Okiki Skincare was founded by a mother and daughter duo who were inspired by their rich West African heritage. We chatted with Antonia to learn more about the brand’s journey, the experience of working with her mum and much more.
Check it out!
When did you start your business?
We started the business in October 2016.
Why did you decide to become a business owner?
Okiki Skincare initially started as a way for my mum (Ade) to reconnect with her late mum. My grandma used to make soaps back in Lagos and my mum decided to start making them after she passed. We initially came to the markets as a way to hang out whilst at uni. The catalyst for my mum and I deciding to take Okiki seriously was when she made me the Lolu facial soap to help me with my acne and it worked! It also helped some of my other friends who had acne problems.
What service or product do you provide?
We make West African-inspired skincare and homecare products. The core of the business being our soaps that take anywhere between 4 weeks to 9 months to make and, our soy wax candles with crackling wood wick - all with Yoruba and Ghanaian names to pay homage to our heritage. We donate £1 for every large candle sold to have a tree planted.
What makes your business unique?
Honestly, I want to say my mother! She has a natural, almost intuitive, ability to come up with such unique formulations and smells that make us stand apart. Our soaps are focused on natural ingredients that not only work together but benefit you. Where possible my mum will even infuse the oils with herbs to maximise the benefits. Our candles are unique fragrances blended by my mum. The scents are so individual that it is hard to describe them but each one smells amazing.
How much time did it take your business to earn a profit?
This business was slowly migrating from what I call a 'hobby' business to a proper business before lockdown happened. But the lockdown was really the turning point, as I was made redundant during the first one, I took the time to build out our website and sort out a business - so I guess it’s been around a year.
How would you describe your company's success so far?
Amazing and realistic haha, we have had over 30 mentions in news articles, worked with some influencers but most notably we have had our products stocked in 2 stores. We’ve also had a few subscription boxes and a number of returning customers.
Where do you see your business in the future?
I see our products being stocked at more boutique stores like Liberty’s or Whole Foods as our products are made using slow methods with a focus on high quality ingredients. We will also grow our ecommerce store to create the best customer experience possible.
Learn more about them at https://okikiskincare.co.uk and follow them on Instagram @okikiskincare.