How this black teen entrepreneur turned her experience as a child suffering from sickle cell disease into a thriving business

Abu Mubarik January 17, 2023
Eleora Ogundare. Photo credit: (Jo Horwood/CBC)

Eleora Ogundare is the founder of Eleora Beauty Inc, a business that was inspired by her health challenges. Eleora was born with sickle cell anemia and underwent a painful stem cell transplant. 

She also underwent chemotherapy treatment which caused her hair to fall. Young Eleora found her condition traumatic and a blow to her self-confidence.

“My hair was my confidence because the kids I was around, they had like the long, nice long hair,” Eleora told CBC. Nonetheless, she decided to cut her hair in response to the treatment she was going through.

After a successful treatment, Eleora decided to use her predicament to assist people facing similar challenges. This led her to start the Eleora Beauty line with the help of her mother. Eleora Beauty specializes in making hair and beauty products that promote healthy hair growth, the company says on its website. “Our products are all-natural and are inspired by a driving desire for men and women alike to express beauty and confidence through strong and healthy hair.”

According to Eugenia Ogundare, Eleora’s mother, they determined the formula for their hair product after experimenting with several different oils, butter, and creams geared toward Black hair types.

“One of the problems Black women actually face would be the edges, so that’s the first thing we get, that, ‘Oh, it actually works for my edges’,” said Eugenia. “And then we get the mothers who say, ‘Oh, my daughter’s hair was hard to manage. It’s more manageable [now]’.”

Now 15, Eleora said she hopes her product will help other young Black girls feel empowered to be themselves. “Our hair is beautiful the way it is and it’s different in a good way … it just expands our culture and really shows who we are,” she said. “It wasn’t as bad this time. Like, I’m more confident in it, and I also just want to teach other, like young Black girls that, you know, like short hair or like long hair. You can rock it either way.”

Entrepreneur and salon owner Adedoyin Omotara sells products of Eleora Beauty in her salon. According to Omotara, Eleora’s story will inspire young girls like her to come up with innovative ways to address challenges in society.

“Whatever problems we have in our community, we remain the solution to those problems because we know where it bites the most, right? And that is why we are the ones to proffer the solution.”

“I think we’re making a difference in like, young girls’ lives,” said Eleora.

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