Flora N’Godioh is the founder of Ouadaï Cosmetics, an innovative make up brand for dark skin who takes its inspiration from Chadian beauty secrets.
Chronique beauté noire : Flora, can you please tell us about your education ?
Flora N’godioh: I have studied biology (laboratoire genie biologique) and I have a diploma in business administration (DUT gestion et administration des enterprises)
Chronique beauté noire: Did you expect to be at the head of such a company ?
F.N : Yes. That have been my dream since I was in highschool. I wanted to create my own makeup brand and I have been able to fulfill this project after 8 years. I needed to work on the conception and I had to find manufacturers. The bio label corresponded to my way of life. We shouldn’t forget that naturel products have been everywhere in Africa for centuries. Makeup was created in Africa, people forget it too often.
Chronique beauté noire : What does Ouaidaï means ?
F.N : This is an ancient kingdom of Tchad.
Chronique beauté noire : So you have Tchadian roots. Would you say that this inspires the creation of your products ?
F.N : Yes indeed. The drought of the desert inspired me and this is why I chose a golden packaging. The color green represents grass, nature and hope. As for the ingredients, I use shea butter and aloe vera : the whole African continent helps me when choosing ingredients for my products. Ouadaï is a melting pot.
Chronique beauté noire : You have no physical store. Why did you choose to have a e-shop ?
F.N : I didn’t want to have a physical store because I am a product designer above all. Thanks to the e-shop I can work closely with my customers so I can have a follow up and feedbacks about my products. We are the only company to ask their customers to create the rest of the brands thanks to the form “imaginez votre produit” (imagine your product)… Handling a physical store requires other qualifications. Maybe in the future…
Chronique beauté noire : What kind of hardships have you gone through ?
F.N : Manufacturing is the most difficult step. I have to find manufacturers who will accept to work with new methods on mixed and dark skins to adapt to all skin tones. I had been told that I was crazy to offer a bio range for black skins but we are also interested in natural products. Besides it is an ancestral practice in Africa. I wanted to combine innovation and top of the range. More and more resellers consider the fact that we too(black women)love cosmetic products. The financial part can also be a break on creation so I had to wait until I had worked enough to start this business.
Chronique beauté noire : What type of products can we find on your website and what is their specificity ?
F.N : We specialize in tones and textures. My customers are always surprised when they receive what they ordered. Most people think that bio makeup means dull colors. I just proved that it was possible to have bio makeup that suits light skins as well as dark skins like mine.
Chronique beauté noire : What would you say to those willing to start such a business ?
F.N : They have to be patient. You must get help from competent organizations and believe in your project. Of course there are ups and downs but it is a good experience and clients’ satisfaction is the best reward you can get. I want to thank every woman.