She Leads Africa

SLA Logo

“Your Skin Is A Priority” Meet Adi + Bolga Co-Founder Oluwaferanmi Ogundipe

If you meet Feranmi, you may wonder, “why does she love skincare so much? What is it about skincare that makes her tick?” Feranmi’s love for skincare stemmed from her personal battle with acne some years ago. During our conversation, she said, “I wasn’t one to have acne and at one point I had terrible acne and everyone was like “Feranmi, what is going on with your skin?” Struggling with acne or other skin conditions? Download the Adi + Bolga app to get skin care advice and solutions today! I remember walking into pharmacies to ask for a solution and they couldn’t quite give me guidance. I remember going back and asking a new friend that I just met because I saw that she had some insight into skincare and she said, “I think you have combination skin and you should get a gel cleanser.” I got the gel cleanser and just that small tip from her made my life so much easier. My co-founder and have had this type of experience so we said why don’t we just create something for skincare that will help people out?” “Your skin is a priority” Feranmi believes that skincare is a necessity for every person. That is one of the guiding ideas for the platform she and her co-founder are working tirelessly to create. However, she acknowledges that different reasons- a major one being money, keeps us from making our skincare a priority. Adi + Bolga plans to help out with this by creating a budget-friendly system for buying skincare products. As Feranmi said, “we are trying to see if we can help people pay in installments for some of the products because not everyone can afford to buy all of the products they need at once. This will really be for those who have serious problems with acne or other skin care conditions.” Adi + Bolga has just launched its platform, BARE to help you navigate the confusing chatter around skincare, particularly for black men and women anywhere in the world, through virtual consultations and accurate product matching to skin type and skin conditions. On their platform, you can get a skin analysis, product recommendations, and a clear plan on how to use them. Adi + Bolga is also the parent company of Bare the Community, an interactive online community for skincare lovers. On there, they share stunning skincare content and offer great advice and product recommendations for different skin types and conditions. What you can learn from Feranmi’s business experience Know your why: Your goal should be at the forefront of your mind. Be clear on your why. Know what you are in that space to do. This will guide the skills you decide to learn to run your business well. This will also guide the kind of strategies you put in place for your business. Listen to your customers: Sometimes, people reach out to us for product recommendations and the product we may want to recommend is not within their budget or easily accessible in their location. This lets us know how best we can serve our audience. It may now lead to questions like, do we look for cheaper or more accessible products to recommend? Do we contact the brand to find out if they can make their product accessible to our audience? Make your services clear: It is important to make your services clear and understandable to the people you are trying to serve. One of our main challenges is getting people to understand that our service is new. It is not common. We are introducing a new idea to the public and it is always a challenge getting them to understand what we do and why it is beneficial. Let’s say I develop a cream, that will be easy to sell because everybody understands what cream is and what cream should do. I can easily push that but a beauty tech platform is different. It is a very new idea so I need to make sure our services are clear. You can join the Adi+Bolga community by following Bare the Community on Twitter and Instagram. For more juicy skincare tips sign up for their newsletters.  

Kelechi Udoagwu: Moving Fast and Breaking Things

From Tinsel to Technology. Kelechi is changing the narrative of African women in the tech world. Kelechi Udoagwu is an Accra-based Nigerian tech entrepreneur/consultant, presenter, advocate, student, and writer. Up until 2017, she was the full-time communications director at MEST Africa. She is also the co-founder of Skrife and produces and hosts the web series- Tech Roundup with Bitnode. Her work revolves around empowering through mentorship, edutainment, speaking engagements, multimedia content, and connecting to new opportunities. In this interview, she talks to us about her growing passion for technology and the need to empower more women and girls to venture into the tech industry. You’ve switched your career many times. What inspired your journey? It’s always interesting to be reminded of how varied my career has been. For me, it’s all been work, work, work – the different ways I earn money and contribute to the world. I started modeling while I was in the university. It was just for fun at first, then I graduated and focused on it full-time. That was when I got the Tinsel gig and I was fortunate to work with other big brands as well – Samsung, MTN, Haier Thermocool, Lipton, Vitafoam, and others. These early experiences prepared me for “adulting” as I learned to manage my money, deal with people from all walks of life and build a professional persona. After NYSC, I got my first 9-5 job as a Fashion Brand Manager but resigned after six months because it wasn’t very fulfilling. I then decided to explore a new industry. I was fascinated with tech entrepreneurship because it seemed like an easy way to make quick bucks. I got into tech in 2014. It’s been one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life yet. I love the industry, I love the variety and I love the fast pace. I worked as Head of Communications at MEST and founded my startup, Skrife in 2016. I also started creating multimedia – video and written –  content – for brands, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders. [bctt tweet=”African women are a special breed. We do so much with a little and stay strong even when the shit hits the fan – @kelechiudoagwu” username=”SheLeadsAfrica”] What part do African girls play in the next generation of technology, and how can they harness these potentials?   It’s time, however, that we stop limiting ourselves to manual labor and start working smarter. It’s time we leave what we’re used to and conquer new mountains. They say “when you educate a woman, you educate a whole community,”. Imagine what we can do for Africa if we join in the global progression and conversation around technology. We don’t all have to be programmers but we can all be a part of the industry. There are branding, marketing, HR, design, community management roles available. If we do this, the next generation of African women will have role models who look like them and they can build on what we started instead of starting from scratch like we are. How has your journey been moving into the tech space? My journey has been interesting. I’ve never been one to ask for permission to make a move and that has helped me navigate the various industries I’ve been in, especially tech where “move fast and break things” is a mantra. Now is the best time for us to be involved. The industry is welcoming and there are a lot of opportunities directed at women specifically. It’s not always going to be like this so it’s wise to take advantage now. What principles and work ethics have played a role in propelling you further in your career? My ability shake off rejection easily greatly helped my career. Believe me, I’ve been rejected a lot of times. I believe getting ahead is a numbers game and for every 100 no’s, there’s one yes that makes it all worth it. My entire life, not just career, revolves around keeping my word. If I say I’ll do it, I do it. If I’m not sure, I say I’ll get back to you and think about it some more. This has helped me a lot at work – keeps my mind clear, keeps me happy with the people I work with and also keeps them happy with me. Tell us about your new book ‘Living Everyday like its Saturday’.  I’m super excited about it! I have had so many ideas for books to write but this is the most relevant to me and my audience at this time. The book will chronicle the lessons I’ve learned being a freelancer from Africa – how I structure my day, deal with clients around the world, brand myself, use technology, etc. I can promise everyone in advance there will be no fluff in this book; only hardcore, real life, actionable advice. As a creative, what impact does quality content have in telling the African story for mainstream media? When we started Skrife, our goal was to build a platform and writers’ community that is synonymous with quality. If a client ever complains about a job done via Skrife, we refund their money or rewrite it at no extra charge.   Creating content is like real-time documentation of our everyday experiences and it can be the difference between an economy that prospers and one that fails. Every time you read a book that was written ages ago, you step into the mind of that person. With technology changing everything around us, it is very important that we document these early days so the next generation continues from where we stopped instead of starting all over. “To forget is to throw away.” Also by creating more positive content, we can change the narrative of Africa. We can stop close-minded and sheltered foreigners from thinking we don’t read books or use the internet. Chimamanda Adichie was recently asked if there are libraries in her country. [bctt tweet=” We stand on the shoulders of great men and women who have passed