Empowering women to feel chic and beautiful is the mission of Ivorian natural beauty brand, Adeba Nature. Formulated using fewer than five ingredients, this product range created by beauty entrepreneur, Linda Dempah, is creating a brand that is rooted in the existing traditions preserved in Ivorian villages.
LoA learned more about this empowering, natural West African beauty company this month from its founder.
What does your company do?
Adeba Nature is a West African beauty company that empowers black women across the globe by connecting them to their roots and delivering authentic products for them to take care of their hair and body. Grounded in tradition, our products are 100% natural, vegan and made with techniques developed over multiple generations. With all our operations based in the Ivory Coast, we create innovative formulas by combining our extensive pharmaceutical background with traditional skills and knowledge and we use locally sourced ingredients with proven personal care benefits such as shea butter and palm kernel oil. All our products are formulated with fewer than five all-natural ingredients! Adeba Nature means “Chic, beautiful woman” in Agni, the language of the Sanwi Akan kingdom in the Ivory Coast and that is what we enable women to be, chic and classy inside and out.
“Adeba Nature aims to become a globally recognized brand. We are a profit-making venture with a purpose.”
What inspired you to start your company?
Working in corporate America, I travelled frequently while striving to lead an active lifestyle. I paid little attention to maintenance rules for my then chemically processed hair. Because of that “reckless” hair behaviour, combined with my inability (probably motivated by an unconscious need to protect my health) to get to the hair salon, I ended up losing all my hair and transitioning to a natural style without actually planning to!
As I avidly read natural hair blog after blogs and tried products after products, I struggled to establish a simple routine with products I could trust. That’s when my mother, an Ivory Coast-based pharmacist with 30 years of experience, gave me a mysterious oil to try. She had found out about it during a recent visit to her ancestral village and took some back to the capital city. That was the best thing I ever put on my hair. My usually coarse strands became cotton-soft overnight! It was a life-changing experience! I gave some of the oil to my NYC-based friends who urged me to start marketing it in the US. Adeba Nature was born!
Why should anyone use your service or product?
Even when companies brand themselves as natural, their list of ingredients sometimes contain non-natural components and many products contain harmful chemicals already banned in Europe. This is what motivates us to grow our brand globally, providing access to quality products that promote health and well-being.
Adeba Nature creations are rooted in existing traditions preserved in Ivorian villages. However, we do not just rely on what has always been there, we use it as inspiration and as a basis for innovation. Our formulas have been used and tested by generations in Côte d'Ivoire, which gives us the confidence that we have the right blends and mixes of ingredients, and we are able to go further by adapting those proven recipes and modernizing them thanks to our team’s pharmaceutical and research background. We represent “made in Africa” innovation, an innovation that embraces local knowledge and builds from it. Part of what makes our product lines so effective is our use of unique ingredients of high quality as all our ingredients are sourced locally from various villages in Côte d'Ivoire.
“Beyond the products we offer to the market that fosters personal health, we promote deeper healing. Indeed, part of our mission is to fight the lack of self-worth tied to poor self-image that is endemic in the African diaspora and that transpires via harmful practices such as skin bleaching.”
Tell us a little about your team
We have built a team with complementary skills and expertise to cover, strong roots in West Africa and extensive African and global exposure. Our leadership is entirely composed of women who are themselves bridges between multiple worlds, generations and perspectives.
Our all-female leadership includes a Harvard MBA, a PhD and a pharmacist with 30 years of experience. We surround ourselves with the best talent and are working closely with a world-renowned trichology’s and a sales director with a proven track record.
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
I used to sell marbles when I was in 5th grade. That was because once moving on to 6th grade, the "bigger kids’" school, playing with marbles was looked down upon. I therefore turned my recess-time activity into a business. With hindsight, the appeal of entrepreneurship was always there! As I started my career, I started a popular food blog (www.tropicalfoodies.com), launched an app (tropicalchefs.com) as I was exploring ideas that would allow me to become a full-fledged entrepreneur. Then the Adeba Nature opportunity presented itself and I jumped in!
“We are an economic development powerhouse as we break the cycle of poverty for women in Côte d'Ivoire by working with women cooperatives to develop our supply chain.”
What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?
Adeba Nature aims to become a globally recognized brand. We are a profit-making venture with a purpose. Beyond the products we offer to the market that fosters personal health, we promote deeper healing. Indeed, part of our mission is to fight the lack of self-worth tied to poor self-image that is endemic in the African diaspora and that transpires via harmful practices such as skin bleaching. We are also an economic development powerhouse as we break the cycle of poverty for women in Côte d'Ivoire by working with women cooperatives to develop our supply chain.
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
The ability to make a difference in many people's lives, my own, my team and my customers.
What's the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?
Find your sweet spot, build a determined team and jump right in!
Contact or follow Adeba Nature
Why LoA loves it….
At LoA, we love businesses and brands that have an impact driven mission and vision, and Adeba Nature is definitely one of those. It understands the value of making a profit whilst at the same time making a difference, and Linda Dempah and her team are proof positive that it is possible to do both, and successfully. This is a local brand, using local ingredients and know-how, positively impacting local people, all great reasons for consumers to choose to support it through their purchase power. Definitely a brand to watch on the Ivorian business scene. — Melanie Hawken, founder and ceo of Lionesses of Africa