In just eight years, this entrepreneur extraordinaire has carved a name for herself in Nigeria, Europe and America by selling her high-end cosmetics online.
It all began in 2010, when the Ghanaian-British business woman and her Nigerian husband decided to kick-start R&R Luxury in Nigeria. Lagosian fashion brands had already started to gain recognition beyond the country’s borders, but this was the first time an entrepreneur had decided to launch a luxury cosmetics company there. As a former public relations advisor, Valérie Obaze decided to model R&R Luxury on multinational brands like L’Oréal, Chanel and Dior.
First, she bought raw materials from Ghana—shea butter and coconut oil—straight from cooperatives of experienced female farmers, cutting out the middlemen to ensure that the women received more pay. Then she worked with specialists to guarantee that Western-enforced protocols were respected. Elegant, minimalist packaging was chosen to reflect the naturalness of the ingredients inside.
To sell the products she went for on-line distribution – and it has paid off: With 15,600 followers on Instagram and a tweet-rich Twitter feed, R&R Luxury has become popular with young, hip crowds (aged between 25 and 34), for the most part based in Nigeria, but also further afield in Canada and the United Kingdom. It’s a web-based success story, and a brand to look out for, so keep your eyes peeled.