For the latest instalment of our Black-owned businesses interviews, we spoke to Raphael Babalola, one of the three founders of wellness brand Temple. We spoke about how they’re trying to undo the gendered connotations of self-care and what the reception has been like so far.
1. Where did the concept of Temple come from?
'Your body is your temple' That's it. We wanted a brand that reminded you of that very phrase every time you picked up one of our products - your body is your temple, so look after it.
2. What were your motivations to start the business?
Growing up as young Black men in the UK, we never felt that the grooming products we’d find in the shops really spoke to us and understood our nuances as potential consumers. We really want the personal care and grooming experience for men of colour to be elite. This demographic won’t be overlooked anymore or won’t just have to settle for what they’re given.
3. Do you think that the notion of self-care has gendered connotations?
Yes - I think a lot of work has been done to change this but there's still some work to do and we're very much invested in driving that too. Self-care isn't a 'feminine' practice. It's a human practice. We should all exercise self-care in our daily lives. The world would be a much kinder, compassionate, and peaceful place if we all did.
4. How has the reception been so far?
It's been really positive! From the customers telling us how much Temple has changed their lives, because they are more confident in their skin, to being featured by publications like GQ, Wallpaper and ThingTesting - it's been a really exciting few months.
5. What’s next for Temple in the sense of product expansion?
There are some other products we plan on launching in our skincare offerings and then naturally we want to expand our offering to touch every aspect of how a man looks after himself, from the moment he wakes up, right to the moment he goes back to sleep. Watch this space.
6. Being in the first six months of launch, what has been the highlight of the experience?
We've been identified as a ‘brand to watch’ by some real authorities in the male grooming space, one of which includes being featured in GQ magazine twice on separate occasions. Once for our cleanser and on another occasion for our moisturizer. That was a very big deal and while we sell mainly in the UK we do have customers across Europe and have customers in the US ordering from us regularly too.
7. Besides normalising wellness practices for men of colour, are there any other missions close to your hearts?
Temple is about doing good - as much as we want to help men look after themselves, we're also about looking after our planet and the community around us. We went to great efforts to ensure our packaging is sustainable and free of single-use plastic where possible and we also donate a portion of profits to charitable causes from every sale we make.
8. What do you want your legacy to look like?
Simply put, we just want to help men look, feel and perform their best. In doing so, we hope this helps people have an elevated view of themselves and in turn, that positivity expands out to the people they meet and the places they touch.
Learn more about Temple and what they’re up to on their Instagram @jointemple and their website https://jointemple.com.