On Thursday 15th February, Hair Care Revolution (HCR) hosted its first event of 2018, the highly anticipated Afro Hair & Beauty Association (AHBA) launch. The Jamaica High Commission in London was the place to be for the AHBA launch.
The AHBA launch is the first organisation of its kind in the UK. They have the privilege of representing Black British hair and beauty brands around the world. HCR founded the AHBA in 2017, to utilise an already established network to facilitate a much-needed support. They also want to expand on the developmental structure for the benefit of members of the association, as well as the wider community.
Presenter Caz Mac, the founder of No Ordinary Woman chat show, kept the evening flowing. The theme for the AHBA launch was all about black excellence – inspiration, empowerment and education.
Former sales and marketing manager for Dyke and Dryden Rudi Page opened the event. Dyke and Dryden were the first UK afro hair and beauty supplier back in the ’60s and made millions in hair care. This company dealt heavily in Jamaican trade, helping people start businesses and provide products from ‘back home’.
Afro Hair & Beauty Association President Ovi King
Ovi King, president of the association, has a background in marketing and is a serial entrepreneur in Afro hair, beauty and fashion businesses. The association which prides itself on being the first UK association of its kind. The AHBA will represent the best UK hair and beauty brands worldwide. Although the AHBA want to establish themselves as a UK network, they already have opportunities to promote UK brands in Jamaica and Ghana.
Showcasing black excellence on the night, Tonye Scott Obene gave a ballet performance. Tonye has a diverse background, from studying aerodynamics to teaching teenagers ballet in London, gave a breathtaking performance.
Afro Hair & Beauty Association Board Members
So, at the AHBA headquarters, there was a buzz around their highly anticipated launch. Sixteen board members signed a commitment to help the UK based association grow. Passionate board members from some of the hair and beauty industry’s most actively engaging influencers make up the association. The board combined consists of a diverse portfolio and has over twenty years of service. The board members have graciously agreed to offer their time, support and advice to this unique association. All members share a common goal of creating a new and exciting future for UK Afro hair and beauty brands. Space where expertise, resources and results are readily available.
Black Excellence Dragons Den Style Contestants
Lucky independent brands were allowed to pitch their products to a Dragon’s Den style panel.
Mama-sia is a brand that 5,000 people in local villages in Ghana are positively affected by. Their beard oils and wellbeing products are sourced from Ghana but made in the UK.
The brand Nylah is celebrating African heritage, hair and science. The mumpreneur created a safe, gentle and effective natural alternative for daughter Nylah. Partnering with a black cosmetic scientist and a trichologist, Nylah provides plant-based skin and hair care products. Kameese also leads to local racial esteem workshops in Birmingham.
Next up, Fit 4 a Kiing the healthy lifestyle presented their toothpaste and skincare brand using natural activated charcoal. An alternative to Fluoride which is a slow poison. The customer is at the centre of the Fit 4 a Kiing brand focus.
Final contestant, MonShea Ltd, are made from pure shea oil. Even men and women with locs can use the products, as they are more moisturising than shea butter. This brand also believes in natural packaging for natural products.
Congratulations to Mama-sia for winning first prize for the AHBA Excellence Award on the night. Brand runner-up, Nylah, won the Rising Star Award.
Nylah won an award at CURLYTREATS
Overall, the launch served its purpose. However, a better room could have been used, and there could have been an elevated stage for everyone to see Tonye’s performance and the pitches to the panel. Ideally, the Dragon’s Den panel could have been actual potential investors too. I found that some people lost the opportunity to network. For instance, a few people handed out their business cards but didn’t introduce their products which seemed very beneficial. This is a missed opportunity.