Friday, 10 August 2018

Spotlight Interview: Maamè Opoku, Co-Founder of Natural Beauty & Well-Being Brand MamaSia


Welcome MaamèPlease start by telling our readers who you are and what you do?
My name is Maamè Opoku, the co-founder of MamaSia. Established in 2012 we are an Awarding Wining, UK Based, Online Natural Beauty and Well-being Brand.
I am a qualified Beauty Therapist and enjoy anything regarding health and beauty pursuits.

What is your motivation when it comes to business?
My business motivations come from an unearthing desire to serve. I always knew as a young girl that I would be a business woman, but it was important to be able to do something that was genuine, authentic and that resonates with my core, which is to encompass service within everything I do.

“From our lands to your hands” is a beautiful caption that you use – what does it mean to you and why did you choose it?
From our lands to your hands is an expression or mission statement that ties into our values and overall identity of the MamaSia Brand.

So tell us more about your products – what makes them unique in today’s market?
Most of the raw materials used in our manufacturing process derives from our family lands in the Northern region of Ghana. The word SIA is an acronym meaning Share, Inspire and Assist. So, in a nutshell we want to share our resources with the world, inspire people to be more conscious about what they put on their skin and into their body, and assist by providing the information and the platform for individuals to be able to do that.  

What would you recommend as the ultimate ‘go to’ products for daily use and for the everyday woman, within the Mama-Sia range?
Our products are based on traditional African beauty principles, fused with a modern perspective. It’s also a reflection of my dual heritage, being of Ghanaian decent, and born in England. As such my natural instincts guided me to use ingredients such as Shea Butter, fusing it with lavender.  These combinations not only reminded me of my two cultures, but also provides excellent moisturising and healing benefits for the (skin) and uplifted the senses for ones well-being.

Our superfood oils collection really makes a statement, not only for the super health benefits but also because they are actually edible. This helps us to promote the fact that you should be able to eat what you put on skin and beauty starts from the inside out. Furthermore our oils can be applied topically to the skin, such as our unrefined moringa oil, which contains over 80 minerals and nutrients, is high in antioxidants and boosts collagen in the skin. (This also available in a powdered edible form, which can be drunk as tea, added to smoothies, sprinkled on salads, used in the process of cooking food, actually it can be used in just about anything). I would say that our products not only carry our African heritage, they are undeniably natural, which is of course as nature intended.

Nobody can deny, that the face is the first body part that catches one’s eye, therefore we take pride in paying attention and looking after all the faces (and bodies!) that MamaSia encounters.
For that reason, I would recommend our traditional Black Soap; which is a combination of Shea Butter, Coco butter, the husk of plantain and palm kernel oil. Africans have used various variations of this soap for centuries, as it is an amazing cleanser, toner and moisturiser which is used in the same way as standard soap. We recently developed our Black soap Shower Gel and added Baobab oil which naturally contains Omega 3,6,9, to provide an alternative to the traditional black soap, thus incorporating that modern fusion and making the product more accessible.

To moisturise the face; my personal favourite is the MamaSia Hibiscus Oil, also known as the “ Botox plant”! Not only does it moisturise the skin, whilst combating any wrinkles and blemishes along the way, it also supports the epidermis by naturally firming and lifting lose skin.

Take us through a typical day in your life, being the Co-Founder of MamaSia – how many different hats do you have to wear and what do you typically have to do each day to keep the business flowing?
I normally wake up around 6:30am and have developed a habit of scrolling through emails before heading off to the shower.
I spend 30 minutes each morning doing deep breathing exercises and yoga for an added energy boost.
I leave home around 8am and arrive at the office with a flask full of Moringa, Thyme and Red Clover tea, that I sip whilst going through emails at my desk.
I tend to have various “fleeting moments” with the other Co-Founder of MamaSia, Sam Brehanu and our other business partner and Commercial Director, Rhian Letang.

Our conversations and projects cover all aspects of the business from Marketing, Social Media, Product Development, Finance, Web Development and Sales, as well as other key areas in the business such as logistics, operational functions and events, to name a few.

I can typically be seen doing a bit of everything and I’m known for being the “visionary” in the team, so therefore I have to be the Project Manager of all pending projects and will typically initiate them before passing them along to other members in the team.

In order to make sure everything runs smoothly I have to make sure I am consistent, especially with regards to communications.

What advice would you give to our readers about creating a work/life balance and how do you like to spend your "me time” when you get a break?
My “me time”  consists of taking 30 minutes each morning to do nothing, some refer to it as mediating or mindfulness. Another way is by doing a yoga class with other people, every week for an hour. It’s quite intense but it’s the one hour I get to devote to me and my body and focus on nothing but my breathing and holding a posture, if I am lucky! Other ways are spending times with friends or reading and indulging in my favourite past time which is listening to various forms of music.

What are the perks of running MamaSia and what difficulties have you faced so far in this journey that you would like to share?
The advantages of running a business vary, I guess the ones that stand out are; being able to decide on what I want to focus on as a pet project for the day, dictating my own time, being my own boss and being able to initiate an idea, implement it and see it through to completion.
The disadvantages are equally varied; however, I think all business owners will agree that running a business takes a lot of one’s time and energy and sometimes I have missed out on important occasions with loved ones because “business has to come first”. Also I can sometimes feel isolated or lonely. However, overall the bigger picture boils down to me living my purpose on a daily basis, that’s fundamentally important and making a difference in people’s lives.

This year MamaSia won the AHBA Award for Brand Excellence. How did this amazing achievement come around for you and how did you feel when you won the award at the Jamaica High Commission in London?
Winning the AHBA Award, came as a complete surprise, normally I have inclination if something is going to happen, we honestly thought we were just going to be given the opportunity to share our story, but to walk away with an award for Brand Excellence that night, put it all into perspective. This was heightened by the fact that it came directly from our own community in the UK (The Black British Beauty Industry) which for us means that our work is appreciated, respected and acknowledged.




What is next for Maame and what is next for MamaSia?
I haven’t had a break or holiday for some time, so I have decided to take a few days off to unwind. As for MamaSia, we are currently working with our in-house chemist to formulate some more hair products, because our customers keep asking for them; and MamaSia customers always get what they want and rightfully so.
We will also be travelling back to Ghana, where we will be able to show some more behind the scenes footage of what life is like in the community that is deeply connected to our Brand.

20% OFF MAMASIA FOR SHE INSPIRED HER READERS!
MamaSia are celebrating their 6th birthday this year and would like She Inspired Her readers to be able to celebrate with them! So MamaSia are offering every reader 20% off until the end of the month. The coupon can be used directly on their website at the checkout and when readers sign up to the MamaSia Newsletter online they will  also receive an extra 10% off on their next online purchase. Take advantage now - visit: www.mama-sia.com
Discount code: SIABIRTHDAY

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Interview by Victoria de la Calle
     

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