Beauty entrepreneur Magatte Wade has set out to address an issue that is all too common in developing countries. Wade, who hails from Senegal and France, is the founder and CEO of Tiossan. Tiossan is a luxury skincare brand that features based on indigenous Senegalese recipes. To create her products, Wade sources materials from women’s Co-ops across Africa.
Wade hopes that her brand, which is available in a host of luxury retailers that includes Nordstrom, will bring jobs to Senegal as well as arouse new interest in luxury products from the country. But, like many homegrown brands, she is forced to compete with Western products, which represent progress and prestige to wealthy Senegalese consumers.
Our goal is not simply to alleviate poverty, but also foster prosperity for all. We don’t want to be regarded as people whose highest capability is collecting shea nuts or cocoa beans. We know more than that and can do more than that.
Additionally, the best way that our people will respect our culture is when they see it respected in the West. They will realize that we are part of the global conversation in any interesting, relevant manner.
To get to the finish line, Africans must create scalable businesses based on African culture, businesses that produce high quality products that enlightened American consumers want and need. And that’s what I’m doing.
By positioning Tiossan as a major international brand, the company can create jobs at all levels of production, and provide mobility.