How Chioma and Kika grew Good Hair Limited into global brand
Chioma Ikokwu and Kika Osunde, two British-Nigerian citizens, are co-founders of the luxury hair brand known as Good Hair Limited which started in London in 2009 before officially opening in Nigeria in 2014.
Not only do these entrepreneurs work to make reasonable profits from the business, but they also offer mentorship programs to young ladies in Nigerian universities looking to start small businesses of their own. They have also given professional training to salons in Ivory Coast and some parts of Europe, especially in Paris and Portugal. The business is officially registered in Nigeria and the UK. Both Ikokwu and Osunde work hard to make sure that ‘The Good Hair’ brand lives out its name.
They are often involved in the manufacturing of the products from start to finish. The two partners, who have been in business together for a long time, regard each other as direct images of the brand, showing friendship & loyalty. In an email interview with BusinessDay, the entrepreneurs disclosed that today, more women, especially young people, are embracing self-empowerment and SME/ private business setups.
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“We both share a strong passion for hair and beauty and seeing that if we combined energies and interests, we would create something special, we decided to harness that drive to create what you know today as Good Hair Limited. “We are proud to say that Good Hair as a business has mentored young ladies around the world, including in Nigeria, Denmark, Portugal, Paris, UK, Ivory Coast and Ghana. We have helped these young ladies build confidence and open their small businesses to succeed. When they join our mentorship programme, they have little or no knowledge of the hair business.
“Some of them have grown to become excellent hair stylists who cater to some of the highest net-worth clients in their country. As they grow, they are also passing along the knowledge through our ‘Each One Teach One’ program,” they disclosed. Amid the achievements of these entrepreneurs, they revealed they have had a fair share of challenges, ranging from the ever-increasing costs of importation and inadequate availability of well-trained hair care practitioners. They also noted that the current state of the Nigerian economy, about the foreign exchange, has also affected most import-dependent businesses.
“We believe the government can do more with improved importation processes and improve the economy to drive down the cost of foreign exchange, to make our products more affordable. We are hopeful of a Nigerian hair industry where we can source and process products locally, thereby contributing our quota to the need for employment placements,” Ikokwu and Osunde said. They said their company offers free and subsidised hair care and styling training for upcoming stylists and young people worldwide who seek to improve their hair care craft, adding that they do not only train but also mentor to adequately pass along the knowledge and monitor implementation for improvement.
They added that they have impacted over 50 young ladies around the world.
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On improving the industry, Ikokwu and Osunde said: “We would say Nigeria is in the top three hair markets in Africa and top 10 in the world, as Nigerian women are super stylish and take pride attention in their appearances. Today, the local hair industry is worth millions of dollars.
“It is also a big employer of youth labour across its different segments. If the government can support the industry through the set-up and funding of processing plants as you have in the US, India, South America and China, then we will grow into a huge market that can be regarded as the biggest in Africa, supplying other markets, employing more people and driving income for the nation.”
On the company’s product offerings, the partners said they offer raw virgin hair and illusion lace products that come already customised from their production phase, stating that they give extreme attention to details and are involved in every stage of production – from the hair selection and preparation process down to end-user purchase and installation and excellent customer service. They also identified their strong brand positioning within the local and international market. “We are not a local hair brand but a global one. We also remain relevant by constantly being innovative and on top of the latest trends,” they added.