We recently sat down with Rose Appiah skincare entrepreneur and mastermind behind Ashanti Cosmetics to get to know her and her miracle brand better.
How did Ashanti Cosmetics come about? And why did you want to work with skincare, body care and hair care products?
Having a child with eczema changes things quickly. I honestly tried every cream, oil, and balm you can think of, but nothing was working. Eventually, I took him to the doctors, and he was prescribed steroids. I did not want him using medication that is so strong, especially at such a young age. I reached out my grandmother as a last resort who sent me some skincare products which worked miracles. And when I went to Ghana, she gave me the recipes and showed me how to make them. I began experimenting and testing the products out on friends and family. Pretty soon they began requesting I make them more products and were willing to pay. To be honest the goal was not to start a skincare brand it just happened!
What was the motivation for you to cultivate a brand that reflected the values of “clean, ethical, and inclusive beauty”?
Again, it is because of my son. He has autism and, I am incredibly careful about the types of products and ingredients I introduce to him. Not only that, but it forced me to start taking care of myself by making the types of products I wanted to see in the beauty market. For example, if I wanted a hair mask, a face mask and bronzing butter I would make a batch that I knew would work well for me. My grandmother always sourced the products from her garden so I knew that I had to honour her and ensure that I to would have my ingredients ethically sourced.
Can you share with us some of the things that you take into consideration when creating new products?
Figure out what is needed in the market, what are the ingredients, and how it can help improve skin conditions
Ashanti cosmetics products are made up of 13 ingredients or less, can you give us a brief background about these ingredients?
The main ingredients in my products are usually shea, coconut, and cocoa butter. It was what my grandmother grows and formulates on her farm. I know their benefits so; I am confident that I am giving my customers the best ingredients
What is a typical working day like for you?
Busy. I check the orders in the morning, prepare the orders, contact DHL, respond to emails, sort out marketing, go back and forth to the shop and meetings
What is your self-care routine?
Do not laugh but, my self-care routine happens when I am in the shower. I apply the 15 SHADES OF PINK - POMEGRANATE FACE CREAM, this has sun protection. Followed by the WARRIOR QUEEN for my body and then the MAAME BALM on my dry areas. Sometimes, if I am planning a night out, I use the Bronzed Panther and on Sundays, I use my POWER PUFF GIRL shaving cream
How was Ashanti cosmetics shaped by your Ghanaian heritage?
The ingredients come from my grandmother and have been in my family for generations. I was raised in Ghana until I was ten. I love the country so much. That is why it is called Ashanti after my grandmother's hometown
You are Budapest and London based - how do the two cities compare, skincare/cosmetics wise?
In London, there Is more inclusivity. It is a bit more lacking in Budapest. I have hard shopping for complexion products. I usually must go to a luxury store to buy a product that suits my complexion. Even then it is not always guaranteed that they carry my shade.
Who are the women that inspire you?
My grandmother. She is my biggest inspiration. My mother-in-law is a close second. She has become a second mother to me ever since my mother passed away. She is simply amazing. If you want a famous person, then I will have to pick Rihanna. Our personalities are quite similar. We are both crazy!
In what way is Ashanti cosmetics different to other cosmetic brands?
It is Ghanaian, family-run, 100% sustainable and ethically sourced.
Do you have your personal favourites among your skincare products?
Yes. My four favourites which I use daily include the 15 Shades Pink Pomegranate Face cream, Warrior Queen, Bronzed Panther and Maame Balm.
What is the most fun part of your job?
The feedback. Hearing people say they love the brand and to have them keep coming back is simply amazing. Whether it is positive or negative the feedback helps me grow
What do today’s inclusive brands need to do to improve the way they communicate their message to the public?
Make it the status quo to include people from different backgrounds all the time. Because representation matters
How long do you think it will be before everyone feels catered to by the beauty industry?
I do not think it will be too long. Equality is on the horizon. But time will tell.
Will there be new products launches from Ashanti cosmetics that we should look forward to?
Absolutely. We have one in the making right now. Cannot give too much away so, you have to wait
Lastly, is there any beauty or wellness advice that you want to share with our readers?
Take care of yourself. If you do not have time to take care of yourself, you will have to find time to take care of your illness. An important lesson I have learnt in the last few months.