Lifestyle

Ade and Antonia Ogunsola’s Journey Creating Okiki Skin Care

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Too typically, the perfect magnificence tales go Untold, solely based mostly on an individual’s pores and skin color, faith, gender expression, incapacity, or socioeconomic standing. Right here, we’re passing the mic to among the most bold and gifted voices within the business to allow them to share, in their very own phrases, the outstanding story of how they got here to be — and the way they’re utilizing magnificence to alter the world for the higher. Up subsequent: Ade and Antonia Ogunsola, the mother-daughter duo behind the West African-inspired magnificence model Okiki Skin Care, comprised of their kitchen in Kent, England.

Ade: I used to be born in England — raised partly in England, partly in Nigeria. My recipes and learnings of soap-making come from Nigeria. After I was youthful, my mommy used to make cleaning soap again house. She’d make all of the idea classics — we name it Kongi Soda cleaning soap as a result of the stable bars are literally used for bathing in addition to doing all your dishes and washing your garments.

Rising up, my grandma additionally favored to infuse her oils with dry herbs so that they’d have a scent when she used them; that is how I realized about infusing oils. She had completely different jars for hair and physique and if she was going out within the night, that is what she used as fragrance.

“We began going to markets collectively, primarily as a strategy to bond while I used to be in school, and it rapidly grew to become extra than simply cleaning soap,'” Antonia stated.

After my mother handed away, I began to overlook her dearly and advised my different half, “I will begin making cleaning soap.” That is how the journey began — first as a hobby.

Antonia: For me, my journey into beauty was a bit completely different. I grew up with unhealthy pores and skin — I had a great deal of zits and hyperpigmentation, which may be very robust to do away with. I did the Clinique 3-Step — I believe everybody I do know who has hyperpigmentation has tried the 3-Step — and I forked out for the Obagi remedy, which was tons of of {dollars}. That did not actually assist and I simply broke right down to my mother sooner or later. It bought to some extent the place I would not exit with out make-up and that wasn’t wholesome. She made the Lolu Facial Cleaning soap for me.

I used the cleaning soap twice a day for 60 seconds and I stated to my mother, “You are onto one thing right here as a result of I can really see my face altering.” A few my pals had bought it too and so they stated it was actually good. I stated to my mother: “It is best to positively begin promoting this product.”

We began going to markets collectively, primarily as a strategy to bond while I used to be in school, and it rapidly grew to become extra than simply cleaning soap — it grew to become physique lotion, balms, tub salts, and lip balm. She is all the time preserving busy — she will’t sit nonetheless.

Ade: I am all the time creating new issues. Earlier than I began making cleaning soap, I used to be making wine. I quickly realized the meals I used to purchase to make the wine may be used to make cleaning soap. Within the second batch of cleaning soap I made, I used recent fruits like blueberries, carrots, and papaya.

blankPicture Supply: Okiki Skin Care

Antonia: On the time I used to be working at Victoria’s Secret, so I used to be fairly good at promoting. With the ability to work together with individuals and promote while my mother labored on the formulation facet labored nicely. Initially, we solely offered at markets; we each labored full-time alongside doing Okiki. That was, till I used to be let go resulting from COVID-19, about two weeks into the primary lockdown.

At first, it actually threw me. I am like my mother in that I don’t like being idle. She prompt I construct a web site for Okiki so I did on Wix. That took a few month after which we launched on-line. We solely offered two merchandise all of Might and so they had been each to my pals. I believed, No, I am not proud of this; I do know my mother’s merchandise are good. What can we do?

I would adopted Iman Leila, founding father of Lima Communications, for some time and eventually requested her, “Do small companies get PR?” and she or he advised me to achieve out to her. Initially, my mother was not sure, however I advised her to belief me that this may assist. Iman was so helpful in serving to individuals to achieve our model.

After engaged on Okiki full-time throughout COVID-19, I discovered my dream job and bought a suggestion and my mother inspired me to take it. For us, there’s this false impression that as a result of we have had all this press, every part is flying off the shelf and we’re making tons of of hundreds of {dollars}. That is not the case: we’re very a lot nonetheless a small enterprise. From a monetary perspective, with a purpose to gasoline the enterprise, we must be bringing in some form of cash as nicely — getting a enterprise off the bottom does not occur in a single day.

blankPicture Supply: Okiki Skin Care

Ade: I am an early chook; I get up round three or 4 within the morning and I make merchandise or pack any orders that must be performed earlier than I even prepare for my day job. After I end my work, I am going to the publish workplace and drop the packages off for supply.

Antonia: My time is spent organizing our social media, working with Iman on our model refresh, Fb advertisements, and e mail advertising and marketing. These types of issues take a bit longer for me as a result of I am dyslexic.

“I am an early chook; I get up round three or 4 within the morning and I make merchandise or pack any orders that must be performed earlier than I even prepare for my day job,” stated Ade.

It is lots to stability and it was hectic final 12 months, even with engaged on the model full-time. After simply two gross sales in Might, in June, we had 200 orders. We principally offered out of mother’s inventory for the 12 months in a single day and our soaps take a minimal of 4 to 6 weeks to create (the Aleppo soap takes 9 months). This was peak pandemic, so getting the components was a wrestle, too.

Talking frankly, we really feel the preliminary development got here off the again of the Black Lives Matter motion and that wave has slightly died down. So, when persons are shopping for from us, I do know they’re shopping for as a result of they actually like our merchandise. We now have a whole lot of repeat purchasers; one man simply purchased his seventieth order from us.

Ade: Despite the fact that I spent most of my grownup life within the UK, you all the time return to your roots and I needed a spot that I might give a bit little bit of my revenue again to from Okiki. One thing for individuals again house. I got here throughout One Tree, a corporation that works to plant bushes in Ghana. They do not plant in Nigeria, however my different half is from Ghana so now we have roots there. With each sale we make, we donate to them month-to-month to assist plant bushes.

Antonia: We have spent a whole lot of time deciding on the perfect packaging for the rebrand. It is laborious as a result of, as a small enterprise, you may be as environmentally-conscious as you wish to be but it surely’s tough and costly. Along with the tree planting donation, now we have a whole lot of leftover soaps that we do not promote as a result of they are not fairly proper and as an alternative of throwing them away, we donate them to native meals banks.

Relating to the way forward for Okiki, we each agree that we wish our merchandise to be offered in a retailer in small batches.

Ade: My imaginative and prescient is one thing much like Lush, however completely different. I’ve round 200 licenses for merchandise presently, however we’re ready for the correct time to make them as a result of it is solely the 2 of us and each single product is made by me.

I adore it when individuals utilizing my merchandise touch upon them as a result of I’ve come a good distance in formulating, particularly making an allowance for I am not a science pupil. It is so good to see individuals use the merchandise and coming again to purchase extra.

https://www.popsugar.com/magnificence/ade-antonia-ogunsola-okiki-skin-care-interview-48444638 | Ade and Antonia Ogunsola’s Journey Creating Okiki Pores and skin Care

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