“If there’s anything we’ve learned in quarantine, it’s that we’re all going through something.”
Hi, love; I’m so grateful you are here today.
I have a question for you: do you think you have what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur? What are the key habits and characteristics of successful entrepreneurs today?
In the world of entrepreneurship, it’s not always easy to find motivation and inspiration. We’re all looking for that nudge in the right direction, but what I want you to know is that if you have a dream, anything is possible with hard work and dedication. It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting or have no knowledge of the industry you’re dreaming about; it’s possible to bring that vision to reality.
Being an entrepreneur is scary, but it can also be incredibly rewarding. The potential for success and the level of freedom that comes with being your own boss is worth taking the risk to start your own business.
Joining us in this episode of the Get Loved Up podcast is Abena Boamah. She talks about her journey in founding her own wellness and skincare brand. She also talks about the importance of balancing your commitment to work and to yourself, to avoid burnout, and so much more. I enjoyed being a part of this conversation and I’m sure you will love her wisdom as you read along.
Who Is Abena Boamah?
Abena Boamah is a mental health advocate, creative entrepreneur, and visual storyteller who changed the status quo of the beauty industry through the beauty brand she founded, Hanahana Beauty. This consciously clean beauty and wellness brand empowers black women worldwide by giving them products they can feel good about while helping shea butter producers in Ghana gain sustainable access to healthcare and income.
Abena has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s in education. She has a unique approach when working with marginalized groups of all ages, and her consciously clean skincare and wellness brand aims to change the global beauty landscape by increasing accessibility, sustainability, and transparency in all aspects of their business..
Abena has worked with brands like Nike, TedxTube, Bon Appetit, Refinery 29, Glossier, Chase Bank, Apple, The Wing, and more. Her work has been recognized by Vogue, Beyonce, and other distinguished figures and platforms in the fashion and entertainment industry. As a Ghanaian American visual storyteller, she uses her expertise in holistic wellness when creating visual content, showcasing stories of black women globally. Her success came with several significant milestones in her entrepreneurial journey.
The Right Team is the Key to Business Growth
Every entrepreneur has a story that started with being passionate about an idea or product, and taking the steps necessary to make it happen. It’s a lot of blood, sweat and tears to build your empire, but the payoff is the impact you can have on the world. With perseverance and commitment, you can become successful like Abena—the key is to never give up!
To succeed in business, you need a solid foundation that includes having a great idea and understanding of your target market. You also need an excellent work ethic built around your mission.
“The first three years of Hanahana was really … building a foundation within our mission. So, … the first few years were really about organic growth and to be honest, I wasn’t focusing on the industry. … What was great was I was really focused on foundation and community, and I looked at our community not only as people that we were purchasing [from] but our producers. So it allowed us to build this foundation. … The foundation we had built was about sustainability and what was ethical.” – Abena Boamah
Sustainability can be applied to many aspects of life, from food production and waste management to the economy and business. Sustainability is about using resources responsibly so that we can leave a world for future generations that is better than before. Achieving sustainability in business is not possible without an amazing team at the helm. b
“Some of the milestones definitely were the team — being able to have a team that can actually execute the ideas and continue to bring these ideas to fruition.” – Abena Boamah
A company is only as strong as its team. A business can have the best products or services in the world, but if they are not being promoted by a dedicated marketing team, it will not be able to thrive. The same can be said for any other aspect of running a successful business. Without an engaged and talented workforce, there will be no innovation, and without skilled employees on board, there will be no growth. The team you build is crucial to your success. So, it’s important that the people you surround yourself with are talented and driven, share your company’s vision, and turn ideas into results.
“I came from an academic background but no experience in teaching. Being able to have people that have experience within the beauty space that can teach me as we’re growing our brands … [has] been amazing because their focus is e-commerce and product development.” – Abena Boamah
It can be scary to traverse into a strange territory you are not familiar with, and the same can be said when venturing into a business without the knowledge and experience in the industry. But by having the right people onboard and leveraging their expertise and experience in the field, you can grow with the team and become successful in business. Anything is achievable with the right balance of commitment, love, and passion.
Balancing Work Life and Self-Care
Work can be a source of love and fulfillment; it provides stability, structure, and a sense of purpose. But it can be easy to forget that you need to balance your love for work with the level of commitment you have to yourself. Taking care of yourself and practicing healthy boundaries is essential to prevent overwhelm and burnout. For Abena, her passion and commitment to Hanahana allowed her to grow the company instead of quitting amidst the challenges and obstacles.
“I think Hanahana … can continue to grow and exceed. I continue to see it as something that I will grow with and I don’t really see quitting, which is exciting but also kind of scary. … [But] it’s the only thing I’m so committed to.” – Abena Boamah
When you commit yourself to a goal, the commitment is what will get you there. It’s not luck or chance that will make your dream come true; it is your dedication and willingness to work hard every day. It’s also important to commit to the people around you and invest in them.
“I’m happy that I have that level of commitment [to the business], but I’m also hoping that I can have that level of commitment to other people. …it’s a challenging balance, but worth it. – Abena Boamah
It’s difficult to balance your commitment to running a business and taking care of yourself, but it is possible if you put in the effort. Abena also suggests looking at what part of the business interests you the most, so you can focus on that as you grow and scale.
“Having that moment where you say, ‘Am I just the founder? Am I the visionary? Am I the creative artist? … How do I see myself being a part of the company?’ I think that’s very important for all entrepreneurs to think about how involved you want to be because it does get to a point as you grow and scale and expand where … you’re gonna burn yourself out.” – Abena Boamah
Most of us have experienced the struggle of staying motivated and productive at work. Over time, many people find that they are not as excited about their job or the tasks that need to be completed. This will often lead to burnout, resulting in a lack of productivity and eventual disengagement from work altogether. So, it’s important to know when you’re getting worn down and need a break. There is only one YOU on this planet, so treat yourself well and invest in your health and wellness. When you do that, everyone benefits, including your business.
Get Loved Up with Abena Boamah
This interview with Abena Boamah was so powerful, and I was honored to have her on our show. She shared so many words of wisdom that I wasn’t able to fit everything in this post. So make sure to check out the whole interview here to get more wisdom from Abena.
If You want to know more about how Abena empowers women of color through her business by providing sustainable living within the shea trade, check out Hanahana Circle of Care. You can also connect with Abena through Hanahan on Instagram and Twitter.
This interview was simply amazing and I truly appreciate how Abena empowers women of color everywhere because it also aligns with what Get Loved Up is all about. I hope you were inspired by our conversation. If so, tag Abena, @beanieboamah, and me, @koyawebb, on Instagram with a screenshot of the episode and your greatest takeaways. We would love to hear your feedback on what you learned!
Until next time Love,
- Getting Into Clean Beauty & Understanding the Process (2:30)
- Daily Rituals, Spiritual Practices, & Therapy (6:00)
- The Benefits of Spending Time in Nature (10:30)
- Building the Hanahana Team (13:20)
- The Hanahana Circle of Care (24:00)
- Entrpreneurial Milestones (26:30)
- Access the Money, It’s Out There (27:50)
- There Are No Limits to Abundance, You Are Deserving (32:45)
- There Are No Limits to Abundance, You Are Deserving (32:45)
- Abena’s Favorite Audiobooks (40:00)
- Creating Abena’s Ideal World (44:45)
- Maintaining Peace Through Trauma (46:50)
- We Are All Enough (51:00)
Links mentioned in this episode:
- Lauren Ash of @BlackGirlInOm
- Deun Ivory of The Body, A Home for Love
- Order Koya’s book Let Your Fears Make You Fierce
- Learn more about Koya’s Yoga Teacher Training Programs
- Join the Wellness Entrepreneur Mastermind