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Caliefah of Brazil and Maie sits next to her vendor table in Leimert Park Village

Caliefah Speaks of Soap Making, Resourcefulness, Honoring Great Grandparents

Caliefah of Brazil and Maie shares how respecting herself honors her great grandparents love and teachings which grew into resourcefulness, study and creative passion to become a business owner specializing in self care products.

By LaMar Anderson | November 05, 2020 | 6:00am

Please tell us your name and business.

My name is Caliefah and business is Brazil and Maie.

How long have you been in business, as well as vending in Leimert Park?

I have been in business for maybe ten years and have had different types. I have been making bath products like this since I was eight years old. I have been making soap for five years. I researched soap for 5 years prior to making it. And the bath stuff I have been making for like twelve years. I have been coming to Leimert Park since June, so five months.

Are you from Los Angeles?

Yes, actually Brazil and Maie is an intersection in Compton. My great-grandma was a maid when she was eight years old, and she and my great grandfather were able to purchase three homes on the lot of Brazil and Maie so, that is why I named it [business] Brazil and Maie. My great grandfather used to fish, and my great-grandmother both used to garden and would give fish, greens, lemons, nectarines, and plums to the community. My great grandmother taught me about resourcefulness and about making everything from scratch. She was the best great grandmother you could ever have, my great grandfather too.

So the idea of making things experimenting through beauty or health and wellness care products, are these things you grew up doing or found interest in later in life?

It is something I grew up doing. When I was eight or nine, I got in trouble using my mom’s imported grapeseed oil. I was making these sugar scrubs, and she [upset] said, What are you making with my grapeseed oil? I said, sorry. I gave her one, and she said, you are lucky-I like it. So I have always done this. My grandmother was creative, and I have always been into science, and this is like chemistry. My grandparents taught me not to throw anything away. When I first started making soap, I made a papaya bar because I had papaya and ate one half and knew my children would not eat the other half. I wasn’t just going to throw it away. I just started making fruit soap and stuff like that.

What is Brazil and Maie’s specialty?

Pretty much everything that I make is good. I would say my specialty is soap. Because that is what I bring out here [Leimert Park]. I make everything else. I am a college student, this is my last semester, and graduating from Dominguez this semester. I have three children, eight-four-two years old. I don’t really have all the time to make every single thing I know how to make.

The first business I started was for my great-grandma. Her middle name was Claudine. I called it Claudine’s Candles, and I made body oil candles and body butter. Everything I do, I try to honor my great grandparents. I feel if I do, I honor myself by the decisions I make because I am a reflection of what they taught me.

What do Leimert Park Village and the area mean to you?

A lot, it is a sacred space. When I first started making stuff, I was really never confident enough to go out and sell it. I would sell to people that I knew or post it on the internet on Facebook Marketplace. I always knew my products were good. Coming out here for support and having people who come see me specifically every week is part of the motivation to continue and keep going.

Also, it is a space I feel safe letting my children walk around. My dad is out here. My auntie is out here, and god mom was walking down the street as I set up. I didn’t even know she was out here. I walked up to her and hugged her. She was shocked because she wasn’t expecting to see me. My cousin comes out here and brings his two sons. These are my blood family members that I am seeing out here. It’s Brazil and Maie, grandma’s house. It is exactly what this space I created feels like with someone always talking to me. There was a time when I couldn’t pay my rent, so to be able to afford the rent for a house with the support I receive from this community is amazing.

What is next for you and Brazil and Maie in the coming months and new year?

I am focused on graduating and then building my website and making way more products. I want to sell produce that I grow and teach people too.

Where can we connect with Caliefah, support Brazil and Maie, and find you online?

You can find me at IG: @brazilandmaie. Once I build my website you can find me at

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