We are big enough, resourceful enough to become manufacturing giants – Adesanya
Joy Adesanya is the Group CEO at AJ Skylar Holdings. Goal-oriented customer service and business development rep with 15+ years of experience. She uses her substantiated leadership and interpersonal skills to drive cost, time, and quality measurements for brands Sshhh Lingerie and The Braiding Vault under the holding company. With her extensive experience in sales and marketing, she has successfully been able to leverage consultative selling strategies that build relationships across all target markets. Joy uses strong skills in continuous deployment to drive productivity across both brands to ensure the vision and mandate to create a unique customer service experience through innovation is established. Her previous experience in corporate roles such as Head Event Specialist at The Nigeria Stock Exchange, Head of Corporate Communication at LAPO Microfinance Bank plus other key customer-centric roles in the U.K. has enabled her to understand and execute the mandate of globalizing the customer services experience from Nigeria to the world. Joy graduated with Honours from London South Bank University in BA Media & Marketing. She is also a member of the Association of Accredited Small business Consultants (AASBC) and has attained various training in business development, customer service, and leadership principles. Joy is launching a brand-new hair care line of products made in Nigeria and Lehle Balde, editor wanted to find out more…
What made you decide to create a line of made in Nigeria hair products?
After opening the first TBV salon in March 2020, I started paying close attention to the client’s hair care needs and the products we were using. Through research and development, I realized the products used didn’t carry the same narrative as the vision we celebrated. We celebrated the art of braiding through our skilled techniques and African heritage, but we weren’t doing so 100% through our hair products. Nigeria has vast potential to produce and manufacture products just like China but due to manpower and governance, we tend to outsource. During the pandemic, we were at the mercy of delayed shipments and extortive shipping costs. I felt there must be a better way, a more sustainable way to ensure products can be produced locally and delivered with the same international quality. After all, most of the tools and hair extensions we use are made in Nigeria so why not the products too! I knew this diversification had to drive the right message of capability, sustainability, and potential.
I searched around Nigeria and couldn’t find a manufacturer that could deliver what I wanted to achieve. It was very disheartening as this search took me about 3 months. With no luck, I had made alternative plans and started communicating with a factory in China. Then in early May during a conversation with a friend and formidable businesswoman, who just had her products made here in Nigeria, I discovered that truly it can be done. She pointed me in the right direction, and I felt a sense of achievement right from the start.
Who are the products for?
The Vault Hair growth kit is for braids, natural hair, and protective style enthusiasts who care about the look, texture, and growth of their hair. The products can be used by men, women, and young adults as part of their hair care regime. The kit can be bought individually or as a gift set which is perfect as a birthday, Christmas or just because gift. Our audience is not limited to one ethnic group or culture, we have something for everyone that will cater to their desired needs. The products will take you from pre, during and post your braiding and protective style experience.
Why was it important for you to complete this product fully in Nigeria?
Nigeria has and will always be a nation of HOPE. I want that message of HOPE to be carried to the world, Africa to the world, our greatness to the world. No more silence, no more dependency but capability despite all odds. I relocated here 9 years ago without my family, friends, or the faintest idea if I was going to thrive or run. The resilience built over the years taught me to paint a different narrative of Nigeria I grew up watching on TV in the UK. Therefore, it is paramount that Nigerians in the diaspora, in Nigeria, and in prominent positions see that if this can be achieved for someone with no background or ties to this nation aside from extended family then it can be achieved on a larger scale for the nation. It’s easy to be cynical in this country and lose hope, but over the years, I have discovered that people really do make the difference that this nation needs. We don’t need to outsource; we don’t need China, or any other country to manufacture for us. We are big enough, resourceful enough to become manufacturing giants. All we need is for people to believe and start exploring those avenues.
Tell us about what you hope to achieve with this line of Made in Nigeria hair products?
Exposure!! Because we deserve it. For years we have been robbed of our talent, skills, and greatness due to negative news reports and a few bad eggs. Imagine the possibilities if people started exploring Nigeria to formulate, manufacture and package their products. Imagine just for a second if you opened your fridge or cabinet anywhere in the world and saw something that had our flag on it that was worth bragging about. A product that you could walk into any of the top international supermarkets, salons, or department stores and proudly you see our flag. China takes pride in being manufacturing giants. Probably 70% of the things in your home are made from there and sold back to the rest of the world through white labelling. They understood that assignment early on, and I hope with this hair care line I can do the same. The dream is to show the world Nigeria can produce quality products that can match any of the big international brands in terms of delivery, texture, packaging, and result. Although it sounds biased, The Vault hair care line oozes opulence and delivers results. We took our time formulating these products and the results are truly of international standards.
What are some of the obstacles you faced launching made in Nigeria products?
There were very minor things like timing, graphics, and labeling but it’s not worth mentioning because the good outweighs them by far. The process has been seamless and straightforward. The manufacturing company I worked with is very reputable and has a faultless system set up. This was the first time they were taking on some of the product ideas I had but they had a “can do” mentality and delivered beyond expectation. Having the right structure and processes in place helps to mitigate obstacles. They have a wonderful and focused CEO who is doing great things in her field, she ensured this process went without fault. If you have the right team, then the rest is easy breezy!
Tell us about your expansion plan
Yes, expansion is key for growth and visibility. We want to see our products in international supermarkets, salons and in the hands of women, men, and celebrities near and far. We are driving the message of “connecting generations through HAIRitage”, through The Vault. Passing down the tradition and secrets of the hair care regime from grandmother to mother, mother to daughter, father to son! Therefore, in the coming months, you will see us in the UK, USA, and many more places. To reveal the full plan is to awaken the competitor, so let’s keep them watching.
What are the products in the hair care line?
Leave-in Hair Conditioner
What differentiates your brand from other made in Nigeria hair products?
Our unique selling point is our connection with our clients. We listen, we understand, and we improve accordingly. These products were created with the client in mind. Their wants, needs, and desires are bottled up into a vault and presented back to them. We wanted to achieve this not only through the product but packaging as well. I believe opulence should be associated with braiding, its product, and its services.
Where can we get the products?
TBV LEKKI, Greenville Plaza, Admiralty way, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos
Tel: 090 900 09327
TBV Signature, 7-12 Rumens Road, Ikoyi, Lagos
Tel: 0816 978 8625
Tel: 0913 196 2350