Women in Business: Valerie Obaze
Valerie Obaze is a beauty entrepreneur, mother, wife and philanthropist. She founded the awardwinning luxury skincare brand R&R in 2010, following the birth of her first daughter. Her inspiration to create the brand arose from the life changing experience of motherhood and a deep desire to nurture and nourish both her daughter’s and her own skin with the purest natural beauty products.
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Being a lover of nature and a beauty enthusiast with a natural affinity for aesthetics, she was drawn to seek the best products made with the most potent ingredients that nature could offer. Her discontent in not finding what she so desired, started a journey of discovery that led her back to one of nature’s purest and richest ingredients, Shea, which became the core of her first beauty formulation. Today, R&R offers a full range of luxury beauty products and home fragrances formulated with Shea butter and other natural ingredients, using the most meticulous production methods.
As she was becoming a mother for the first time, she wanted the best for her newborn baby and was determined to find a natural product gentle enough to use on her skin. After a chance encounter with a massage therapist, who only used natural oils for treatments, she started to look into natural ingredients that were grown locally in West Africa. It was then that she was introduced to the amazing healing properties and various uses of shea butter. She continued her research and noticed a gap in the market for luxury natural products that use Africa’s purest and most effective ingredients, which are kind enough for newborns, young children and adults. From there, the idea for R&R Luxury was born with her first product, Shea Oil, and the rest as they say, is history.
Born in London to Ghanaian parents, she was nurtured with an ingrained entrepreneurial, independent and leadership spirit, shaped by my unrelenting pursuit of excellence from her first job at the age of 14 years, while in secondary school, to date. After graduating from the university with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications, Culture and Media from Coventry University; where she was also the President of the Coventry University African/caribbean Society, she built a successful Public Relations career in the United Kingdom and beyond, culminating in the launch of her own agency in 2008.
She has always had an entrepreneurial mindset. Till date, her goal is to show the rest of the world the amazing natural ingredients that are indigenous to Western Africa, which can be used by anyone and everyone no matter their age, race, gender, skin type or tone.
In addition to leading her brand R&R to continuous growth, she is also an active board director for three foundations of which she is a founding member of two and sits on the board of one, including: My Sister’s Keeper Ghana, The Women of the Savannah Development Project (WSDP) and Outpouring To The Nations (OTTN) respectively.
She also co-created the Mumpreneurs Network Nigeria in 2015 to support her fellow working mothers in balancing family life while becoming a successful business woman and more recently, co-founded The Afristyle Lounge Collective in December 2019 to promote the extraordinary fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands coming out of the African Continent.
Valerie says she is grateful to be married to her best friend and high school sweetheart. They are both blessed with three beautiful children.
Obaze admits that being an entrepreneur forces you outside of your comfort zone and as such, you aren’t immune to errors nevertheless, she says, despite the daunting challenges, you must be confident in your idea, in your plan and in yourself, but most importantly, “start where you are with what you have, insert passion, dedication, research and prayers and watch it grow”. She admonished.