Oyéta K. Okoko Cosmétiques, Founder + CEO
Okoko Cosmétiques is an elegant skin care line handmade in Vancouver, BC. Creating green, all-natural skin care, with exquisite, socially conscious, organic ingredients that are ethically grown and gathered from around the world. Founded by multi-faceted entrepreneur and cosmetic formulator Oyéta K. Okoko Cosmétiques, CEO.
While studying holistic nutrition, botanical medicine and organic cosmetic science Oyéta become more serious and conscious about the quality of products she was using and health effects. This has been a driving force to offer evidence-based and intelligent formulations of skin care and all while doing good and empowering others. Passionate about giving back to the community Okoko Cosmétiques has partnered with charitable organizations such as the Joy Smith Foundation, Beauty Night Foundation and Save-On-Meats food token program. In 2018 Okoko Cosmétiques launched an information source and online network for the green beauty industry called The Connector. The Connector’s mission is to offer helpful information in the green beauty industry, share knowledge and facilitate networking.
Where did the inspiration for your business stem from?
When I founded Okoko Cosmétiques, I was inspired to create beauty products that would be able to tackle common skin concerns people have in today ‘s busy world (detox, purification, protection, moisture, anti-aging, glow) while allowing them to enjoy some “me time” and the ultimate green beauty experience revealing healthy, radiant skin. With my line, I also wanted to provide skincare that was results-oriented, made using organic ingredients combined with evidence-based botanicals, dreamy formulas and elegant scents. My hope was to offer skincare that would be as effective as conventional and mainstream products without the bad and controversial ingredients, and also avoiding cheap fillers that are often used to drive cost down. I think that mission is accomplished. Okoko Cosmétiques, products offer pure,100% natural alternatives that enhance glow and radiance and can rival the performance of conventional products on the market.
What is the best part of what you do and why?
What I love most is being creative but I am also passionate about researching natural ingredients, their use, story, benefits, testing them on my skin and coming up with intelligent product formulations that are based on academic research and provide solutions to the common skin problems that my customers have.
There are a lot of great botanical ingredients out there (and some that may not be well known currently) and part of my work is to find them, learn about their benefits and share them with our lovely, discerning customers. Some of my products, such as L ‘Élixir de Pureté Sang du Dragon and L’Élixir de Manuka have been created working with private clients with problematic skin. I worked with them closely to develop these products and it was a great reward for me to see their skin improve dramatically. It gives me such joy to help bring people ‘s confidence back by improving the complexion of their skin. Aside from my passion for formulating products and helping people improve their skin issues, my team and I have been able to give back to non-profit organizations with some of the proceeds from our sales. Being able to do this even regularly, even if it only makes a small difference, is huge for us and is definitely the BEST part of my job!
It gives me such joy to help bring people ‘s confidence back by improving the complexion of their skin.
Oyéta K. Okoko Cosmétiques, Founder + CEO
What did you wonder about when you were growing up?
I have always wondered what I would be doing when I grew up. At home, we would have regular conversations about politics, business, economics which created a desire to someday be able to contribute in some way in making the world a better place. Some of the things that were often on my mind growing up were making the world a fair place for everybody, social justice, and finding the answer to why are we here and what are we supposed to do? I was also often thinking, how do I find my purpose?
What is the biggest challenge you have faced as an entrepreneur?
When you start a small company, you will often have to figure out a lot in the beginning and there is a real likelihood if you are the founder (and don’t already have an established team from other projects yet), that you will be wearing many hats. Some of the biggest challenges I faced as an entrepreneur were: starting my business in an expensive city, figuring out how to set my brand apart and building a customer base. In the beginning, I had to figure out how to differentiate myself and my brand, enhance our visibility and, most importantly, how to get those first sales. Basically, how to survive the course and stay in business. Often when you first start and are not known yet, your first sales can be slow to arrive. So, I can definitely relate to any starting entrepreneurs’ journey and know many of the challenges they will face.
Tell us about an obstacle you were faced with in your life, how did you overcome it?
I have been faced with many obstacles in my life. One of the biggest was when I first came to Canada. At age 5, I moved from Togo to Montreal to rejoin my family (I was raised by my grandmother until I was 5) and live in a country where I had no idea of what to expect… climate, social customs and interactions, language, culture…everything was new for me. The challenges were considerable: learning a new language, new culture and all of the social challenges that come with this was what I would count as my first significant emotional event. Although still young it helped to shape who I am today and strengthened my ability to be resilient.