Our story

My name is Habiba and I am the founder of Ayelli. Ayelli is an eco-chic brand of hair and skin care products based on pure argan oil and inspired by Morocco’s beauty rituals. Our star ingredient is the pure and organic Moroccan Argan oil, which we personally produce.

 How it started

I was born and raised in Morocco, where we use natural beauty ingredients in our daily lives. As a child, I spent every summer in Southwest Morocco visiting my Berber grandmother, who introduced me to argan oil early in my childhood. As the only one with curly hair in the family, my mom wasn’t sure how to take care of it. She threatened to cut it every time I would run away from her while she was trying to comb it. During one of those visits, my grandmother suggested to my mom to use argan oil on my hair. I still remember playing with the artisanal bottle while she was putting it on my hair… and that was it: the beginning of a healthy, frizz free (pain free) hair care journey. I naturally kept using it when I grew older. Argan oil helped my hair to stay thick, strong and moisturized. Argan oil became my beauty secret.

I spent a few years trying an overwhelming number of new and different products on both my hair and skin. Most were full of damaging chemicals and others smelled lovely but were inefficient. However, none were a natural solution that worked for me; whether to tame frizz, repair skin imperfections, or simply to moisturize. Therefore I decided to return to my roots, to what was proven to work for centuries: Moroccan Argan oil, the miracle liquid gold.  

I created Ayelli because the international market does not have the same  argan oil I grew up using, so I decided to share my secret. At Ayelli we pride ourselves in having the highest quality certified organic argan oil on the market. It is produced by our women’s cooperatives in Morocco through fair trade practices – a 100% product of Morocco made with expertise, care, and love. 

Why it matters

I come from a family of leading ladies. My great-grandmother was also in the Argan oil business in the early 1900s, back when very few women in Morocco worked. It gave her an income and bargaining power in the household. Additionally, my maternal grandmother, illiterate but understanding of the power of learning, pushed for my mom’s education. Coming from a line of strong and autonomous women, it was natural for me to follow their legacy and do my best to help other women feel empowered and become independent.

This is why argan oil is important to me even beyond its miracle benefits. Ayelli Argan oil is produced by community fair trade renowned women cooperatives in southwest Morocco. These women have been producingand using the highest quality of argan oil for many centuries. Ayelli makes sure that these women have fair steady wages, a good working environment, and educational classes; thus giving them the emancipation, recognition, and power to better their daily lives in a male dominated society.

Our women cooperatives are environmentally responsible and eco-friendly. They are protecting the existing Argania Spinosa trees and investing in the valorization of the endangered Argan forest. Responsible harvesting and reforestation projects help with the current desertification and soil erosion issues, thus preserving the soil and the rare Argan trees, and helping to provide animal shelter and food. Ayelli’s fair trade practices ensure the social, economical and environmental well-being of our women farmers.

I believe in effective cosmetics with a sense of community and care for our planet. That to me is beauty with a heart. This is why I created Ayelli.

In Health & Beauty,

Habiba Raffa

PS: The name Ayelli is homage to the Berber women and my grandmother. “Elli” means “my daughter” in her Berber language. She used to add “Ay” to emphasize it while calling me. The English translation is “Oh my girl” or “Oh my daughter.”