In With The Cheeky, Out With The Old…

You’re wondering how to celebrate Valentine’s day, in a unique and memorable way? I don’t know about you but I will be curled up, in front of the TV, watching my favorite series ‘Ajoche’.

I am so caught up in Idoma culture and language right now, nothing else matters when you have spent 3-4 hours daily navigating Lagos traffic. Traffic in Lagos kills whatever sort of libido you have and by the time I get home, I am in the mood for sleep and lots of it, nothing more. When the team behind <a rel=”nofollow” href=”“>Paperless  Post</a>  reached out to me, asking if I will be interested in checking their products cum services out? I wasn’t really sure cos I am yet to find out what beats what I am using currently. It makes the life of a creative much easier with the platform I use.

The first thing I did was to visit the website and check how they stack up. Paperless Post is a platform that offers you the freedom to customize cards, flyers, invitations based on your personal style. I am currently customizing a cheeky card for my partner and a charitable organization I support.

<a href="http://Paperless Post “>The platform was quite easy to use and I was able to customize to my hearts content. However, you can only tweak the background and text. Graphic elements on a card for instance, cannot be tweaked. While I am aware that this was created with a particular demographic in mind, it’ll be nice to have bolder colorful backgrounds rather than the pink, pastel and neutral tones.

Go check it out.

What’s New?

A lot has changed within the ‘Relaxed’ and ‘Natural’ hair space, since the advent of healthy hair movement trend was embraced from the U.S – Europe – Africa – Nigeria. This movement has given birth to indigenous entrepreneurial creations as well as varied brands, being imported into the country and largely sold in Trade Fair market, ASPAMDA – Lagos.

While indigenous brands are produced in small batches, imported brands are produced in large volumes. Its’ funny how the universe places you in the midst of trends as they evolve. Due to fluctuating market indices largely determined by the current value of the $USSD, imported brands are largely premium positioned in the marketplace.

U.S. Black Hair Care Purchase

When you juxtapose the price index vs socio-economic classification of the Nigerian female consumer, about 1% of the populace can afford these brands. Where does that leave consumers on the Value for Money /Low hanging fruit? You might possibly suggest indigenous brands, but the problem is ….premium price positioning as well. The brands I have seen within the N500 – N1,500 segment, have quality issues in terms of product separation. I will explain how this affects shelf offtake in other future post.

Back to the case of imported brands. If you love organic, natural brands and prefer paraben, sulphate free products such as Shea Moisture, Aunt Jackie’s, Camille Rose, T.G.I.N, E’TAE Natural, Eden Bodyworks, Jane Carter, Kinky Curly, Kurlee Belle, Hairveda, Mielle Organics, Miss Jessie’s, Taliah Waajid, you’re in good company. While embracing organic is great, do consider the the following tradeoff:

  • It takes a minimum of 2 – 3 months to import a 20ft container into the country. You require an extra 1- 2 months to clear and move the goods to your warehouse, before sales can commence.
  • Depending on how long the date of manufacture was, the importer would have lost extensive man days to bureaucratic process. By the time the product hits the stores, shelf life remaining might be 3 – 6 months left.
  • This import investment value range within $100K – 200K, depending on the product mix.
  • Manufacturers do not produce new products, basis fresh orders from prospective/existing distributors. Orders are replenished basis existing stock inventory, irrespective of manufacture dates.

To recoup time lost, importers have devised a means of wiping off the manufacturer and expiry dates from the bottles/jars. The sale staff has been trained on beguiling shoppers with long tales, of how these products have been tweaked, for the African marketplace. It’s all B.S. Once you walk into a store or marketplace, and can’t find the dates on the products, please drop the product and search for something else.

You might say, ‘what if the importers can emboss the manufacturing/expiry dates on the bottles/jars?’. Yes, you do have a point. But, does this practice currently exist in the marketplace? No it does not. Then, what is the norm? The norm is to wipe off the dates and sell the products sans dates. Embrace brands with clear listed dates whether they are indigenous or imported, depending on your wallet share. Please do not think this is done manually. There are innovative products and tools in the market that can do a beautiful job of this.

Do not be fooled by the pretty display of ‘Shea Moisture’ & ‘CANTU’ on the shelves at Trade Fair. These are brands with low offtake due to its’ premium positioning. Distributors have a field day doctoring the evidence required to influence your purchase decisions.

How do I know all of this? Let’s just say I have access to data, actual market visits and indices relating to this sector. I keep myself informed.

Take proper precautions when shopping offline!

What’s Next?

We are open signage

I have been thinking of closing this blog down since life and other stuffs have finally caught up with me. I thought I would rather transition this blog to a podcast. After thinking about it, I thought to myself, “Jan, why don’t you do a pivot with this blog, by sharing some of the steps you have taken in the corporate world to get to where you are today?

Yeap, you guessed right, I will be using this year to share my nuggets of wisdom on navigating the corporate ladder. Note of warning: my approach is quite brutal and mafioso. I am not a wallflower when it comes to the workplace and I always take no prisoners alive.

So if you are not comfortable with being hated, gossiped about in the workplace, feared and respected for the values you bring into the workplace, then this might not be for you. However, if you are comfortable with being hated, and can use that negative emotion to propel you on the career ladder, you are welcome on this ride, however nerve wracking it might be.

I will share how I have orchestrated my career working with expats and locals. If you’ve got organizational challenges in your current workplace, shoot me a email (your current employer/organization should be denoted “All Way na Way”). I will try to point you to a conclusive option. The actual work lies with you.

Welcome once more!

3 Highly Effective Skincare Routine 

Happy New Year….wishing you a splendid 2017 ahead. It’s been a while since I’ve updated this blog but life happens and you gotta learn to roll with it. A lot has happened over the course of 2 years I’ve been absent on this blog but so far, it’s been a great learning curve. Back to 2017, I have been pursuing a clean, healthy lifestyle encompassing hair and skin. This journey has given birth to a new chapter of self awareness and a skincare line, specifically natural soaps.

Weekends are my special time of blocking out the world and catching up on a good book and some soul lifting music. By the way, has anyone listened to Michael Buble’s new album (Nobody But You Deluxe version)? It’s completely off the chart. My favorite tracks are ‘Nobody But Me, Someday (feat. Meghan Trainor), On an Evening in Roma’. On an Evening in Roma makes me feel like I’m on a 50’s MGM movie set.  Anyway, an after effect of bingeing on books and music all through the weekend involves sleeplessness which can wreak havoc on the skin if care is not taken.

These are the top 3 bars I recommend from our stash of artisan soaps which you can get here.

1. Detox Creamie Bar: crafted from natural oils, bentonite clay and activated charcoal. Bentonite clay is very effective and beneficial for your skin no matter your age. What’s special about bentonite clay is that it draws out toxins from the skin, shrinks your pores noticeably after a few uses, prevents breakouts and leaves your skin soft and smooth. I recommend this for ladies with terrible acne issues, psoriasis and eczema.

How to apply? Simply work up a lather and apply on your face before bathing. Rinse off with water and voila, you’re on the way to even toned skin.

2. Organic Activated Charcoal Bar: activated charcoal acts like a magnet to attract and absorb dirt and oil. When dirt and oil in your pores come in contact with the carbon, they stick to it and then get washed away when you rinse. Organic activated charcoal is also a natural source of glycolic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid, that penetrates the skin and encourages cell turnover rate for fresher skin. This is my go to facial bar since I ditched commercial facial cleanser. I have seen remarkable results since I commenced usage. Highly recommended. Everyone remarks on my clearer face. There are days I do without foundation as there’s nothing to cover up.

3. Summer Rose Garden: crafted from natural oils and French Rose Clay, this bar is perfect for ladies with sensitive skin as it has a gentle cleansing action that isn’t too harsh. Used regularly, this clay bar will draw impurities and oils to the surface to be washed away, which will help reduce the appearance of oily skin and clogged pores. As your skin gets used to the regular application, you will see a more lifted, firm appearance. The consistent exfoliation helps to reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles.

If you’re ready to try these artisanal bars for yourself, order our Flawless Skin Collection . When you see how well it works, you’ll not only enjoy the toned, refreshed feeling on your face and skin, you’ll also wonder why you ever submitted your poor skin to acids and commercial cleansers.