I arrived in Ghana expecting to bask in everything natural. I imagined Africa would be pretty much in the Edenic state I left it centuries ago. Instead, I came to find out that Ghana’s raw materials are being sold to multi-nationals for pennies on the dollar, then sold back to us, watered down and chemically-laced, albeit beautifully packaged. In exchange we’re encouraged to consume inferior, foreign products, die of foreign diseases, and pay a premium for the privilege.
I gravitated to the hair-and-body-care industry because Ghana has so many natural ingredients to choose from, yet makes very little use of them. Prior to my brand, you couldn’t find shea butter in any of the supermarkets or shops, instead it was sold on table tops in rural markets. While the rest of the world was raving about the benefits of shea butter, in Ghana it was largely taken for granted. After all, it’s just one of the many riches Ghanaians are blessed with. That’s when I figured, if shea butter was packaged the way it deserves to be, locally, it might be patronized and respected at home.
At first I launched a brand called Salifu’s. My only product then was a shea butter balm, but because we were well packaged and available in a variety of exotic scents, my products were welcomed at many of the better retail shops in Ghana. Since Salifu’s was first to provide the local market with value-added shea butter, we enjoyed a brief spell of exclusivity, but it wouldn’t be long before other entrepreneurs caught on to what we were doing and dubbed their own versions. In 3-5 years the demand for shea butter sky-rocketed, the local industry was resuscitated and a new consciousness had taken root, ‘wellness-awareness’ became a thing in Ghana.
It became necessary to distance my brand from competitors and expand the product line, work that required a team, or at least a partner. With stunning precision, the Universe met my needs. Empress Egyinma entered the scene, bringing with her a shared passion for my vision and a most necessary skill-set, a knack for formulations. Not only did she look the business, she was the business. She quickly adjusted our existing formulas and then proceeded to introduce new products to our line. The first product being Bug Off, an all-natural repellant which won the approval of West Africa’s Health Organization and earned us a cool $50K grant. With the funds we were able to rebrand, launching Earth Seed in 2015. To commemorate our milestone we officially partnered in business and in life.
Like the ingredients in our products, our growth is an organic process. We do advertise on social media, but our marketing is largely word-of-mouth. However, in 2021 one of us turned 50 and we both realized that no matter how much we love what we do, we can’t do it forever. We decided it was a good time to automate and scale. To that end we’re creating the systems that will enable our successors to seamlessly takeover. We’re also streamlining our business model, decreasing our dependence on middle-men (distributors and/or retailers) and rather focusing our energy directly on you, the customer. Most businesses at our stage spread themselves thin with numerous consignments in large chain stores, an approach that we believe is the old way of getting product to the consumer. We do our best when selling from our own website, where we’re able to cultivate relationships with buyers from all over the world and build a customer-base that is our very own.
That said, we plan to maintain a presence on the shelves of our better retail partners here in Ghana, like Relish, Wild Gecko, Max Mart, Add-Pharma, One-With-Nature, Kedar Health, Kwik-Mart, Evergreen, and a few Shell Shops, but our website is where you will reliably find the best selection at the best prices. It is also where you can reach out and share your suggestions, experiences, and/or compliments. (Especially compliments, we love those:) We absolutely cherish the connection we have with you, our customer, and deem it a privilege to serve you and your family.