All over the world, young people make great strides every day and are winning, but in Africa, Ghana to be precise, it’s not every day you see a young person take flight and strive to make it on their own in the beauty industry.
When the world crumbled in 2020, Melissa Gyasi-Sarkodie decided to take her love for craft a step further. After watching a young Black American’s YouTube video on her lip care business, she decided to try it, but stopping at just trying would not have been enough. She loved it and thus turned it into a business.
By May 2020, Sarkombeauty was already in full operation and she was receiving reviews from the lip balm, lip gloss and lip scrub she started with. All products are handmade.
As a Computer Science student at the University of Cape Coast, Ghana, it could not have been easy, however, in a conversation with Face2Face Africa, Gyasi-Sarkodie shared that although it was not easy, “balance” was what it took.
“It’s all about balance, ensuring I make time for school and my business. It wasn’t difficult for me craft-wise, but finding supplies and also reaching an audience,” she told Face2Face Africa.
It all started with an interest in handmade lip care products which produced 10 products. Now, not only has the manufacturing rate multiplied totally, but it’s no longer just lip care products. From, eyelashes, mascara, eyeshadow, contour, highlighters, you name it, Sarkombeauty has it all.
Prior to starting her business, she was an influencer and now she uses that same strategy to advertise her business capitalizing on her social media reach.
When asked about the highlight of her business, Gyasi-Sarkodie shared that the recognition from GlitzAfrica would be it.
“That event was just so inspiring to me because to be very honest, I didn’t meet any small business owner there. When I say small I mean those haven’t heard of before. I was so honored because I saw myself as the small business owner there amongst big business owners. It means a lot to me knowing that GlitzAfrica noticed my business at least. It was a huge motivation,” she shared with excitement.
While Sarkombeauty is very important to her, her degree is too, but she is determined to ensure that school does not affect her business.
For every business, start-up capital is always a problem. The 22-year-old started Sarkombeauty with around $20. Her client base is still growing, but she believes “I wouldn’t say I have reached the highest peak of my business journey, I’m still growing in the business industry.”
On a lighter note, while every university is demanding, Ghanaians agree that the University of Cape Coast is an extra, but Gyasi-Sarkodie is tenacious and hopes to keep both school and her business afloat even after she is done with her first degree.
She told Face2Face Africa, “Currently, I’m on a long break from school so I have enough time for it, but I might have less time if school resumes. It won’t affect my business negatively.”
She hopes to keep her beauty line as her side hustle while bustling with a 9-5 courtesy of her degree.
To other young people like her wanting to start a business, she said “start that business you want to start, the beginning won’t be easy, but be patient and persistent.”