‘It could blow up one day into something great’: The Bracknell woman who launched a successful hair care brand in lockdown

Twenty-four-year-old Ama Amo-Aygei from Bracknell previously suffered from traction alopecia and created a wellness brand called Planted, that focuses on hair care. She uses plant-based products and ingredients to heal and amplify the mind, body, and soul.

While in her second year of university studying psychology, Amo-Aygei realised she did not want a career in that field but proceeded to finish her degree. “Towards the end of university, especially my last year, I was getting into entrepreneurship. I was like, not necessarily having businesses, but I was reading a lot about business and I was trying to find my feet. I was interested in marketing, kind of like an easy flow from psychology,” she said.

From working in upscale hotels to businesses such as Sky, Amo-Aygei had a decent amount of experience. In 2019, she had the opportunity to freelance through LinkedIn. In the course of her work, she was able to use her marketing skills from previous jobs and use them in her copywriter job. However due to people around Ama not seeing the value of what she was doing, she decided to get a job in the middle of 2019, but lost the job just prior to the first COVID-19 national lockdown in March.

“During the start of lockdown, I was working on a men’s skincare brand. This was fresh off the job loss. So, I took some time out to kind of rebuild myself mentally. Then I saw a gap in the market looking at the wellness trend and how it was going up during COVID,” said Amo-Agyei

Traction alopecia is a form of hair loss caused by constantly pulling on the hair. If you always wear your hair in a tight ponytail, bun, or braids, or if you use chemicals or heat on your hair, you can develop this disorder.  Amo-Agyei suffered from traction alopecia growing up which drove her to focus on the wellness of her hair and to find a solution to her problem. Her traction alopecia started from wearing ‘‘heavy weaves, wigs, and tightly braided hairstyles.’’  Being in lockdown gave her the time to figure out what to do with her hair. After intensive research, she made oil from natural ingredients and within 10 days, she saw a change in her hair.

“What is going on here? What possessed me to post it? I do not usually post stuff about my life on my social media. It was unlike me. Regardless, I put it out,’’ Amo-Agyei said.

‘’Three of my friends asked me for the ingredients and I gave the 18 ingredients list to them. They asked if I could just make it for them and they will buy it which sparked a switch in my head. So, I asked people on Instagram if they want the oil. To my surprise, 80 people responded. I didn’t even know it was in demand.’’

By the end of June, the oil she made finally launched with all the branding necessary.

As the business launched, she learnt all the moving parts of a business. As a business owner, she had to consider what her customers would want. Within a month, she created other products that work alongside the original oil. Within a matter of months, Amo-Agyei made six figures by finding a gap in the market and using her marketing skills to her advantage.

“You have to be level-headed. Otherwise, everything is just going to make you have an anxiety attack. And you cannot afford to backtrack, the show must go on. Also where I am at, there is a lot of pressure and responsibility,’’ she said.

‘‘Now there is an expectation that I am going to do this and that. It is like you also must manage that and make sure that that does not feed into your day today. And just make sure like you are taking it one day at a time because it gets so overwhelming at times.’’

“I just don’t want to target just black people; I want to target everyone. The hair products I have made works for everyone,’’ she added.

‘‘Ultimately, a lot of people neglect their hair and I am almost giving people another chance to bring it back with my products.’’

Being able to financially help her family was the top priority for Amo-Agyei 

“One of the beginning moments of taking care of my family was this Christmas. I bought my mom an iPad Pro, the 2020 version as she wanted one for a while. It was the first time I was able to do something like that,’’ she explained.

‘‘Before spending this amount was out of the question, but I sell my products twice a month and I earn someone’s whole salary in a year.’’

Amo-Agyei says she encourages new entrepreneurs to keep going with their business idea as ‘’it could blow up one day into something great.’’

Mary De-Wind

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.