Inspired by her childhood experiences, this 15-year-old was motivated to start a business.
After being diagnosed with sickle cell disease when she was eight years old, teen entrepreneur, Eleora Ogundare, created a line of products through Eleora Beauty to help other Black girls and women maintain their hair.
According to CBC News, undergoing chemotherapy and other treatments for the red blood cell disorder caused Ogundare to experience hair loss. Uncertain of other kids’ reactions at her school, who had nice, long hair, Ogundare and her mother decided to make a quick change and cut her hair off.
“I felt, like, naked almost because, the thing that was like giving me confidence, I didn’t have it anymore. I had to cut it all off.”
“The struggle for them is identity, you know, trying to understand why their hair is not as silky as the next person in her class,” said Ogundare’s mother Eugenia, who helps her daughter run the business. “But then having to lose that hair was a whole different ball game altogether.”
Ogundare and her mother invested time in testing a variety of oils, butters, and creams, before they tried out their own formula, the product they used to launch their line for Black hair.
“One of the problems Black women actually face would be the edges, so that’s the first thing we get, that, ‘Oh, it actually works for my edges’,” Ogundare’s mother said.
According to her mother, the products have accumulated lots of positive feedback, with some mothers saying their daughter’s hair became more manageable after using their formulas.
A post shared by Eleora Beauty Inc,Products (@eleorabeautyinc)
Salon owner Adedoyin Omotara, sells Eleora Beauty products through her company and the Adoniaa Collective at at Westbrook Mall.
Omotara said she understands the pressure Black kids are under as they become more conscious of their environments.
“Especially for younger people, they need to understand that there are products that can actually work for our hair so that they don’t start to put toxic product in their hair, just to want to look like another Sharon on the street or another Anita on the street,” Omotara said.
Ogundare recently cut her hair again and strives to be an example for Black girls to love their hair no matter its length.
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