take the leap of faith and dedicate her time to both her craft and her daughter. Expand her catalog to include more. More skincare products. More handmade gifts. More everything. And it only made sense to name the brand after her biggest inspiration: her daughter.

“It’s important to constantly practice your craft. I threw out so many batches of soap when I first started, but I kept going.”

When she heard about an open spot in Ardmore for a store, she knew that it was meant to be. As a one-person team, she was ready to take her business to the next level and bring Abiyah Naturals to the Main Line. With financial problems looming over her head, she prayed for the best as she signed the lease and unlocked the door to her dreams.

“The hardest part was funding. I had no capital. I started out with a table trying to sell my products in parks and thrift shops. But COVID changed things for me.”

Topia thinks that there was a reason why a vacant store was available just a short walk away from her home. She knows that she wants to leave a greater impact on the community of Ardmore as one of the few black and women-owned businesses in the town. She believes that it comes down to what she has to offer.

“You can buy soap anywhere, you know? But it won’t be like Abiyah Naturals soap.”

Topia mainly works in the store alone alongside her daughter, sister, and mother, who all pitch in to help her. As the leading person on her team, she creates, markets, collaborates, and sells everything on her own. One of her goals for her business is to be able to expand it and have a bigger team. She hopes to have people who share the same vision and energy that she does. She wants to give jobs to people who don’t have the opportunity to do so. Topia also hopes to inspire others who feel similar doubts or worries about switching careers. She knows what it was like to hear others doubt her, which is why she wants to be that smile for every person that walks in.

“The biggest lesson I learned was how to ask for help.”

Topia struggled with being comfortable in asking for help from others because she thought that it was all on her. But she has grown to understand the importance of opening up to others about her issues. She knows that her support system is always there for her, as well as the customers that stop by to greet her, even if they only have a few minutes to spare.

“It’ll get hard, but if you believe that you have something special to offer, then never give up. It’s not about the money you make. It’s about the impact you leave.”

Topia looks to the future to see what is in store for her, but for now, she is happy with what she offers to the Main Line and how her shop has transformed into a sanctuary for people of color to visit. It is an escape away from the pressure of everyday life, a place to just breathe and focus on the moment. The true meaning of her brand comes down to having faith, nurturing creativity, and always, always, always, spreading love.

Abiyah Naturals

22 Ardmore Ave, Ardmore, PA 19003




About the author : Nicole Ratke