How Ghana’s Cindy Tawiah overcame adversities to make history with a multiethnic hair and skin care brand in U.S.

Abu Mubarik July 21, 2022
Cindy Tawiah. Photo credit: Cindy Tawiah

Cindy Tawiah is an entrepreneur and founder of “Diva Day Spa and Healing Center” located in Baltimore County near Reisterstown Road. Her Diva by Cindy is the first ever multiethnic hair and skin care brand to specialize in natural products and services.

The Diva Day Spa and Healing Center offers spa services such as foot detox and sauna treatments. It also offers wellness and healing services for people and organizations.

“I launched the Diva day spa [in 2020] to help in the healing, transformation, and change of women. Our day spa is unique in the sense that it looks at the emotional, spiritual and physical needs of the individual,” Tawiah, who grew up in Ghana, told Face2Face Africa.

Tawiah said she was inspired by her chemistry teacher in Ghana to go into the beauty industry. Then 16 years old, she revealed that her teacher would often present her as a cosmetologist and a chemist in class.

Below is our full interview with Cindy Tawiah.

Could you introduce yourself?

My name is Cindy Tawiah. I am the founder and creator of the Diva By Cindy Hair care brand and the owner of the Diva Day Spa in Upperco Maryland.

Tell us about your business?

I have a natural alcohol-free hair care brand which is sold in vending machines in an airport and on a military base and online. However, in 2020, I launched the Diva day spa to help in the healing, transformation, and change of women. Our day spa is unique in the sense that it looks at the emotional, spiritual and physical needs of the individual. 

We approach things in a more holistic manner, and we’re more concerned about the well-being and the welfare of our clientele. We do this by ensuring that they receive individualized care and care plans for their situation. We don’t offer just facials, and massages like most Day spas do, we also offer counselling, workshops, and services that help and enhance a person’s healing journey. As a former RN( Registered Nurse), my mission was to create a peaceful, healing and tranquil environment to facilitate healing and peace. 

At what point did you decide to become an entrepreneur?

When I was 16 years old I was inspired by my chemistry teacher ( Mr Titi Ofei) in Ghana West Africa( Achimota School), to make beauty products because I was failing his class. I was so inspired by my teacher that all I dreamed of becoming unfortunately my family urged me to go into the medical profession. I left nursing in 2003 to open a hair salon and fell in love with entrepreneurship. I’ve been moving forward and evolving ever since. 

Who or what inspired you to start a business or become an entrepreneur?

My chemistry teacher inspired my love of beauty products and he inspired me to go into the beauty business by presenting me as a cosmetologist and a chemist when I was 16 years old. I have always been passionate about becoming an entrepreneur. What I do know is my life’s purpose.

How has the journey as an entrepreneur been for you?

Life has its ups and downs and so as a business, but as an entrepreneur, I always realize that tenacity and overcoming adversity is one of the greatest traits that a person can possess. We just went through one of the worst global pandemics and yet this was the time in a season that God urged me to open my location. There is a need right now for people to come together and unite, there is a need for people to heal from past pain and past hurt, there is an increased need for people to heal their mental state. So at this moment, my journey is fulfilling because we’re meeting the current needs of society.

How did you fund your business?

I have had the financial support of my husband and have had to fund the business initially with credit cards, and personal funds. Raising capital also came from sales of the products. The goal as an entrepreneur is to save safely. Safe because you never know when there may be a downturn in your business and he will need those funds to put aside. 

Share with us your success and challenges as an entrepreneur?

The secret to my success is not giving up, I refuse to give up and have been faced with many adversities in my business. In 2018 I had a thriving retail store at BWI airport and when my unit was re-cleaned and given to a larger cosmetic company, I used that adversity to become creative and that led to the launching of my natural hair care vending machine which became the first of its kind in this country. 

I am a survivor of adversity and have discovered that my successes and wins evolved from adversity. I am grateful for all the opportunities that life has presented, the ability to create a national natural hair care brand, the ability to offer Day Spa and Healing services to help women in a profound way, the ability to have a philanthropic mission and support victims of domestic violence through our Diva Project program. I consider the ability to help others a great success. We are here on earth to find our passion and use our passion( what we love) to fulfil our purpose/mission which is to help others. Challenges will always arise, we just need to know how to overcome them.

What do you think your government can do to support entrepreneurs like you?

I believe that the government did what they could during COVID for example by providing PPP, loans etc through the SBA, but more could have been done with regards to the screening process to make sure that those who truly needed funding received it. Some people were not good stewards of the funds and those who truly needed funds to expand their business didn’t receive anything. A better screening process would help.

Where do you see yourself and your business in the medium and long term?

I see my healing ministry and Day Spa as global, it is a concept that I can take to the masses in different parts of the world. In the long term, I see expansion in Ghana and in different parts of West Africa where women are being taught and trained to pour into women through various workshops, spa services and other healing modalities. I also see an increase in franchisees for our vending machines and expansion of our hair care brand in different distribution outlets. The goal is to heal and change the world “one diva at a time.”

For others who want to be like you, what message do you have for them?

For those who would like to follow in my entrepreneurial footsteps or start their own journey, I would advise them to follow up and follow through, and to apply my six Ps for success: prayer, passion, perseverance, persistence, presence, and positivity. Not to give up because “ only the strong survive.”

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: July 22, 2022


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