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 Sekinat Amoo
Sekinat Amoo is the CEO and founder of Ombré Woman.
Despite having an academic background in science and research, Sekinat made a switch and started Ombré Woman to provide classy ready-to-wear pieces for women.
Ombré Woman is a female-led and for women fashion brand that empowers women by helping them look and feel their best without compromising on style and comfort.
After spotting a gap in the fashion industry for ready-to-wear pieces, Sekinat decided to start Ombré Woman to provide stylish and comfortable ready to wear clothes infused with African prints.
Her goal is to make very fashionable pieces to help women become more confident and look their best, without losing their comfort.
You can connect with Sekinat and her business on Instagram
What motivated you to start Ombré Woman?
I started my brand because I had a passion to empower and build confidence in women through their everyday looks.
I also spotted a gap in the fashion market for work and casual wear infused subtly with rich African prints, which really inspired my fashion journey.
My desire to help women look and feel their best also led me to add an extra touch to the clothes I make. I made a decision to infuse the fabrics with rich African prints in order to create unique, trendy pieces that can be worn over and over again.
The clothes are specifically made to flatter the feminine silhouette and be multifunctional so that they can be worn in the workplace or elsewhere.
What makes your brand stand out?
There are quite a few things that have helped Ombré Woman stand out, from our unique business type to how easy and accessible we’ve made our clothes for our clients. We are also very committed to giving back to the community and helping other women with our business.
Some of the ways we’ve ensured our brand stands out in the saturated fashion industry are:
- My brand is built as a “for women and run by women only” business.
- Our business has a prime, central and accessible location for our clients.
- We offer customization services for our Ready-To-Wear (RTW) items, which gives our clients control over how they look and feel in our pieces.
- Also, we ensure that our clients receive their clothes when and how it was promised. Absolutely no disappointments!
- We empower other women through direct employment and artisans by giving them scrap materials to make their designs with.
What are three things you struggled with when your business kicked off and how did you overcome them?
One major issue we had was getting the right people to build the business. After a few fails, we took a step back and started to recruit our staff through trusted government agencies. On our own part, we provide them with incentives that add value to their lives.
Another thing was getting high-quality materials for making clothes. This was a big issue because not having the materials we needed meant that the clothes won’t get made. So what we do now is use a few local vendors whom we found. We also supplement with international alternatives when we can’t find what we need locally.
When it came to business finance as well, I wasn’t the most knowledgeable person and I didn’t want my business to suffer. To combat this, I did a lot of reading, took courses and sought external input as well where necessary.
How have you been able to stay or rise above the noise in this industry?
For me, I have remained very focused on our “why,” which is to ensure that we are helping our clients look and feel beautiful every day.
We also ensure that we are delivering the best quality they can have at an affordable price. Lastly, we are constantly evaluating our business processes and training our staff to ensure that our service is top-notch.
Did you have any personal experience that taught you a business lesson?
When I just began my business, I had a big issue with budgeting and it almost affected my cashflow.
Since I all of a sudden experienced a rise in my personal expenses, it was a bit too much to handle at first and almost became an issue. When I got the situation under control, it taught me how to plan better. I now plan my yearly budgets and funds allocation for the business ahead so that there are no surprises.
How have you impacted your community since starting this business?
As I mentioned earlier, my brand is very invested in giving back to the community in general and women in particular.
Some of the ways we have done this is through providing employment via direct and indirect forms of labour. We also offer paid internships for our newly trained staff.
To reduce any form of waste and help with sustainable recycling, we also send our scrap pieces back to local artisans. The artisans are able to use them to make a living by making items like pillows, rugs and carpets.
What is your goal for 2019? And what have you done so far to achieve it?
I had two major goals for 2019 and they were to first launch and promote a ready to wear line and the second is to launch a school uniform line.
For the first goal, we currently have an ongoing campaign to promote our debut collection. For the second goal, we are currently visiting schools with samples for uniform production.
Can you share 3 interesting facts about yourself?
Well to start with, I have a purely science and research background (from secondary school to my Masters Degree). Another is that I love to cook and organize spaces.
Lastly, I love to travel and try new types of food (I’m quite adventurous with food).
What’s your favorite skin, hair or self-care routine?
I’m a low maintenance kind of lady, so anything that gets me out the door quickly is my favorite routine.
How do you feel about this opportunity to promote your brand on SLA, sponsored by SheaMoisture?
Ecstatic! It’s a great opportunity to showcase our brand to so many Motherland Moguls and we are very grateful to SLA and SheaMoisture.
Mention one word that should come to people’s minds when they think about your product/service
You can find SheaMoisture products at Youtopia Beauty stores nationwide and on Jumia.