Mildred Agbana, a premium organic, vegan skincare brand builder in Ghana-A Startup Story
The beauty and wellbeing benefits of shea butter are well known, but now for those looking for a premium brand and product range which is organic, vegan, and suitable for the most sensitive skins, help is at hand from Kinapure. In Ghana, Kina Africa, founded by entrepreneur and health specialist, Mildred Mawusi Agbana (Millie), and trading under the brand name Kinapure, is creating a range of products that are handcrafted, organic, cruelty-free, 100% vegan, hypoallergenic and non-GMO.
LoA chatted to founder Millie this month to find out more.
Tell us about yourself
My name is Mildred Mawusi Agbana but I am known as Millie, and I am the founder and ceo of Kinapure (USA) and Kina Africa (Ghana). My brand is a premium health and wellness brand that is focused on building an organic and sustainable business that contributes to people’s health, while impacting the lives of rural women in Ghana through training, support and the ongoing construction of an ultramodern shea processing centre in the Savannah Region of Ghana. I am currently pursuing my MBA, and I have worked as a registered nurse and a chronic care manager in the USA for 10+ years.
When did your start your business?
Kina Africa LLC was founded in 2016 and its susidiary Kinapure in 2018.
What does your company do?
Kinapure produces the highest-grade of shea butter and other organic products, incorporating Nutrient-rich, Clean, Functional, Organic, Non-toxic, Non-GMO and Cruelty-free ingredients to deliver powerful skincare solutions. In addition to that, we are actively re-investing in the personal growth and long-term well-being of rural women in Savannah Ghana, as well as small owned female businesses in Ghana. Kinapure believes everyone deserves to enjoy a healthy skin/ageing journey and that is why our products are created for everyone irrespective of their race, age, gender or skin type.
“Kinapure believes everyone deserves to enjoy a healthy skin/ageing journey and that is why our products are created for everyone irrespective of their race, age, gender or skin type.”
What inspired you to start your company?
My first child; Gabby developed really bad eczema when she was only a baby. As a nu
rse for 10+years now, there are various treatments I know for various skin conditions. I tried them all from the most expensive skincare brands to the most organic homoeopathic solutions but nothing seemed to be working for her. Some did for a while, gave her a little relief but it was never permanent and it kept feeling like a never-ending war. My friends and family couldn’t even carry or play with her. She was so uncomfortable, fussy and didn’t enjoy being touched. She would cry and cry because she was itchy and uncomfortable all the time and as her mother, whenever she cried, I cried along with her.
Finally, I brought up the issue with my mother and she reminded me of the power of the shea nut, the same one she used when she was pregnant with us (her children) and the same one she used for us when we were younger and had skin and hair issues. I went ahead to create a mixture with the shea butter and some other potent ingredients and used it on Gabby. I realized th
at even on the first day of use, Gabby had become relaxed, calm and was sleeping better. Within a few days, Gabby was already sleeping better and smiling brightly like she used to. My friends and family were impressed by the quick improvement in my daughter’s condition and asked me to make some of the elixir for them. No matter their skin tone, race, age or gender, they all came back with amazing feedback and results after using it. After realizing the elixir, I had unknowingly created rapidly advanced the quality of my daughter’s life and others, there was no turning back, this miracle product had to be shared with the world.
Why should anyone use your service or product?
These are the aspects that make Kinapure special.
Story & Products: The Kinapure brand is founded by a registered nurse, chronic care
manager and mother who has 10+years’ experience in the healthcare industry. She discovered Kinapure whilst searching for skincare solutions for her baby daughter Gabby. In addition to that, the products are handcrafted, functional and cruelty-free and comprises the most potent, organic and natural ingredients cultivated and ethically sourced from Africa.
Sustainability: We aim to grow our business while making positive impacts, protecting the environment and providing quality organic products.
Mission backed: Kinapure constantly invests in the growth and empowerment and education of the women behind our operations in Africa.
Community: We manufacture our whipped butters right here in New York as a member of the local small business community. We are committed to bringing people together through conversations on body positivity, clean products and sustainable practices.
All-Natural: Our ingredients are gimmick-free. All-natural, vegan and cruelty-free with a label in which you can pronounce every word! Green is important for the Kinapure brand because as a nurse and chronic care manager, I have tried and tested various other products and homeopathic solutions and I can honestly say from my experience, green wins every time! Mother earth has given us everything we need so why not use it?
Tell us a little about your team
The Kinapure team comprises of clean beauty enthusiasts who are experts in their respective fields and want to belong to a work family that is committed to protecting the environment and its people.
“Green is important for the Kinapure brand because as a nurse and chronic care manager, I have tried and tested various other products and homeopathic solutions and I can honestly say from my experience, green wins every time!”
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
Both of my maternal grandparents were traders and they taught me the ins and outs of trade. They were able to pay for my school fees with the money they made from selling.
What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?
In the future, I envision Kinapure continually bringing joy, empowerment and relief to as many people as it has to my family and friends. I want to grow our customer base. I want to show up or be recognized in relevant spaces in order to grow the brand and business. I want to engage in more sustainable practices in my business process, support and increase my social responsibilities.
Future plans include completing the ongoing construction of the shea modern shea processing center in the Savannah Region in Ghana which will give shelter and security to the women in shea processing, serve as a learning center for the society and a way to engage the younger ones in that society and prevent them from engaging in social vices. Also to launch other organic and cruelty-free products centered on our mission of sustainability, inclusion and empowerment.
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
Leaving a legacy and making an impact in the lives of others gives me the satisfaction of being an entrepreneur.
What’s the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?
My biggest advice to women starting their own business is to put fear aside and try. Start small and invest less money in the beginning. Test your idea and seek help from your local organizations and other online resources. This will improve your success as an entrepreneur.