My lightbulb moment: Beauty innovator Valerie Obaze reveals the inspiration behind her skincare brand
- Valerie Obaze, 40, founded beauty brand R&R Luxury in 2010
- Lives between London and Accra, in Ghana, with husband and three children
- None of regular baby oils or creams agreed with her but shea oil was amazing
- She and husband Stan launched their company to sell 100% shea oil
Valerie Obaze, 40, founded beauty brand R&R Luxury in 2010.
She lives between London and Accra, in Ghana, with her husband, Stan, and their three children, aged ten, eight and six.
Growing up in London with Ghanaian ancestry, I would often visit Accra in the summer holidays with my family.
My mum would always bring back tons of raw shea butter in a solid lump that you’d have to heat up on the stove.
I went on to study communications at Coventry University, then took a job in PR. I never thought I’d set up my own beauty business.
Valerie Obaze, 40, lives between London and Accra, in Ghana, with her husband, Stan, and their three children, aged ten, eight and six
In 2009, I married and had my first child, Rebecca Rose. She started developing awful, red rashes.
None of the regular baby oils or creams agreed with her, then Mum gave me an amazing, unlabelled bottle of natural oil, which turned out to be shea.
It worked magic on my daughter — her rashes disappeared quickly and she had beautiful, buttery skin — so Stan and I started using it too, and it was amazing, so much easier to apply in liquid form.
That was my lightbulb moment. I realised we were on to something — this shea oil could be a massive gamechanger in skincare.
We launched R&R Luxury, named after Rebecca Rose, in 2010.
I took several online courses in cosmetics compliance and organic formulation — my goal was to create a ‘clean’ product with as few ingredients as possible.
Lots of brands sell shea butters, but they contain only tiny amounts.
Valerie founded R&R Luxury in 2010 after discovering how good shea oil was for her family’s skin
We use it in its purest, rawest form: our oil is 100 per cent shea and we add only essential oils for their aromatherapeutic properties.
I also wanted to find a way of supporting the rural shea farmers in Ghana, 90 per cent of whom are women.
It can be a dangerous job, due to snake bites, and historically, they have not been rewarded sufficiently for their work.
We buy above market value and set up the Women of the Savannah Development Project to provide health, safety and business training to help break the poverty cycle.
R&R Luxury now sells more than 30 products online in the UK, from scrubs to body butters, soaps and a moisturising lemongrass hand sanitiser, which we just launched.
The pandemic has been tough, we had to close our shops temporarily in Nigeria and Ghana, but our online sales have blown me away.
So many oils have become a trend and later disappeared, but I believe shea is a forever oil.
Source: Read Full Article