Florah N’godoih is the Chadian woman behind the make-up line OUADAI; the first make-up brand for black women in France and certified by ECOCERTGreenlife. Born in Toulouse, France, when the 28 year old initially started her business venture, she was told it was impossible to offer make-up bio adaptable to dark skin, black and mixed race. But Florah did not believe this, with a background in laboratories and training from the DUT Management of Society, she went ahead and developed her brand of make up ; from the shades to the choice of color codes.
From an early age, Florah was interested in the benefits of plants in makeup and this was one of the things that motivated her to start her brand. Today, Florah is proud of what she has accomplished through her brand, she says, ‘I am proud because, Wadai is in my image.’
Patricia Miswa : When did you first have the idea of creating your own makeup line and how long did it take before it launched?
Florah N’godoih : I had the idea to create my brand during my studies in laboratory in France, I couldn’t find any make up products that could fit my coffee complexion, this motivated me to create my own make up brand. My target for this dream to become a reality was by the time I reach 30, it took me 11 years to get it off the ground.
Patricia: Can you tell us a little bit about the products in your make up line?
Florah: OUADAÏ Make-up line includes; loose Powder, compact foundation, lipstick, mascara, eye shadow and pencil
Patricia: Did you encounter any challenges?
Florah: At the beginning it was difficult, I wanted an organic certified make up brand and I could not find the manufacturers. I also had to create everything from scratch and that’s why it took 11 years. It was a hard project but I believe that when you really want something, with hard work and the courage you will get what you want.I knew that creating this brand was important and to be the first black woman in France to create organic cosmetics was a big deal in our community. Every day is a challenge but I think that no dream is inaccessible.
Patricia: How did you motherland, Chad, play a role in the creation of your make up line? Has it inspired you in any way?
Florah: I chose a name that represents the Chadian kingdom because it was a reminder of my origins. The make-up in Africa is ancestral, I thus chose to use products such as the Shea butter for the moisturizing, Cocoa butter from north-African origin but also Argan oil and all the ingredients which could bring a high moisturizing to our type of skin because black skin is sensitive skin and often dry. Yes, Africa has inspired me especially when it comes to shampoos.
Patricia: Anything else you’d like to share?
Florah: OUADAÏ forces of nature is for your beauty. Thank you AfroElle.