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How my desperation for cure turned into business venture – Akufo-Addo’s daughter

The daughter of President Akufo-Addo has explained how she ended up establishing the R&R luxury cosmetic brand in 2010.

Valerie Obaze, trained as a PR practitioner, said she had just one wish after her first child started developing an awful red rash.

“I wanted her to get better and get her beautiful skin back,” the 40-year-old mother said.

In her desperation, Valerie Obaze tried all regular baby oils and creams but the rashes persisted.

She was then introduced to an ‘unlabelled bottle of natural oil’.

Her mother simply called it ‘shea butter’.

“It worked magic on my daughter. Her rashes quickly disappeared and she had beautiful, buttery skin so Stan [Husband] and I started using it too.

“And it was amazing, so much easier to apply in liquid form. That was my light bulb moment and I realised we were on to something. This shea oil could be massive,” she thought to herself.

For the founder of a cosmetic brand said, this ‘new found cure’ was the game changer.

“This was the inspiration behind the R& R luxury cosmetic that we see now and all this happened in 2010,” she narrated to a Dailymail reporter.

Asked how she came about the brand name, she revealed that she named it after her daughter, Rebecca Rose, who had the ‘unfortunate rash’.

However, to abreast herself in the new found career, Valerie said she had to take several online courses in cosmetics compliance and organic formulation.

“My goal was to create a clean product with as few ingredients as possible, lots of brands sell shea butter but they contain tiny amounts of it.

“We use it in its purest, rawest form, our oil is 100% shea and we add only essential oils for their aromatherapeutic properties,” she added.

But most importantly, she wanted to find a way of supporting the rural shea farmers in Ghana, many of whom are 90% women.

“It can be a dangerous job, due to snake bites and historically they have not been rewarded sufficiently for their work.

“We buy above market value and set up the Women of the Savannah Development Project to provide health, safety and business training to help break the poverty cycle,” she stated.

With outlets in Nigeria, Ghana and London, Valerie said the beauty brand is able to produce more than 30 products.

With the global pandemic crippling many businesses across the world, the ‘African Skincare Trailblazer’ said she has not been spared.

“It has been tough, we had to close our shops temporarily in Nigeria and Ghana, but our online sales have been blown away.”

She then urged the youth to always have faith and pursue their dreams.

“Believe in yourself and take the step you want to and know you can. We all have ideas in our heads about businesses we could start and being an entrepreneur is all about taking that step to turn your idea into a reality.

“Being an entrepreneur forces you outside of your comfort zone and you will make mistakes and fail from time to time but be confident in your idea and plan.

“Most importantly, start where you are with what you have, insert passion, dedication, research, prayers and watch it grow,” she said.

R&R is a luxury beauty brand which is founded on the philosophy of transforming one of nature’s purest and richest gifts, ‘Shea’ into the most enriching beauty products.

In 2019, Mrs Obaze was adjudged the ‘Indigenous Beauty Brand of the Year’ by the Glitz Style Awards.

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