Ghanaian-American teacher who founded multi-million dollar company shares why she is giving customers equity in her brand

Abu Mubarik April 10, 2024
Hanahana Beauty founder Abena Boamah-Acheampong. Screenshot via Forbes

Abena Boamah-Acheampong is the CEO and founder of Hanahana Beauty, who launched her skincare and wellness brand in 2017 to provide consumers with clean products to include in their skincare routines.

The Ghanaian-American entrepreneur ethically sources her product’s key ingredient, shea butter, from the Katariga women, who are producers based in Tamale, Ghana. Seven years after she first launched, Boamah-Acheampong wants everyone to own a piece of her product, she told Forbes.

Since her launch, she has continued to receive support from people from all walks of life. Today, Hanahana Beauty is a multimillion-dollar company with over $2 million in sales. When she first launched, she got her first check in 2022 from a black woman investor. Since then, her brand has raised more than $400,000 in funding through venture capital (VC) and angel investors.

At the core of how she raises money is the importance of building strong relationships. Boamah-Acheampong now wants to change how she raises funds as she has created a communal fundraiser through the crowdfunding company Wefunder.

“We pivoted. We were like, ‘You know what? I’m giving all of these angel investors the opportunity to build and grow with us. Why don’t I give my customers the opportunity to also have equity in the brand?’” Boamah-Acheampong told Forbes.

“I really just wanted to look at our strengths, and our strength is our community, and they want to put their dollars in it. They want to be a part of it. To become an accredited investor, you have to have a certain amount of money, and not all of our customers have that.”

Prior to pursuing this path, she had relied on VC and angel investing because she didn’t know of any other way. Meanwhile, blacks are often not successful like their white counterparts when it comes to VC funding as they usually receive less than 2% of overall dollars each year.

So far, Hanahana Beauty’s Wefunder has raised more than $80,000 in funding. Her goal is to raise $200,000. Her brand said it is thrilled to extend the opportunity for its community and customers to share in the ownership of Hanahana Beauty as it navigates the path of sustainable scaling.

Formerly a teacher in the South Loop, it was Boamah-Acheampong’s students who sparked the idea for her brand. “I would always get at my students, like, ‘Do you know what you’re putting on your body?’ They’re like, ‘Miss Boamah? Do you know what you’re putting on your body?'” she said to CBS.

“I had no intention of actually starting a brand, but also was super curious around the production of shea; like the raw materials, starting first, in my kitchen, making products before school, after school,” the entrepreneur, who holds an MEd in counseling psychology, added.

Ulta’s brand incubator, Sparked, became interested in Boamah-Acheampong’s brand and later got her products onto shelves in Ulta stores nationwide. Today, Hanahana Beauty is on the shelves of 539 Ulta Beauty stores.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: April 10, 2024


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