Organic skincare is the preferred choice for some people, an essential oil here and a luxury butter there is definitely my prefered choice. Sometimes a clay mask is all you need for those clogged pores.
Violet Amoabeng is the brains behind Skin Gourmet, a natural skincare product line, made with locally sourced ingredients from Ghana, what she calls “Ghana in a jar”. She’s meeting everyday needs with simple products that work magic for your skin. The interesting part is, the products are so organic, you can eat them.
So how did it all begin? Three years ago, Violet suffered from a skin irritation on her lip. After trying a range of prescription creams and balms, it was only Shea Butter that was able to heal the irritation, without leaving scars or marks. This incident is what fueled the creation of Skin Gourmet.
Never heard of this lady behind the “Raw. Pure. Wild.” movement? Here’s your chance to know more about the beauty entrepreneur. I had the pleasure of chatting with her and I’m even more excited about organic skincare than I was before.
BellaNaija Style: Tell us about Skin Gourmet
Violet: Skin Gourmet was born on Thursday, 9th October 2014. I decided to turn it into a business when I became convinced that I could create the most amazing body butter the world had ever seen. I was 28 and just coming out of a rough patch in my life. Skin Gourmet helped me get over a lot of issues I was dealing with.
BNS: What’s your best selling product?
Violet: Our best selling product? I think you mean our best selling PRODUCTS…. Okay, so our Gourmet Foodies are really addicted to our scrubs, butters, oils and soaps! The feedback we get with the scrubs all the time is “OMG! It was so good to my skin – feels so smooth … but I need to buy another one; ’cause I ate half the container. Sorry but it was so yummy!”
We get good feedback from our clients about ALL our products. They love the fact that the products are so pure and versatile. Some clients eat it and others wear it!
BNS: What does Raw. Pure. Wild. Mean?
Violet: Our products are sourced from the wild and are in their rawest state when they reach the customer. In essence what we are giving you is Ghana in a jar – raw and unadulterated goodness. Finally, our products are so pure that you can eat them – premium quality, taste and feel. Even though I’d eaten all my products (even the clay), I wouldn’t advise you eat the African black soap. The clay mask is a favourite of mine, I eat it when I have an upset stomach or if I’ve eaten a bit too much food.
BNS: Did you study business formally?
Violet: Yes, I did study business formally but when it came to creating Skin Gournet, I had no business plan, just a map in my mind and passion in my heart. Hehehe, I am just now putting one together!
Raise funding? Hmm well, I started with just my life’s saving and God’s Grace. I had GHS 145.00 and my Uncle Kwame and Aunty Audrey in the U.K. sent me a ton of essential oils (lavender, bergamot all sorts!). From there, everything I made I put right back into the business. For the longest time, I had to inject some of my salaries to pay for things.
BNS: What’s been your biggest challenge so far?
Violet: The biggest challenge in my career was getting people to believe in me. I had to stop expecting people to believe in me and believe in myself.
BNS: Beauty isn’t just about skincare, can you tell us about your first encounter with makeup?
Violet: My first encounter with makeup was different. I was not putting it on so much as I was mixing it together with my mum’s perfumes and expensive creams pretending to make the ultimate skin formulations.
How did I feel about it? It made me feel confident. So confident, that I would destroy my mum’s expensive perfumes and creams. So confident, that even when I was beaten – I would do it again. Yep, it gave me an unexplainable fix.
BNS: What is your signature look? Does she have a name?
Violet: My signature look is “Sliick,” yes I’m slick with an extra i.
Swiitch Beauty Brow Bae – Brows on fleek
L’Oreal Blush – Blush on cheek
MAC Foundation – I wear quite a bit of make up
Swiitch Brush – But not so much that it would cache up
Tom Ford Mascara – Lash on Blast
Tom Ford Lipstick – Lips on Bad!
BNS: What has been the biggest highlight of your career?
Violet: The biggest highlight of my career was being selected by She Leads Africa for the Dark and Lovely Accelerator Program. The program gave me a ton of exposure and gave us a boost in confidence in what we are doing. This is a once in lifetime opportunity and if I die now – I MADE IT! But God forbid, I ain’t dying now!
BNS: Any plans to diversify into makeup?
Violet: Most def! Green makeup is something that I always dreamed about. I am still formulating the idea in my mind but it is a definite yes – plus, its challenging!
BNS: Are your products suitable for pregnant women and children? Will you ever consider an anti ageing line?
Violet: Our products already do those things. Because it’s so pure and it’s so raw that you can eat, it suits every skin type including pregnant women. The only products we have that we would not recommend for pregnant women are the Moringa Tea and the Moringa products, just because I’m not sure of its effects on pregnant women.
BNS: Knowing that the little successes matter as well, what’s the earliest accomplishment you had in business that inspired you to know there was so much more?
Violet: When I created my first product in packaging! Oh, it was so ugly! They had these yellow tops and were plastic. I printed the labels from my printer, cut it with scissors and stuck it on with a glue stick. The font on the label was black on a white background (military style) UGH! It was awful! – But gosh! I was so proud of it!
BNS: How do you strike a balance between cultural expectations and your aspirations to make your mark beyond your country/continent?
Violet: I look above, I see the sky and I wonder what is beyond it – then I see stars! Plus I am mad competitive. My dad, Prince Kofi Amoabeng has built an empire that spreads over Africa. I need to top that, BEYOND Africa – because the sky was never the limit for me. Cultural expectations? I’m deaf to them – mind your own business.
BNS: Who is your favourite African style icon?
Violet: My favourite African style icon is (rapper) EL (WHOOP WHOOP)! I just love his swag and his humility. I like his story and what he stands for. He represents Ghana and is finding ways to break through using his passion and skill for entwining culture with the urban and globalising it. That’s what we are trying to do too!
Skin Gourmet is giving you Ghana in a jar – sustainably. All our products are handmade using the rawest and purest ingredients sourced in the Wilds of Ghana.
El represents and embodies Ghana and so do we.
BNS: Your favourite thing to eat?
Violet: Sushi, sushi and more sushi – ah… now you have me thinking about it! I’m such a foodie!
Some of Violet’s Favourite Foods
BNS: Where’s your favourite city in the world & why?
Violet: No, I can’t, won’t, shan’t, nah uh! I LOVE to travel like love it! The thing about places you visit is that they each have something amazing about them and I just can’t seem to ever decide that I like one more than another. The world is just wonderful.
BNS: What advice would you give to anyone struggling to balance a 9-5 with launching a business?
Violet: You can and will do it. Believe in yourself. If you think you can, decide if you know you can. If you know you can, then do it.
BNS: What advice would you give a new business owner/entrepreneur?
Violet: It’s going to get really rough sometimes. Pray.
Fitness Forme (main retail point for wholesale & retail)
Ablade Rd, Accra.
Open from 9:00am – 4:00pm (Monday – Friday) and from 10:00am – 3:00pm (Saturdays)
0244 409 683, [email protected]
Queenstar Bldg. Dzorwulu, Accra.
+233 (0) 24 188 9070
The Chop Bar A & C Mall
East Legon, Accra.
+233 (0) 30 397 78 43
Lokko 08 (Elle Lokko)
F604/1 Lokko Road, Osu, Accra.
+233 (0) 248 669 966 or 246 449 944