Everyone Has a Story – What’s Yours?

January 8, 2010 at 12:41 PM (1)

Do you have a story to tell about your experience of not finding the right hair care,  skin care or cosmetics in NZ? – Please get the ball rolling; tell us!

I know the feeling.  As an African woman who arrived in NZ from the UK in 1990, it was a shock that there was nothing for us dark skinned people out there! It was very frustrating. I went to a salon to relax my nappy hair and the hairdresser almost had a fit; “Oh no! We don’t do this kind of hair!” she said, “We have no products for you!”
I felt like an ALIEN. Shame NZ! UK, US, and Europe have been treating Afro-hair for years.

As a trained teacher I wasn’t looking to do business but because of this awful experience and other frustrations, Amaka Beauty Care Ltd was launched in 1993. We import and distrubte Hair Care & Cosmetics for people of colour through salons and pharmacies nationwide.  I also opened a salon using all our products to help build awareness.  As a pioneer of the ethnic beauty business in NZ, I was featured in the Sunday Star Times in 1993.  As time went by many similar businesses emerged.

Can you believe the confidence it has given to all of us ethnic people, especially those of African origin?  People quite appreciated the introduction of these fantastic products.  My hair is actually soft, my skin is supple and the cosmetics match my skin tone.  What a relief!  Obviously New Zealand still has a long way to go with regards to Afro styles, hair & beauty products, but we have made a start and an impact.

This is my story.  What’s yours?

– Gloria Ozumba, Director Amaka Beauty Care Ltd


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