Wednesday, 14 March 2018

My Natural Hair begins a New Journey with Carol’s Daughter

For some of us, starting the natural hair journey has been characterized with mixed feelings. Especially because of the texture of our hair which is locally referred to as “Kpenkpeshi”, we are always stressed out with what to do with our hair.

Recently, I chanced on the newly launched Carol’s Daughter in Ghana.

Let me gist you with a little background about Carols’ Daughter. It was started in Brooklyn in 1993 by Lisa Price who was encouraged by her mother Carol to begin making hair and body products from home. She took up the suggestion named her product Carol’s Daughter.
Carol and Lisa
Carol’s Daughter is “made with love” as an organic beauty product with natural ingredients blended with benefits that our hair needs. 

I found 2 variants that you will love too; The Hair Milk and Black Vanilla.
The Hair Milk comes in Cleansing Conditioner and Original Leave-in Moisturizer which works for those of us with the Kinks, Curls, Coils and Waves. 
The Black Vanilla also comes in Sulfate-free Shampoo, Hydrating Conditioner, Leave-in Conditioner and Hair Smoothie which works well for Dry, Dull and Brittle Hair.

The exciting thing about these product is that they have no sulfate, no parabens, no mineral oil and no artificial colors and works well for all textures and all types of hair.

I will be going for the Hair Milk and can’t wait to share my results with you.

Grab them at the Maybeline Stand at Accra Mall and also at Viva Boutique in Osu, opposite Firefly or hook me up on how to get one.

Carol’s Daughter, Born in Brooklyn, Made with Love, Now in Africa

Faith Senam Ocloo 
Fashion Public Relations 
Fashion I Beauty I Lifestyle I Arts

Friday, 2 March 2018

Your Fashion Brand Needs a Signature Style

The fashion industry globally has witnessed many famous fashion designers from major cities such as Paris, Milan, New York to London who have worked tirelessly to create distinct signature style over a period of time.

Having a signature style that comes through explicitly or in subtle ways through every piece of fashion item that your brand produces is one of the best things you can do for your fashion brand.

We can think of famous fashion brands such as Burberry, Christian Louboutin, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Nike and a host of many other designers with unique signatures that make it easy to identify them.

One thing, I stress on when interacting with emerging designers in Ghana is to invest time in understanding their brand by making sure they have fully answered out the what, who, why, where, when and how of their brand. For instance what their brand is about, why they are making these products, who they are targeting, where they will make it available, when they need to make it available and how they are going to market the brand. Once these are clear from the beginning, they can be able to work out their signature style.

I personally think a lot of designers in Ghana are mainly driven by passion and have not achieved creating unique signature styles that make them stand out.

Having a signature style for your fashion brand involves a continuous effort at creating a distinct brand look and feel over a period of time. For instance in Ghana, the late Kofi Ansah is known to pioneer modern African styles and design with his design signature which includes the unique use of quilting, embroidery and appliqués. 

Why is it important for your brand to have a signature style?

Gives you an identity

Having a signature style gives you a name, it gives you an identity. One that is easily recognizable because it makes you stand out among the crowd. Getting noticed in the fashion world is quite a tough one especially for new entrants who may have a lot of work to do to get noticed.

Being able to create a signature requires that you invest in charting a path that is unique while playing around with lots of designing elements such as colors, prints, patterns, silhouettes, embroidery etc and finally settling on what works for you. Even your own personal style could be an influence in creating your kind of style.

Helps Create Emotional Connection

When your brand is unique, you are able to attract your intended target audience. These customers over time become connected to the brand and begin to trust your brand. This trust is built by aligning with the emotional values of your audience.

 Having a signature style helps you to achieve that connection with your customers who become your tribe and work to support your journey and success.

Build a Tribe around your brand

We all know it’s not easy to break through in the fashion industry. With new talents sprouting every minute, having a signature helps you build a tribe of customers who repeatedly patronize your pieces collection after collection.
In the end, the primary function of any brand is to sell their product or services and that can only be achieved when these customers can identify themselves with the brand’s offering while adding value to their lives.

With a growing demand for fashion designers globally, the industry is always on a look out for best designers. If you want to earn a distinct place in the industry, then you have to develop a unique taste and style and pay close heed to creating your signature.

This post was originally published in the Business & Financial Times 2/3/2018

Photocredit: Fashion Forum Africa (FFG4)
Outfit: Nadrey Laurent

Important Notice: Currently ongoing is the Sunsum Sessions at Ano, 1 Lokko Road in Osu from the 17th of February to the 10th of March, 2018 which highlights and celebrates some of the works and designs of the late Kofi Ansah with Clothes lent by Fashion Forum Africa.

If you are in Accra, you may want to check out some of his amazing works at the exhibition.

Faith Senam Ocloo 
Fashion Public Relations 
Fashion I Beauty I Lifestyle I Arts

Monday, 26 February 2018

Living the Bustling Fashion World with the Nokia 5 Smartphone

Loving my new Nokia 5 Smartphone
Just a few years back, fashionistas had to wait a day or two before seeing official photos from fashion photographers and event organizers. With the smartphone now more of a fashion statement and a lifestyle, guests at fashion events can share real time fashion moments in high-quality visuals on social media all by themselves. No more waiting!

As a fashion PR Specialist representing fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands and a columnist, I usually find myself bustling through one event or the other. Using a device that is solid and able to capture fashion moments while keeping me sane throughout is necessary.

The newly launched Nokia Smartphone range that run on Android and look very smart with neat designs intrigued me. The Nokia phones deliver a ‘pure Android’ experience which means I have the choice to pick the kind of applications I need with monthly security updates that keep my device safe and up to date. Having looked at the Nokia 2, 3, 5, 6 and 8 range of phones, I opted for the Nokia 5, which is mid-range, compact, affordable and has the power and essentials I need. 

Most people may have heard of how crazy and fast-paced the fashion world is especially during fashion weeks. Having clients showcasing could be pretty hectic from running backstage to the red carpet and cocktail sessions and to capture every moment means you can’t miss a thing.

Events happen fast so I need a device that is cool to the touch, isn't slippery and can capture fashion moments the best possible way.

There is a lot to like about Nokia's mid-range Nokia 5 handset and I was surprised to find out since I was not sure what to expect.

A Great Camera
It is often said, a picture is worth a thousand words. I love photos and love taking photos. The Nokia 5 camera can capture much better shots with stronger colors. The 13-megapixel rear camera takes sharp shots with a good exposure balance. Though the colors aren't very bold, it suits fine when I want to take quick snaps to look back on and most times share on my social media pages. Its 8-megapixel front camera with an HDR mode gives sharp, well-balanced selfies for us selfie lovers.

With many fashion events happening at night, the Nokia 5’s automatic scene detection and wide aperture helps me to get great night-time shots, while colors look natural thanks to the dual-tone flash.

A Sleek Curved Design
This phone is simply gorgeous. It has a 5.2in display within a compact smooth body that feels incredibly premium with sleek rounded edges that make it comfortable to hold. It comes in various colors such as the Matte Black, Silver, Tempered Blue or Copper. These colors are exciting for those of us in the fashion world because you do not have to sacrifice design for quality. The Nokia 5 is fashionable.

The phone also has a clean, pure back without antenna lines, which are now at the top and bottom of the phone. Together with the display sculpted fancy Corning Gorilla Glass, this makes for a clean look unspoilt by seams or lines. Quite impressive. 

Especially since I’m able to navigate seamlessly with a fingerprint sensor that doubles as a home button for that extra convenience.

A Strong Battery
A day in the life of a fashion publicist could look like an un-ending one. With a non-removable 3000mAh battery that charges via Micro USB, the Nokia 5 lasts a full day on one charge with reasonably heavy use, and two days or more with light use. An ideal balance of performance and battery life to keep me updated and alive all through the day coordinating and at photoshoots and night at fashion events.

With a great camera, awesome performance and a stunning design, the Nokia 5 delivers a reasonably competitive android experience as I get to re-live my storytelling life any day.

This post was originally published in the Business and Financial Times 23/2/2018

Faith Senam Ocloo 
Fashion Public Relations 
Fashion I Beauty I Lifestyle I Arts

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Celebrating Love with Carol’s Daughter

It is often said that when it comes to hair, all women can relate. From the kinky to the perm and agonizing over how to wear it, long or short, colored or black, straight or curls, there is always a constant battle. The struggle even deepens in the search for the right product to keep your hair in its natural state and still have the feel and texture that you want.

On our own individual hair journey, we are often in search of organic beauty products that have natural ingredients blended with benefits that our hair needs above all one that is “made with love”.

Carol’s Daughter is made with love by Lisa Price who was encouraged by her mother Carol to begin making hair and body products from home.  It all started in her Brooklyn kitchen in 1993 where she began creating these products and selling them in the local markets and at festivals.

After successfully selling off her homemade recipes at various places in New York and receiving positive feedback because it worked for her family and friends, Lisa transformed the natural haircare world making major moves out of the kitchen which began with directly selling the products to customers in its own boutique and later through her newly launched website.

One of the major moves Carol’s Daughter made in 2014 was to joining the L’Oreal family; the world’s largest cosmetics company with high profile brands to its name.
With February being the month of love, Carol’s Daughter a pioneer of the Natural Hair Renaissance born in Brooklyn, made with love is now in Africa, Ghana making history by being the first country in West Africa to officially launch its two new collections: Hair Milk and Black Vanilla.

Built on values relatable to the African Woman, Carol’s Daughter shares an inspirational story of a Mother and Daughter’s love and beautiful relationship; an aspirational woman; an entrepreneurship story, a celebration of love and heritage; following your passion, women supporting women and success.

At the tea and conversations event held with fellow beauty and fashion bloggers and influencers at the Luxury Living in Accra, Carol’s Daughter was officially introduced with sample testing.

Category Brand Manager at L’Oreal, Adeline Esi Asante-Antwi, introduced the newly launched products while sharing the journey of Carol’s Daughter from her founder’s kitchen in Brooklyn to Accra Ghana. On why L’Oreal decided to include Carol’s Daughter to its product, she explained that “Carol’s Daughter satisfies an ethnic community of women looking to have quality and organic beauty products for their hair need as that is what this brand serves” She added that Carol’s Daughter was able to meet the standards in terms of the quality.

Carol’s Daughter’s ingredients are carefully selected and cautiously tested by experts with a strict formula charter to ensure that it is rich in texture and delivers on its brand promise. Excitingly these products have no sulfate, no parabens, no mineral oil and no artificial colors.

The products launched for the Ghanaian market are the Hair Milk and Black Vanilla. The Hair Milk is made up of blended Agave Nectar, Cocoa, Shea and Sweet Almond Oil which adds deep moisture texture for all curl types.

And the Black Vanilla is a mix of blended Vanilla, Sweet Clover extract, Aloe Leaf Juice and Shea butter all of which together softens and revives dry and brittle hair.

For all textures, all types and all your beauty needs, there is certainly a Carol’s Daughter for you.
Lisa Price

Carol & Lisa
This post was originally published in the Business and Financial Times Newspaper 16/2/2018

Faith Senam Ocloo 
Fashion Public Relations 
Fashion I Beauty I Lifestyle I Arts

Monday, 12 February 2018

Collaborate to Stay Relevant in the Fashion Industry

Collaboration as a practice within the fashion industry has become an important value creating concept. Many times we have read and heard people talk about the power of collaboration and how important it is for fashion brands to collaborate yet have wondered how and why one should collaborate.  Most collaborations are business-driven pairings while some are friends teaming up and others are a group of creatives trying to be disruptive to a cause while expanding their reach. 

The fashion industry in Ghana is yet to fully witness exciting collaborations from brands even though we have witnessed a number of them from Designers, Makeup Artists, Creative Directors, Photographers and many other parties with the wedding space leading quite strongly. 

In recent times, we saw collaborations from Vlisco & Co made up of young and emerging designers and creatives such as Ushie, House of Paon and Kelvincent. Another remarkable collaboration was between Papa Oppong & Lawdin and host of other creatives in the For the Birds Presentation.

We also have Cross-brand which looks at collaboration across other industries and these collaborations have become an ideal way to speak to the visual and cultural complexity of today’s consumer who has so much options to choose from. With the fashion industry getting saturated all the time, collaboration could help you build greater ideas, strengthen relationships for future gains, serve as a win-win for all collaborators and also offer opportunities to share ideas and cost.

Builds Greater Ideas
When people come together with different areas of strength and expertise, they are able to create more ideas and work better. Once all parties are on the same page with regards to clear objectives and goals and dedicated towards the ultimate vision of the collaboration, they are most likely to build on initial ideas. That said, ideas can often get bigger than what is initially laid out which means as a collaborator one must be ready to create room for expansion and incorporation of bigger ideas when the need arises in order to achieve a much desired result.

Strengthens Relationship
Collaboration among brands cutting across different areas helps to build mutual relationship for a common goal. The period within which the campaign or project is being worked on provides room to learn from each other and better still build good relationships valuable for the future. When collaborations turn out well, brands are able to enjoy leads to future deals and referrals even when the same parties may not be part of it going forward.

Win-win for Collaborators
When brands collaborate, they transform a creative vision into something tangible and profitable for all parties. It becomes a win-win for each party involved to optimize the opportunity and tap into each other’s respective creative pool, client base and following.  Depending on the overall goal for the collaboration, it could drive sales action, generate buzz or create awareness for the project or campaign.

Exchange of Ideas and Cost Sharing
A lot of times when brands collaborate, there is the exchange of ideas across board which allows for collaborators to share their creativity, emotions and vision while learning from each other. It also offers the benefits of sharing the cost of production on the project or campaign as well as the risks associated with working alone.

For many designers and creatives looking to try out something new, explore collaborating with brands in other areas such as décor, furniture, music, lifestyle, technology etc. That said, ensure that you collaborate with individuals or companies whose brand image and target market matches yours and one you can work with to bring out the concept and vision just the way you intend to or possibly even better.

Faith Senam Ocloo
Fashion Public Relations
Fashion I Beauty I Lifestyle I Arts

Monday, 5 February 2018

Designers Checklist to Maximize Media Coverage

Securing a feature in the media is an important goal to attain. While this is could be an achievement, many designers forget that gaining press attention, precisely positive stories can support your brand growth when strategically prepared for.

There are points to note in order to properly prepare in the event that your PR efforts play out well and your product gets featured and triggers all the good things such as increased in enquiries of your product, more clicks on your website, increase in sales amongst others.

Make sure you have available pieces
I have had an instance where a designer I once worked with to secure a placement have had to lose out on several sales opportunities because she did not have the specific dress which had been featured. So it is advisable to have a good inventory of pieces readily available before the feature even it means having them in different colors as a way of options that way you can cash in on these opportunities when they bring themselves.

Encourage your Employees to share
Employees are ambassadors of any company. When well informed about a company and its operations, they can well serve as good ambassadors. With a major hit in the media for your brand, share the news internally with your team and employees so they can also share with their network. If your employees support in amplifying it on social media, you will be able to maximize the coverage.

Keep your social media accounts active
Social Media continues to play a very significant role for many fashion brands. It could serve as an amplifying platform to reach a wider audience. Make sure that once you secure that media feature, you share them across your social media platforms. Share the links or image of the feature and leverage on that to get more reach.

Keep track of your new clients
Once you begin to hit that point where people are asking for the product that has been featured, you should be able to capture their contact. The reality is that, not all of them will buy immediately. Some may buy immediately and some may do that later. It is advisable to still take the contact details of those who enquire but are unable to purchase immediately as you can follow up with them at a later date. Also for those who may want specifics but you are unable to offer them.

Tap into your client list
Once your article goes live, you could share the good news with your clientele. These are people who have been with your brand and have been following your journey all this while. If they're proud enough to be associated with your brand after a big feature, some may take it upon themselves to share the good news as well among their personal networks.

The bottom line is that, when a positive piece of press gets published, the kind of activities you undertake could make all the difference in simply getting a media hit and turning them into a remarkable funnel to generate sales. Promote and circulate them to as many people as you can.

Faith Senam Ocloo 
Fashion Public Relations 
Fashion I Beauty I Lifestyle I Arts

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

New Year PR Goals for your Fashion Brand

Officially the New Year has kick started and we are all back to work. Many of us have already written down our personal goals for the year as well as our professional goals with the hope that we will begin to do things different and eventually achieve our goals by the end of the year. 

That said, it is important to renew or set new goals and work towards achieving them. Just like last year, new companies in fashion, beauty and lifestyle will emerge and competition will become tougher as we all compete for the same space and clients, It is important to be ready to position your brand advantageously for opportunities that will not just create visibility for your brand but drive sales as well. 

Here are few PR goals to guide you through the year as we set out to grow our business.

Invest in knowing your market
Whether it’s a startup or an established one, you need to keep investing in knowing your market in and out. This way you know how to package your product to meet the demands of your target market. What makes your product or service unique and then craft messages that will convey exactly what you intend communicating. Your messages should be clear and straight forward such that you are able to grab the attention of your target. Improve your customer experience by taking feedback and working on it to maintain your client base as well as get new ones.

Use social media wisely
The use of Social Media is not going away any time yet so make sure to jump on it this time round if you are not already making use of it. It is the best channels to promote your brand to your target market without a third party. You can begin managing it yourself and seek for assistance as your brand grows. It is evident that there are enormous advantages that abound on the internet as a result of technology which plays a major role in helping brands stay relevant all time. There will continue to be an increased usage of these platforms by several other competing brands. Bear in mind that not all the platforms are useful for your brand. Carefully select which best resonates with your product and can better reach your target. Maximize your selected platforms to engage your potential and existing clients to gain some traction for your brand.

Build Mutual Relationships
Relationships are important in business. If you didn’t do that last year, take another look at it this year. Build and maintain relationship with your clients, employees, vendors, stakeholders, influencers etc as they can become very useful to your business at one point in time. Going into 2018, engage them in a series of events that will make them feel important and thereby be willing to support and assist you when there is the need to.

Your brand image is everything
This year, spend time to work on both your personal image and that of your fashion, beauty and lifestyle business. What people say or perceive about your brand is crucial for your brand and as such you need to invest in nurturing a good and positive image both online and offline. Be mindful of the content you put online and how you manage your relationships especially with regards to your product. Manage every issue that arises diligently to avoid it escalating into a crisis.

Be media friendly
Getting media features in which ever form could serve a great deal for your brand in 2018. Pitch your new products, events, initiatives to the right fashion editors and bloggers in order to gain publicity and press coverage for your event. Several mentions in the media can serve as a leverage point to gain and access several new and potential clients. Earn your spot by engaging in activities or initiatives that are newsworthy.

There is no doubt businesses are going to get competitive this year. It will be in your own interest and that of your business to position your brand in a way that will optimize opportunities for growth. With the above in place, I am confident your brand will experience growth both in value and sales. Let’s have a fashionably prosperous New Year.

Photo Credit: Vine Imagery for GAFW2017

Faith Senam Ocloo 
Fashion Public Relations 
Fashion I Beauty I Lifestyle I Arts