SheaMoisture is the enduring and beautiful legacy of Sofi Tucker. Widowed with five children at 19, Grandma Sofi supported her family by selling handcrafted shea butter soaps and other creations in the village market in Sierra Leone.
Sofi became known as a healer who shared the power of shea and African black soap with families throughout the countryside.
She handed down her recipes to grandson Richelieu Dennis, who founded SheaMoisture and incorporated her wisdom into the brand’s hair and skin care innovations.
SheaMoisture products and collections are formulated with natural, certified organic and fair trade ingredients, with the shea butter ethically-sourced from 15 co-ops in Northern Ghana as part of the company’s purpose-driven Community Commerce business model.
SheaMoisture has partnered with She Leads Africa to support and showcase Nigerian women who support their communities.
About Anie Ufia
22-year old Ufia Aniebietabasi is the CEO and founder of Kolo Lagos. She is a Mass Communication graduate from the University of Lagos.
After an experience where she was shocked to find out that she had no savings of her own in a bank or anywhere else, Anie made up her mind to create a system that will make savings fun and a priority for her.
Seeing the immediate results it had on her finances, she was determined to help other young people like herself, take control of their finances.
You are sure to either catch Anie preaching the gospel of financial freedom or on the lookout for opportunities with which she can drive social change.
Tell us about Kolo Lagos.
Kolo Lagos is a proudly Nigerian brand that is passionate about bringing back the saving culture in a unique way.
We aim to achieve this by encouraging people to save money in a piggy bank, popularly called “Kolo” in Nigeria.
Our kolos are made from quality tested wood and specially handcrafted with love in Nigeria to help people curb overspending, grow a saving habit and stay disciplined while at it.
How did you turn this habit into a business?
I started Kolo Lagos during my final year at the University. I suddenly realized that I had zero savings, not in the bank or even in a piggy bank.
This made me buy a piggy bank for myself and discipline myself to save money. I bought one from a carpenter that was introduced to me by a friend.
Since it worked for me, I told my friends about it and everyone wanted a piggy bank so they could save money as well.
That was how the journey began!
Having a niche business, how do you make your brand stand out?
At Kolo Lagos, our kolos are crafted and designed to promote the rich and beautiful culture in Nigeria and Africa. They have also added an innovative touch to an old approach of saving money which was used since the days of our forefathers.
The reusability of our Kolos has also added a modern twist to it and is the ‘WOW’ factor that attracts our customers.
Can you share with us 3 things you struggled with at the start of your business, and how you overcame them?
The major challenge I struggled with at the start of my business was building brand loyalty. It was a new business and with the prevalence of online fraud, most people are scared to make a purchase from an online store.
However, as the business grew, people began to trust us enough to refer us to friends and relatives. I have now moved from selling kolos to just friends and family but to people who discover us via the internet.
Another big challenge I struggled with was finding artisans who knew their onions, could deliver neatly done jobs, and deliver them on time.
I am glad that I have overcome that challenge since I have a particular one I now work with…
Tell us about a personal experience that translated to a business lesson for you.
My first business lesson was before I even began my business. I had given a fashion designer a fabric and style to make an outfit for me.
I decided to come to get it at the allotted time the tailor gave me, but despite the sufficient time I gave, my dress wasn’t ready.
It was quite annoying and frustrating, to say the least. So I took that lesson with me to Kolo Lagos when I started it.
Working with artisans means that I constantly have to follow up, make calls and even go there physically if need be, just to ensure that everything is done well and on time. That experience stayed with me and has been a major lesson that has helped my business.
What impact have you made in your community since starting your business?
Since starting my business, I have impacted my community by speaking at workshops and seminars to both young and old people about money, and why it’s important to maintain a healthy saving lifestyle.
What is your 2019 goal, and what have you done so far to achieve it?
My goal for 2019 is to get more local distributors within Nigeria and at least one international distributor in order to achieve the goal of selling 2,000 kolos this year.
I am currently speaking with someone who is interested in becoming an international distributor.
Share with us 3 fun facts about yourself
- I love food. Food loves me.
- Food makes me happy.
- I know how to play drums.
What’s your fave skin care routine?
My skin care routine is done at night when I get to nicely cleanse my skin with my organic skin products, and prep for the night before going to bed.
How do you feel about promoting your brand on She Leads Africa, courtesy of SheaMoisture?
To be totally honest, I am still in utter shock even as I type this.
I remember when I applied for it and a part of me wasn’t sure if my business would be selected, but I applied anyway.
I am deeply and sincerely grateful for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Thank you so much, Shea Moisture. You ROCK!
Describe your business with one word…
The word is UNIQUE.
Missed our first Shea Moisture Spotlight? Click here.
You can find SheaMoisture products at Youtopia Beauty stores nationwide and on Jumia