Pamela McAshietey-Zigah…the ‘magic soap’ maker

The renowned Greek philosopher Plato once said: “Necessity is the mother of invention”. And that is actually true, especially when you read the motivation behind Pamela’s new soaps she has introduced onto the market. After trying several soaps and creams to fight the ‘stubborn’ acne on her face which yielded no results, she decided to make one for herself. The efficacy of the soap has even earned it the nickname ‘magic soap’.

Pamela Anokye McAshietey-Zigah (Mrs.) was born in Drobo, Brong Ahafo Region of Ghana. However, she has spent all her life living in the capital, Accra. She is a product of Accra Girls Senior High School and the Radford University in Accra, from where she graduated with a diploma in Business Administration in 2013. After school she worked with a few corporate organisations.

Her new business of making soaps came from a problem she noticed about her skin. Pamela says she  has very sensitive skin. From her teens her face was spattered with acne. A lot of suggestions were made to her from family and friends on what kind of cream or soap to use to smoothen her skin, but none of them worked.

However, her solution finally came. Last year November, at her grandmother’s funeral, a family member on seeing her asked what kind of treatment she was applying to take care of the acne because it seemed no progress had been seen since the last time they met. Then she gave her shea butter, added some citrus fruits and African black soap to try. Pamela tried it for some time and realised it was a potent mixture.

But as entrepreneurial as she is, she likes to improve on everything that she does and see if it could be a viable business opportunity. So, she read wide about the ingredients, watched videos on YouTube on how to combine them, and tried her hand on the new things she learned. The final product came out well and she shared it among her sisters and friends, who also have the same sensitive skin problem, to try. In a few weeks they all returned with a positive feedback, and that motivated Pamela to produce in commercial quantities.

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Her first production

Even after getting positive feedbacks, Pamela entertained some fears about introducing the product onto the market. She has a strong feeling for integrity and so she was concerned about her credibility should the product fail. But after some friends and family members encouraged her, she decided to try with a few containers.

Pamela started with just twelve containers and advertised them on her social media account. Right there she had 25 orders from her friends, making the 12 produced woefully inadequate. Just three days after selling the first production batch, she started getting positive reviews of the soaps. Within one week of releasing the products she sold 50 containers; and within one month 200 containers were already sold. In fact, some of her clients have even nicknamed the soaps ‘the magic soaps’.

Seeing potential in the business, she registered it in the name Pamcos Enterprise and called her soaps Caramel Mush (for chocolate and dark skin), and Illuminate (for light skin).

Currently, she has agents in Tamale, Kumasi, and Koforidua. She even has an agent in London also.

What makes Pamcos products unique

Pamela says her products differ from others in quality.

“My products are highly organic with no chemicals, and that in itself makes it unique. No one has ever used it and come back complaining of a side-effect.”

Mode of marketing

Pamela describes herself as a social media addict, and so it is only normal that social media would be her main means of advertisement. She has accounts on Facebook and Instagram her clients can make orders from.

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Also, referrals from people who have used the products have been another source of advertising for her.

Vision

Pamcos Enterprise wants to move from being a cottage industry to a global player whereby she can employ many people.

Challenges

As expected, her main challenge in this business is financial. For someone who started her business with the little savings she had and with no support from any financial institution, she must still rely on whatever money she makes from her business to expand. So, even though she has demand for her products, she lacks the capacity to produce and meet it.

Economic empowerment of women

Pamela thinks the economic empowerment of women in todays’ modern world is so essential to the development of every economy. So, women should be encouraged to venture into entrepreneurship and offered the needed help to thrive.

How education has helped

As someone who has a diploma in Chartered Marketing, she has been trained how to deal with clients ethically. She also makes sure her products are well-branded to appeal to clients.

How government can support

Pamela feels there should be a deliberate policy tailored to helping women startups so that it will encourage and help women who venture into entrepreneurship.

Advice

“I would advise my fellow young entrepreneurs not to yield to fear of failure and kill their dreams. Try, and if you fail it will give you an idea how to succeed the next time. Value little beginnings and don’t focus on making huge profits at the start of the business.”

Contact her on: 026 789 4373

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