I interviewed Ozohu during the pandemic remotely but I had the pleasure to meet her in person this autumn which I am extremely glad about. Meeting Ozohu in person made me realise how much I have missed connecting with female entrepreneurs and leaders.
When I met Ozohu in person, we immediately connected over life and what we’ve experienced over the past two years. Her positivity is what inspired me to learn more about Epara and her skincare range. Not only does Ozohu run her own brand, she is also driven by mentoring young women on life, careers and key life decisions. Her calm demeanour
What inspired you to start your own brand?
I got into skincare because I had struggled to find products which catered to my particular needs after suffering from a skin condition over a long period of time that was difficult to diagnose. I thought to bring together three core ideas – the historical use of African botanicals, the scientific premise of their efficaciousness and an ability to produce the products sustainably.
How would you describe the ingredients behind the products?
About 90% of our ingredients are sourced from Africa. We had always heard from our forebears how certain oils and butters were good for the skin. And although we could see the effect in the quality of their skin, it was hard to understand the scientific underpinning of these ingredients due to the dearth of research in this area until more recently. So, by understanding this aspect of the botanicals, we could bring to market a truly scientifically compelling product line that was indeed efficacious. That the ingredients are from Africa is not the only reason for their quality. We actively seek the best quality ingredients from co-ops and makers from all across the African continent.
How did you find the experience of starting the brand in London?
The decision to launch the brand in London was a very deliberate one. We launched at the iconic Harrods. And the whole experience was sometimes surreal but in total was very eye opening in understanding how the luxury stores worldwide worked. Also, the due diligence Harrods insisted on put us in good stead to work almost seamlessly with other partners across the world.
What’s your advice to someone starting their own brand?
Be open to contributions from those around you but be steadfast in your purpose. Once you determine the direction you want to take your business, it is important to surround yourself with people who can complement your knowledge gaps. Although having access to resources is vital to ensure the business gets off the ground, perseverance is key in sustaining it.
How would you describe an average work day?
Due to the geographic spread of our business, I look to respond to emails I receive overnight, map out a to-do list and then crack on aiming to complete all that I set out to do for the day.
Your biggest inspiration?
Being able to make a difference, no matter how small.