When ‘new’ natural ingredients come to market, sustainability concerns often follow quickly. As a brand, Adeba Nature has the advantage of being closely involved in its own ingredient supply chain and is invested in the wellbeing of the earth, plants, and community that make Adjoba oil possible (albeit in limited quantities). Adjoba oil is a blend of oils, including Safou oil.
While Adeba Nature got its start with a treatment oil for textured hair, the brand is already much bigger than that with products in several categories (skin care, hair care, and body care). And, it’s winning awards and capturing the attention of investors and bloggers and consumers with products and plans that have the potential to bring beauty from Côte d’Ivoire to the world. Here, entrepreneur Linda Dempah shares a profile of herself and the brand.
Name: Linda Dempah, CEO
Indie Beauty Company: Adeba Nature
Headquarters: Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
Cash flow: Adeba Nature is self-funded; and I do own majority stake in the brand. In late 2019, we reached a deal with our first external investor and this was a huge accomplishment for us. We have also received prize money from winning the Sisley Prize for women entrepreneurs in Abidjan.
Indie how? An indie beauty brand is a company poised to disrupt the beauty industry with novel products and/or novel approaches to doing business.
Team work: 22 full-time employees
Distribution: We are currently distributed in over 130 retail points in Cote d’Ivoire (mostly pharmacies) and are planning to enter the US market via DTC with our own website, adebanature.com.
Years in beauty: I am new to the industry and quickly climbing the learning curve.
Years at Adeba Nature: I left my corporate job early 2019.
Entrepreneurial experience: I used to sell marbles when I was in 5th grade. That was because once moving on to 6th grade, playing with marbles was looked down upon. I therefore turned my recess-time activity into a business. With hindsight, the entrepreneurial calling has always been there!
A few years ago, I started a food blog (www.tropicalfoodies.com) which grew rapidly and inspired me to launch a related app (tropicalchefs.com). All through the years, I explored ideas that would allow me to become a full-fledged entrepreneur, so when the Adeba Nature opportunity presented itself, I jumped in!
The business: More than a traditional beauty company, Adeba Nature is a West Africa-based healing company and an economic development powerhouse.
We offer products that reunite women with their self-worth, e.g., our Adjoba oil helps heal the skin of women who bleach, a serious problem in West Africa and elsewhere. Grounded in tradition, our offerings are 100% natural, vegan (never tested on animals) and made with techniques developed over multiple generations. Our innovative formulas combine research with traditional knowledge.
On top of that mission, we break the cycle of poverty in Côte d’Ivoire: we provide qualified Ivorians access to quality jobs and we maintain a women-led supply chain, thus favoring the integration of a developing country’s economy into global trade exchanges at a higher level in the value chain.
The wow-factor: What differentiates Adeba Nature from our competitors around the world is our authenticity and our ingredient quality:
- Authenticity: Our products are rooted in existing traditions preserved in villages and local innovation
- Ingredient quality: We are local, so we have amazing access to the best ingredients
The consumer: Our target consumer is interested in discovering and using products that are 100% natural, made with ingredients that have a history, and with unique techniques from a part of the world often overlooked.
Milestone moment: Adeba Nature was written up by a popular blog as the #1 beauty brand from West Africa to follow in 2020, in a country where we are not even distributed yet! The editor had acquired our products on her own and decided that they were the best she had tried.
Advice for fellow beauty entrepreneurs: Believe in yourself AND surround yourself with a great team.
Just one: Asked about her go-to product, Dempah says, I would take the Adeba Nature body butter anywhere! It keeps my skin hydrated all day long in all conditions and applying it soothes me!
Deanna Utroske is a leading voice in the cosmetics and personal care industry as well as in the indie beauty movement. As Editor of CosmeticsDesign.com, she writes daily news about the business of beauty in the Americas region and regularly produces video interviews with cosmetics, fragrance, personal care, and packaging experts as well as with indie brand founders.
Deanna will be traveling next to the Personal Care Product Council’s annual meeting; if you’ll be there too and have beauty business news to share, feel free to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org