What inspired you to start your business?
My story is one of resilience and tenacity. I was in my final year of law school when, as a thunderstorm erupting from a clear summer day, I received the cancer bombshell. Harsh treatments followed shortly. It weakened me and tried to rain on my parade. So, I sought alternative ways to reclaim my energy and found it in an unexpected care package from my parents who live in Nigeria: A plant called Moringa Oleifera. I emerged from this experience with a new resolve and sense of purpose: To provide those who need it with access to the highest quality, affordable and reliable Moringa powder now expanded to include skincare products. This is the Miracle In The Green story in a nutshell; founded to spread wellness to people’s lives in the same way that Moringa brought wellness to mine.
What advice would you give to other women entrepreneurs?
Whatever you do, do not give up. Take the process a step at a time. Believe in your why. Allow the itch which led you to start your business to guide you. The road to success is long and winding, so brace yourself. Believe in yourself. Keep learning. Surround yourself with people who lift you up and run from those who discourage you. Do not be afraid to fail. Embrace failure and learn from it. Celebrate the small wins, have the courage to keep going when all else suggest otherwise. Stay resilient and keep the faith.
What three traits define you?
Courage to undertake a task which scares the bejesus out of me, for courage is not the absence of fear. The Resilience to spring back up from adversity with a vision to make a difference. Faith, definitely — defined as the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Courage and Faith keep me on my feet. When I stumble or fall, Resilience is always around the corner to pick me back up.
How has being a WBENC-Certified WBE helped your business?
The process of getting certified as a Women-Owned Business takes ‘grit and tenacity,’ as rightly reported by Forbes, but the benefits are plenty. WBENC opens doors - from networking events and increased visibility to access to mentors. Last year, Miracle In The Green was one of only 11 businesses selected out of 2,000 applicants to feature in its Women Owned Pop-Up Shop during the WBENC National Conference & Business Fair, the largest conference of its kind for women business owners in the U.S. As a certified WBE, we were able to attend thought-provoking lectures and presentations from today’s thought leaders and engaged in panel discussions. The highlight of the day was being selected by Walmart to attend the 1:1 MatchMaker event. It is a grueling process to get WBENC-Certified, but it is well worth it.
What do you see as the coolest or most important trend in your industry?
The world is going natural. When I started in 2010, many people had never heard of the Moringa plant. Toxic-free skincare was not popular. Now, it is not as hard to find. Millennials are much wiser and do not rely so much on meds but strive to live healthier lives and use naturally-derived products with their family.
What are the biggest obstacles you see for young female entrepreneurs?
Women-led companies are on the rise, but they still attract only 2% of all venture funding in the U.S. and a good chunk of that 2% is allocated to women-run tech companies which leaves the rest of us scrambling. Also, young female entrepreneurs struggle to be taken seriously and find that their point of view is minimized or disregarded. With no support system, it becomes a lonely road to travel. As a femme-preneur, this challenge was at the forefront of the entrepreneurial grind. I have had to rely on my God-given instincts and entrepreneurial communities such as WBENC where there is a sharing of knowledge and ideas to forge me on.
What do you love about being a business owner?
Being an entrepreneur has made me a better person. Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Women Initiative espouses that “empowered women lift their entire communities.” As a business owner, I am constantly thinking of ways in which my business can impact people positively. Our mission remains; to use our products in empowering women and children, to pave the way for a healthier, happier future.
Lockdown orders following the COVID-19 pandemic destabilized many villagers in Nigeria who rely on daily sales from staples hawked on the streets to feed their families. The current climate left them stranded and hungry with no alternative means for the sustenance of their families. We stepped in to help. Locally, we supplied Mother’s Day treats to nurses on the frontlines working countless hours and putting their lives at risk while caring for their children and family members. This is what keeps me up at night. Constantly thinking of how to grow Miracle In The Green in order for it to make the greatest impact.
How do you define success?
In my humble opinion, success does not beget happiness, happiness begets success. When one is happy with one’s life accomplishments and one is intrinsically motivated by the work they do, it is success. I will define success as a series of small wins with no definite end. The power of progress is fundamental to human nature. So, you find that people whom society has labeled as successful may be striving to get to their next level of success. There is no end to success. When you do what you do with passion and love and it brings you joy, that is success.
What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?
Jim Rohn states, “Don’t wish that things were easier, wish you were better.” That quote revolutionized my whole approach to life. Suddenly, it dawned on me that my success doesn’t hinge on my circumstances or life’s curve balls, but rather on my outlook on life and my willingness to navigate through life with the lens on myself. Only then, did I truly get on the success path.
What’s your favorite career moment?
It feels euphoric when sales proceeds from Miracle In The Green enable us to perform acts of kindness. We have empowered women and children in the U.S., Nigeria, and Kenya. These projects empower the recipient to know they are loved and someone was thinking about them. This is where the rubber meets the road in our strategy to empower women and children and it is gratifying to see it happening.
What are you reading or listening to now? (Book, blog, magazine, podcast, etc.)
Bill Clinton said, “A leader never stops learning, never stops teaching, never stops looking to the future.” That is my philosophy in a nutshell. This week, I am reading Alastair Campbell’s “Winners and How They Succeed.” I am so grateful to have come across this engaging piece because it provides an insight into the lives of these accomplished people and what makes them tick. I’m also re-reading Chimamanda’s Half of a Yellow Sun for the gazillionth time. She writes in a way that makes me fall in love with the English language all over again. I also indulge in daily Scripture reading, to keep me centered and empowered.
How do you unwind after a long workday?
Nothing fades my stress more than getting my blood pumping. I love to go for a quick run first, followed by a warm bath which ends up with me lathering my body with our Miracle In The Green Moringa Peppermint Body Butter. The menthol component of peppermint causes muscles to relax, releasing tension and anxiety. Then, l wrap it up by listening to an inspiring message or reading something new while sitting on my silk bed sheets with propped up pillows. There is something about the feeling of silk that is so soothing. I am usually sipping on a warm cup of Moringa tea with lemon at this point. The vitamins and minerals loaded in Moringa combine to help me slip into slumber at night, and in turn leave me energized to face the day.
What do you like about your workspace?
My goal was to create an environment that positively impacts my creativity because the more you surround yourself with what you love, the more time you’ll want to spend in the space. I love the neutral white laced with pops of color which give the space character. Cut out pictures of my kids, pictures they have painted of me and for me over the years and of course, my vision board are all central to the design. They remind me of my ‘Why.’ My workspace fuels me to keep learning and achieving. A sweet place to be while grinding and sometimes burning the midnight oil, not always, as I love my sleep. Aside from all the stylish elements, I like my framed pin-up area which keeps me visually thinking and the best part is the natural light which gives me life, literally.
Fill in the blank:
When I face a challenge, I... close my eyes for a moment and visualize my expected outcome, then I stay there. What you focus on, grows. I also remember who and whose I am, then the challenge suddenly pales by comparison.
If I could go back in time, I would tell myself… child, be anxious for nothing; it’s going to be just fine.
The one thing I couldn’t live without is… shoulders of giants who have gone before me. Those who have blazed the trail and forged a path so that my walk and work is lighter.
By this time next year, I will be… better.
To get my creative juices flowing, I… need to sit in stillness, enough to hear my head.
miracle in the green
Miracle in the Green is an Africa-inspired health food and skin-care brand. They source the purest Moringa in the market. Miracle In The Green products are USDA certified organic, made to exacting standards, tested and put through rigorous quality controls. Every batch undergoes in-depth microbial analysis to guarantee the highest possible quality. They use potent oil from Moringa seeds to make skincare ranging from baby products, beauty, household products.