Welcome to the Journey So Far, a platform where young people from diverse background share their life stories and achievements. My guest for today is Belinda Osei
As a young person, Belinda is one I would describe as a unique individual who doesn?t consider her location as a barrier in becoming a successful entrepreneur. She is the CEO of Belis Glow Natural
Below is the conversation I had with Belinda.
PRINCE: You are Belinda;can you share with us when and where you were born?
BELINDA: I was born in Techiman in the Brong Ahafo region on the 10th of September 1988.
PRINCE: Great and when did you actually start schooling?
BELINDA: I started schooling at the age of 4, too early though.
PRINCE: Any inspiring story to share about that experience?
BELINDA: I was staying a bit close to the street. So I usually see students around and I was always crying to go to school. My mum sent me to one of the teachers so I could just be with the students to make me happy.
PRINCE: Impressive, what have being the schools you’ve attended so far?
BELINDA: I started at Ameyaw L/A for my primary education then went to Adventist JHS moved to Notre Dame Senior High then to Pentecost University.
PRINCE: And you have a first degree in?
BELINDA: BSc Marketing.
PRINCE: What do you do currently for a living?
BELINDA: I produce natural cosmetics
PRINCE: How did you start?
BELINDA: That?s my passion so I contacted people who are already into the business for guide lines. And I do a lot of research too on what I am doing.
I have always wanted to produce something to help solve a problem either in hair or on the skin. So I had a small girl in my house whose front hair was always white as if there is flour in there. I wanted to help her and I started by searching the net and making some concoction for the hair. I relaxed and told myself I can do it. I made sure I knew the importance of the herbs and oil I was using on the girl?s hair. Until finally it?s gone and left for ever.
PRINCE: Wonderful, after discovering that gift, what were the things you quickly put in place that has brought you to this level?
BELINDA: I contacted few people who are already in the business. Some never responded to me others will tell me they are busy and some even removed me as their friends on Facebook. The ones who responded told me what I needed to start. I started with my life savings of GHS400. It wasn?t much though but I needed to get the right ingredients and containers for my products. I failed in preparing some andwill lock myself and cry in the room. Then I will go back to my mentors and tell them I?ve failed. They will motivate and encourage me to try again till now.
PRINCE: Great, which means social media has being of great help to you, How has the journey being so far?
BELINDA: Very much. Am still on the rough road though. Still contacting people who can help me rise in form of adverts, referrals etc. One funny thing because of where am coming from that?s Techiman people think nothing good can come from here. You send your products to someone and they tell you it is a local product so theydon?t need it. But there are few ones who will take it. I am still in the process of rising up.
PRINCE: Talking about your products, can you describe the various ones under your brand?
BELINDA: I have pure natural cream and soap which are made of 100% shea butter, coconut oil, moringa and hibiscus.It nourishes and protects the skin from minor skin diseases. It ensure even skin tone. The soap works in hand with the cream.I also have antidandruff hair cream which is very good for people who have dandruff in their hair.Also hair vitamins which also makes the hair grow, makes it soft and silky.
I have Baby cream which makes the babies skin soft and protect it from minor skin diseases.
Lastly I have lip balm for the mouth. It protects the mouth from cracking. My products are also good for both sexes.
PRINCE: What have being some the extreme challenges in your line of business that nearly discouraged you?
BELINDA: Hmmm it has never been easy, when you are not getting the right ingredients and labels and people to correct you. When your own people are rejecting your products just because they want it from other cities and country.
PRINCE: Challenges are bound to be there but let?s talk about the success story so far.
BELINDA: Now I have people who want to wholesale my products into their stores, some contacting me for customised products. I am still at the beginning stage though but so far all those who have used my products do come back
PRINCE: As a young passionate entrepreneur, what do you think you would have lost if not this path you have taken?
BELINDA: I would have lost not meeting people like Dr. Gifty Anti, Madam Sophia Naa Dei Antonio and Madam Sylamadel Coke. I wouldn?t have known some challenges of life and also I would have killed my passion and I won?t be able to contribute to our made in Ghana products.
PRINCE: Starting a business from a problem you discovered from a child, what have being the noticed the impact on young people through your passion?
BELINDA: Now I now have people who are happy with what I am doing and are willing to learn.
PRINCE: How many people have you employed so far or you believe get employment from your chain of business.
BELINDA: I have 4 people now and will employ more as we move forward.
PRINCE: What has being the biggest failure in this entrepreneurial journey?
BELINDA: I have not encountered such a big failure since I started
PRINCE: As an entrepreneur what social cause are you so passionate about and would like to devote to improve it?
BELINDA: I love natural things and will want people especially the love to love and take care of their natural skin rather than bleaching or toning. I will want to promote buy made in Ghana goods.
PRINCE: Do you believe Africa can be rebuilt?
BELINDA: Oh yes if only we can rethink to encourage ourselves and patronize in our own products
PRINCE: So what would be your strategies to help achieve that?
BELINDA: Good marketing strategies for people to buy my products invest the money here do other things to help the younger ones get jobs to do so they won?t think of going to other countries for greener pastures.
PRINCE: Aside promoting your natural cosmetic products, what are some of the things we will be seeing you do differently?
BELINDA: Holding seminars going to schools especially SHS to educate them. Helping others reach where I have reach and also training people on the skills I have acquired.
PRINCE: Great moment spent with you so far but what are those who mentor you and other people you ultimately look up to as role models?
BELINDA: Dr. Gifty Anti, Madam Sophia Naa Dei Antonio and Madam Sylmadel Coke.
PRINCE: Great, to be ranked and recognised by worldwide and continental organisations, what would you like the world to honour you for?
BELINDA: The lady who used local oils and herbs to help solve some hair and skin diseases.And through that was able to create employment for others
PRINCE: Great, what would be your final words to inspire people striving for the best across the world?
BELINDA: The road to success is very rough but they should still encourage themselves and rise through their failure and they will surely get there.
PRINCE: Thank you very much for being a guest. Its 12:30am
BELINDA: Thanks for giving me the chance.