05. SKINKAFA:    a. SHORT STORY     b. EPIC TALE     c. EPILOGUE    

{ Building and Launching a New Product Line from Scratch }


1. THEN:

Uniquely perfected formulations had been carefully crafted, with the vision of developing them into a revolutionary high-end hair and skincare brand specifically formulated for the unique needs of women of the world, to be launched in Africa, rolled out across Europe, South America, and the Middle East, and eventually unveiled in the USA.

2. NOW:

A name, a brand, a personality, and a premium image have all been fully fleshed out and a communications program has been developed; a full line of 19 SKUs, divided into hair and body care lines has been created, packaged, and produced; Shinkafa has acquired premium distribution in Western Africa, and through a new, modern, website, diverse social media channels, email marketing, and boots-on-the-ground tactics, is currently on track to becoming the hair and body care brand name of choice for those who accept nothing but the best for their natural hair and skin. To be continued…


  1. Brand Ideation, Creation, + Buildout
  2. Naming
  3. Product Development
  4. Packaging + Design
  5. Website Development + Build
  6. Content Marketing
  7. Email Marketing
  8. Social Media
  9. West Africa Distribution Tactics, Advertising + Marketing



Over two decades ago, a no-harmul-chemicals-good-for-your-hair-and-body products line was formulated by one woman’s hand using lessons she learned in the villages of West Africa in an attempt to provide a healthy alternative to the chemically-laden, dangerous, damaging, and often toxic products that are dominating the hair and body care market.

For over 100 years, relaxers, straighteners, shampoos, and conditioners containing harsh chemicals including formaldehyde and lye (to name just a few) have been packaged and sold to generations of women with the promise of turning frizzy kinky curls into long luscious locks – what is often called the “European Standard.” But in the process, the high cost and time-consuming process of repeated treatments, chemical burns and sores on the scalp, thinning and breaking of follicles, hair loss, and damaged-beyond-repair hair have been just some of the adverse and unhealthy side effects.

In addition, studies have suggested that hair relaxers may be causing reproductive harm as well, linking uterine fibroids – found more prominently in black women – to the use of these heavy-duty toxic treatments.

Over the past few years, a cultural shift has begun to emerge among young black women who have decided to “go natural” – embracing their natural hair and in the process becoming more educated and aware of the benefits of using chemical-free products.

Recently perfected in the U.S. through years of patient and persistent nurturing, Shinkafa combines premium ingredients in a no-harmful-chemicals formula, and became perfectly positioned to enter the market with its healthy, nourishing product.


With the primary goal of getting Shinkafa onto the hair and body care consideration list of women of color, a dual attack plan was developed to (a) define and build the new premium brand as well as (b) establish initial channels of distribution:

(a) A full product line of 19 products was hand-crafted, tested and brought to life through a complete from-the-ground-up brand build, including 7 hair products, 8 body products, and a ground-breaking 4-step chemical-free hair relaxer kit.

(b) An aggressive 3-year plan was assembled, including an initial soft-launch in West Africa, followed by a rollout to South Africa, South America, Europe, and finally the U.S. market. Distribution was quickly solidified in Lagos, Nigeria.

Design and packaging for the product line was executed and tested over the period of a year to position the brand alongside high-end competitors such as L’Oréal’s premium brand, Kérastase. At the same time, social media efforts were initiated around the positioning line, “You were born for this,” to create an early buzz for the brand well ahead of its targeted launch date. As a result, Shinkafa quickly gained a substantial fan base – including over 40,000 likes on Facebook (and growing) – for a product that has yet to even be launched.

Despite the deliberate decision to not sell online initially, a complete and informative website was designed and built to provide product information as well as natural hair and body care advice, education, and inspiration. In addition, list-building tactics were put into place through email gathering and boots-on-the-ground guerilla-based street team efforts.


The story has only just begun. Shinkafa’s incredibly enthusiastic welcome in West Africa along with its meteoric rise on social media has as much to do with the product, packaging, and positioning as it does with the growing numbers of women who are desperately seeking healthier hair and body care solutions. The recent resurgence of Black Pride, improved health awareness, and the movement toward natural hair has been amplified by films such as Marvel’s blockbuster, “Black Panther,” celebrities publicly “going natural” including Solange Knowles, Ya Ya Dacosta, Lupita Nyong’o, Erykah Badu, Viola Davis, and Idia Arie, as well as a worldwide Natural Hair Movement that aims to remove the stigma from women of all ethnicities who choose to style their hair naturally.

Over the coming months, Shinkafa will become available in marketplaces in the US and other selective markets on a limited basis, with a full-scale launch targeted in 2019. It is currently on track to becoming the hair and body care premium brand name of choice for women of the world who accept nothing but the best for their hair and skin.

To be continued…



“Without Dreamentia there would be no Shinkafa. And the story has only just begun…”

NGOZI BOLIN – Founder, Chief Executive Office, Shinkafa, Inc.