‘Afro Hair & Beauty Association’ (AHBA) Launch Review

PAST EVENT REVIEW:

On Thursday, February 15th, Hair Care Revolution (HCR) hosted its first event of 2018, the highly anticipated launch of the Afro Hair & Beauty Association (AHBA). I was so humbled and honoured to attend the highly anticipated launch of Afro Hair & Beauty Association (AHBA), hosted by Hair Care Revolution (HCR) at the Jamaican High Commission in Kensington, London.

It has always been reported that Black women spend six times more on hair products than their white counterparts or any other ethnic group – but very few reap any financial rewards from an industry said to be worth in excess of $7.5 billion dollars globally. HCR founded the AHBA in 2017 to utilise an already established network to facilitate a much-needed support & developmental structure for the benefit of members of the association, as well as the wider community. The AHBA aims to be the first Black British Afro Hair & Beauty organisation of its kind in the UK tasked with the privilege of representing Black British hair and beauty brands around the
world.

Hair Care Revolution (HCR) founded by Ovi King acts as a hair care pop-up shop experience offering the Black community the option to spend their money within their community. Their aim is to add value by providing a professional service, exciting events, and a memorable experience. Coupled with inspiring others within the community to work closer together and encourage the creation of financially successful platforms, businesses & opportunities for ourselves. The HCR Team have events scheduled this 2018 in countries like Paris and Amsterdam where brands and individuals can display their products to the wider European community. They are committed and passionate about bringing ideas to life and becoming instigators for the change we desire.

The AHBA event was attended by top Afro hair & beauty professionals, bloggers, press, enthusiasts, independent brand owners, distributors and on & offline retailers. Presenter Caz Mac, the founder of No Ordinary Woman chat show, kept the evening flowing. The theme of the evening was ‘Black Excellence’ and it certainly lived up to the expectations I had placed. The glittering guest list comprised of respected veterans within the hair and cosmetics industry including Mr. Rudi Page, former International Marketing Manager for the legendary Dyke & Dryden (who is allegedly responsible for coining the term ‘Afro hair & beauty’), Connie Jackson, former General Manager of Fashion Fair UK, Eryca Freemantle, a
Transformational Coach and Global Beauty Strategist amongst others high profile attendees.

Eryca is well-known in the global circles of health, beauty, and makeup, particularly for her campaigns to encourage the beauty industry to take a broader and more inclusive strategic position by ‘Embracing all Tones of Women’. She strongly believes in sharing her journey through her own life story so it enables others to realise that they too can uplift themselves from any situation. (www.erycafreemantle.com)

There was an opening speech by a representative from the Jamaican High Commission who touched on empowering ourselves to step out of our comfort zone and boldly into our calling. She also spoke about how the High Commission aims to facilitate business start-ups and collaborations between businesses within the UK and Jamaica.

We were treated to a classical ballet piece composed by Tonye Scott Obene, who is a 20-year old pilot-in-training, taekwondo expert, and classically trained ballet dancer. His family runs the popular Miami Health Club based in South-East London where he coaches and empowers young people and adults. Tonye is the example of Black Excellence exemplified.

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Ovi King, the founder, and president of AHBA then shared the aims and visions of what the association aims to bring to the Beauty Industry, which is to focus on Empowering, Innovation & Collaboration of Black Hair & Beauty Brands within the Beauty Industry. HCR founded the AHBA in 2017 to utilise an already established network to facilitate a much-needed support and developmental structure for the benefit of members of the association, as well as the wider community. Ovi went on to explain that AHBA aims to provide a voice for the industry, sharing knowledge and offering support where it is needed. They also aim to constantly raise standards in the industry so customers may receive exceptional products, high-quality services that build solid reputations & exceed expectations.

Aims & Goals:

  • The association will seek out the best resources available in order to provide members the following:
  • Advice & guidance – Provide support, advice and training resources
  • Promotion – Promote the UK Afro hair and beauty industry nationally & internationally.
  • Opportunity – Create opportunities that benefit our members.
  • Stimulate trade- Form trade links & strategic partnerships globally especially between Africa the USA & the Caribbean.
  • Professional Development- offer continuing education and professional development.
  • Showcase best practices- Provide a forum for promoting/sharing industry-wide best practices.

The Vision for the Future:

  • Legacy – We will support brands wholeheartedly that makes a positive impact on the community they serve not just for the short term but also for the next 100 years and beyond.
  • Shared Values – ABHA 5 pillar ethos – Professionalism, Success, Integrity, Unity, and ownership.
  • Leadership – Develop and cultivate the next generation of business leaders and influencers who will dominate the Afro hair & beauty industry globally.

The carefully selected committed AHBA Board Members made up of some experienced veterans of the Afro hair & beauty industry were finally revealed to us, which followed with a photo session where each board member had to sign the Article of The ABHA Association stating their commitment to AHBA and its concept.

The Advisory board members have graciously agreed to offer their time, support and advice to this special association, where they will share a common goal of creating a new and exciting future for UK Afro hair & beauty brands. All will bring their extensive talents, vision & business expertise to the association.

Four lucky independent business owners were given the opportunity to pitch their products to a Dragon’s Den style panel including award-winning celebrity hair stylist, Verona White, and UK Black Business Show founder, Raphael Sofoluke.

  • Fit 4 a Kiing is a healthy lifestyle company that presented their toothpaste and skin care brand using natural activated charcoal, which is an alternative to Fluoride that is a slow poison.  The customer is at the centre of the Fit 4 a Kiing brand focus. 
  • 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.
  • Nylah celebrates 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 local racial esteem workshops in Birmingham. 
  • 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, which is a one-to-one mentoring session with one of the high calibre board members and 2 years free membership. Brand runner-up Nylah, won the Rising Star Award. 

As a previous Afro Hair & Beauty model (from back in the 90s), it was such pleasure to unite with old associates (hair stylists, fellow old models, and brands) sharing memories and networking with new hair and beauty insiders discussing our expectations of better and bigger things to come from AHBA.

Signing out with a quote from Ovi: “A rising tide lifts all boats.”

Congratulations, AHBA and Hair Care Revolution on this excitable Black Excellence journey.

To join their mailing list and get notified of the latest info & news; visit the AHBA website and interested in becoming a member: visit ‘the membership area’.

Do share your thoughts about diversity and your experiences within the Hair & Beauty industry in the comments below!

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Yours in love – The Renaissance Lady © 

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