Meet Kameko Wild Beckner, Afro-Latina entrepreneur, sustainable living advocate, business owner, writer, mother, inspiring human being. If you shop at the store, you have probably seen Kameko's brand, So Good General Store, adorning our shelves in our zero-waste section. Kameko created So Good to care for the planet and the BIPOC community while educating everyone she meets about sustainable cleaning and beauty products.
Kameko's sustainable living journey started 5 years ago while working as a fashion designer in New York City. She realized how detrimental the fashion industry could be to the planet, just as she discovered a passion for outdoor activities such as hiking, rock climbing and solo camping. Kameko and her family moved to California to be closer to outdoor activities. Unable to find Black-owned, sustainable cleaning products during her pregnancy with her third child, Kameko created So Good. This inspiring business and its gorgeous products are a direct response to green washing in the cleaning industry, to a lack of representation of BIPOC-owned companies in the green cleaning space, and to a desire to lessen the environmental footprint of product packaging. So Good General Store now offers cleaning super concentrates, clean beauty products for adults and children, and more. If you're local, shop Kameko's products in our store, or visit her sweet little vintage pop-up trailer in the L.A. area!
Join us as we chat with Kameko about Black resistance and joy, and how she carries these priorities with her through parenthood and sustainable entrepreneurship. We guarantee you'll be inspired.
February marked Black History month, and the theme this year was "Black Resistance". We believe Black history should be honored every day of every month. What does Black Resistance mean to you and how do you carry it with you month after month?
Black Resistance is incredibly multifaceted, and for me, it has taken on the form of discovering more about my Black heritage. When I was growing up, our Afro-Latina culture wasn't something that we talked about or took pride in. But now, I'm immersing myself in the rich customs and traditions of my ancestors. I'm doing this so I can pass on this knowledge to my children and instill a deep sense of pride in them. So I guess what it means today, is that Black Resistance is finding joy in being Black and proud.
We love having your So Good non-toxic cleaning products in the shop. What was your inspiration for starting your sustainable business & what is your mission?
So basically, I couldn't find the cleaning product I was looking for in stores. I wanted something that was non-toxic, worked really well, didn't use plastic, and was owned by a BIPOC. But there was nothing out there that fit the bill. I didn't want to support yet another white-owned company that pollutes Black and brown communities, so I just decided to make my own cleaning products instead.
You are a mother of 4, a business owner, a writer and a birth doula...wearing so many hats must be exhausting. When you are able to, what is your way to relax and ground down?
I love that qualifier 'when I'm able too', I feel seen, ha. I am a 'do'er' so using my hands to create things is my favorite way to relax. I knit, sew, draw, paint, make jewelry, cook... I even love mending clothes. There's an absolute art to mending and darning that most people overlook. Aside from being thrifty, it's a great creative outlet. I'm currently embroidering a little peach over an ink stain I got on the bum of my favorite vintage 501's.
What are some ways you honor Black history & Black joy with your young sons?
There's a Yoruban naming ceremony (Iso Omo Loruko) that we celebrated with the littles on their first birthdays. Loved ones, family, friends all come together to bestow a special name to the baby. Everyone that attended, wrote a special pet name down for them, and came up to give them a blessing of sorts. It symbolizes the community accepting the joint responsibility of raising the child. I found it to be an especially poignant tradition, since we introduced it to our friends and family during the pandemic when there was so much loss and uncertainty.
If you could sit and have dinner with anyone from Black history, who would it be? And why?
If I had to choose, my top pick would definitely be Maya Angelou. She has been an incredible inspiration to me in countless ways, from her poetry to the candid and revealing stories in her memoirs. I feel a strong connection to her, as we share many similar experiences — multiple careers, rebellious tendencies, and discovering our passion for writing later in life. I feel as though we would talk for hours, and I certainly have so many questions I'd love to ask her.
Is there a joyful part of Black history you hold close to your heart?
I have always been fascinated by the Jazz Age in Europe and how much more accepting Europeans were of Black Americans. Josephine Baker is a perfect example of this. After experiencing blatant racism in the US, she moved to Paris where she embodied freedom and joy in her Blackness, becoming a superstar, millionaire, activist, and even a spy. I am particularly interested in her adoption era. This Black woman, living abroad, just out here adopting twelve babies from around the world. Despite her fame and wealth, she opened her heart and home to help children.
Josephine would have been my second choice for the dinner and given the opportunity, and dream scenario, dinner with both Josephine Baker and Maya Angelou! They are both legends in their own right, and I admire their strength, honesty, talent, and compassion.
With 2 and 3-year old boys, we prioritize outdoor activities whenever possible. So a perfect day would start with maybe a walk in the Ballona wetlands to look for birds or a brief hike (more like a walk with two toddlers!) in Malibu. We always follow up our outdoor adventure with something yummy, often empanadas on the beach, which are always a hit with the boys. They're both pretty knackered after that and since I love cooking, I use their nap time to prepare something delicious for dinner and maybe squeeze in reading a chapter of a book.
When it's warm enough, we love taking a post-dinner "family stroll," basically just a lap around the block. We stop to say hello to all our neighbors and dogs we meet along the way. I find this is a great way to instill a sense of community in the kids as well as really connect with the people I'm living amongst. The boys never fail to discover some interesting sticks and rocks to add to their collection on these walks either!
A perfect day would wrap up with a smooth bedtime routine, some quality time with my partner and a glass of red wine, and everyone sleeping soundly throughout the night. Okay, the sleeping through the night part is wishful thinking, but you did say 'perfect'.
What are some things you are calling in and embodying in 2023?
In 2023, my chosen word is "Quiet" and I aim to embody its various forms. My intention is to listen more attentively, and be more deliberate in my responses to people and situations. I am actively seeking out moments of peace and tranquility, in order to prioritize rest as a revolutionary act. It's crucial to demonstrate to our children that being quiet and alone can be a desirable state rather than a punishment.
By embracing stillness and quietude, I hope to allow my soul to absorb and reflect, connect with my ancestors, and draw inspiration for my creative endeavors. As Ms. Angelou said, "In the silence, we listen to ourselves. Then we ask questions of ourselves." I also have been told my whole life I talk too much — so, that part...
What are some of your favorite finds recently from the shop?
Thread Spun is one of my go-tos for fair trade items and female owned brands. I have a Rachel Pally linen blend dress that is so easy to wear and pairs perfectly with my new fave Rita Row slides. I'm kind of obsessed with my opal burst ring I recently found at Thread Spun. I read once that opals are good for finances, and I've never looked back since.
We are your top 5 favorite songs right now?
- Love and Hate in a Different Time by Gabriels
- The Only Way Out by Danielle Ponder
- Chant by Worlaki & Senkulive
- Undantag by Dina Ögon
- Hate on Me by Jake Wesley Rogers
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