EPARA means ‘to cocoon’ in the Nigerian dialect of Ebira. But the brand itself is hardly under wraps. EPARA made its US debut at Barneys in 2018. Earlier this year the EPARA Cleansing Lotion won a Best of Beauty award from Allure magazine. And just this month the brand launched at both Net-a-Porter and Nordstrom.
“EPARA has felt the impact of the global pandemic along with many other brands,” acknowledges CEO and Founder Ozohu Adoh in recent remarks to the press.
“However,” she says, “….direct-to-consumer sales are growing strongly in the US and in other key markets. We have started partnerships with several new retailers….continue discussions with many others in the US and Canada;” and have “benefitted from the focus created by the BLM events over the summer. The focus on new, black-owned businesses, that also target a consumer who has previously been generally ignored, has provided further momentum to the strong commercial growth. We expect this to continue.”
Here, skin care entrepreneur Ozohu Adoh shares a profile of herself and the brand.
Name: Ozohu Adoh, CEO and Founder
Indie Beauty Company: EPARA
Launched: April 2017
Headquarters: Ealing, London, United Kingdom
Cash flow: I own more than 51% of the EPARA business.
Indie how? An indie beauty brand is one which is independently founded by individual not connected to the established players in the beauty industry.
Teamwork: 3 full-time employees and 2 part-time
Distribution: Our products are available globally via our ecommerce website, eparaskincare.com and through retail partners in the US: Neiman Marcus, Saks, Nordstrom, Net-a-Porter, Revolve, Heyday, The Conservatory, and Gee Beauty.
Years in beauty: 6
Entrepreneurial experience: EPARA is my first company I founded. The entrepreneurial experience has been incredibly rich, filled with many learning moments. I have learnt that one must be incredibly resilient and persevering to be able to ride the up and downs of running your own business. Overall, I would say it has been a very fulfilling experience thus far.
The business: EPARA provides high quality, scientifically proven products derived from the rich soils of Africa for the underserved needs of women of colour.
The wow-factor: We developed [skin care] products to meet the needs of women of colour that has now gained broad appeal across most ethnicities and demographics.
The customer: Our EPARA customers are discerning, skin care enthusiasts who are keen on botanical solutions that are well-considered.
Milestone moment: We are gaining traction on social media with a great increase in followers this year.
Advice for fellow beauty entrepreneurs: Ask for help, research things you don’t know, and stay focused even when things don’t seem like they are going the way you want them to.
Just one: Asked about her go-to beauty product, Adoh says its EPARA’s Brightening Night Balm.