18 May The Healthy Hair Regimen Objective
Grace Cleland, an Ashesi University alumna and AVI fellow founded Natural Space because she came to be aware of “the struggles that come with having afro-textured hair”, setting out to provide the “right hair products and regimen in order to boost the confidence of natural hair owners”.
The company simply seeks to solve the struggles and issues that arise with maintaining and caring for natural hair through a mobile hair diagnostic service that works to provide customers with the right hair regimen, made up entirely of organic products. Their focus on organic rather than chemically processed products works to achieve their aim of exacting positive impact on the world. I.e. reducing the effect of harmful chemicals on the human body and our natural environs.
“I have found myself thinking that I could have done something more sophisticated than washing and ironing clothes. Another challenge that overwhelms me is how best I can empower my workers. I see their contributions and their daily sacrifices and I want to help make their lives more comfortable.”
In the future, the young entrepreneur hopes to “invest more in automation and water management.” “I joined the AVI so that I could have a blueprint for my business in order to be able to replicate” business ideas “wherever and whenever”.
In Grace’s own words:
Grace describes her mentor Lady May Hagan as “helpful and nice” and admits that though she has a busy schedule, especially taking into account the time difference, Lady May “always makes sure to make” time to give her “feedback and advice.”
“My mentor makes a great impact. She’s given us ideas on how to keep loyal customers, branding and social media marketing as well as making us work on natural hair service certification.”
Apart from running a Connector Agency, The R’ajwa Company that connects brands and individuals in Ghana, USA and Japan and an Experience Curation Agency, the R’ajwa Experience where she curated the trips of Conan O’brien, Solange Knowles, Eva Marcille , Lance Gross etc. to Ghana. Lady May also recently founded an Upskilling Community of Gen Zs in Ghana, The R’ajwa Army, with the goal of providing opportunities for GenZs in Ghana that GenZs in other parts of the world enjoy.
The pair are working towards their collective goals for Natural Space. First by streamlining Grace’s activities, after which they intend on focusing on marketing, branding and personal development. Lady May believes that Grace has a lot of potential and is offering a “unique service”, which will do well in the “real business world”, especially if she tightens up her online as well as social media presence, a requirement for helping her on her journey to scaling up.
Lady May enjoys her partnership with Grace, noting that:
“Grace is great. I am literally watching an entrepreneur develop before my eyes. When we started on our journey together a few months ago, I believe Natural Space was more of a “school project”.
However, as time has gone on and over our discussions, Grace started to iron out all the kinks and now she is seeing it as the huge business that it has the potential to be.
The mentor is “personally very passionate about the advancement of Gen Zs, especially in Africa and even more especially in Ghana.” She mentors “other young people in Ghana ( outside of AVI)” and currently runs “a startup whose goal is to upskill Gen Zs in Ghana.”
“My advice for all the mentees in the programme is that they really use these tools in the real world after the AVI security blanket is taken off because AVI has literally given them all the tools to succeed through all the phases of their businesses” the mentor stated.