I would also like to see a meaningful change in media and the advertising industry’s portrayal of women. For decades, covers of magazines have been dominated by young models in their teens and early twenties who are super thin and mostly Caucasian. We need to see much more diverse faces, colors, and shapes on magazine covers and editorials. The last thing would be for the industry to stop creating highly unachievable aesthetics that are damaging to young girls. Models’ faces and bodies are photoshopped to look perfect, thinner, and overall, more unrealistic all the time. This may not faze me as a grown woman, but it is dangerous for young impressionable girls who are measuring themselves to impossible standards. All of us can work on this as there is a lot of room for improvement.
As a part of our series about “Five Things You Need To Know To Succeed In The Modern Beauty Industry”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Chinecherem Eze.
Chinecherem Eze is an entrepreneur, investor, and a Film Producer. She is the Founder and CEO of Hissbox, a fast-growing film distribution, app and streaming service and she also founded Adaora.com a Beauty-niche multi-vendor online marketplace alongside retail beauty franchises across the nation.
Eze was recognized and honored with the Outstanding Professional of the Year Award by the United States Congresswoman Karen Bass for her outstanding achievements in business having moved to the United States as a 20 year old immigrant from Nigeria, and within 3 years of founding her company Adaora became a household name with franchise locations across various parts of the country while also serving as a reservist with the United States Army.
Chinecherem constantly seeks innovative ways to give back to her community through mobilizations, direct service, donations, and more. She is transforming lives of young people by helping them clearly define their lives and live their purpose while maximizing their personal and professional potentials. She has explored new frontiers in Hollywood as she is currently working on producing her second feature film which she also stars in. This is in addition to many short films and TV shows which she has produced and starred in. Among many other appearances, Chinecherem was featured on Ellen DeGeneres Game of Games Season 1 on NBC.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I cannot really talk about myself without talking about my nationality, where I was raised as it is a major contributing factor to who I am today. I was born and raised in a beautiful town Nsukka, a city in Enugu State Nigeria with 4 siblings and disciplinarian parents who thought me to never settle for less but to reach for the whole universe.
I relocated to the United States in 2013, first for studies after which she dived into business. Name any business sector in this life you can think of, I have literally dived into it. I believe that we can be anything we want, I am unstoppable.
While I was in college, I was in search of a business that I would do that would enable me pay for school and my daily expenses. I looked around me in search of a basic need that has a viable solution and this how I thought of hair and beauty business. I started selling at home first then online and finally opened my first Brick and Mortar in 2016 on Crenshaw and Adams Blvd Los Angeles, California which today is known as Adaora Beauty a subsidiary of Adaora Inc.
Business excites me, it is a hobby for me, I will literally jump from a deep sleep at the mention of “let’s talk business.” That is how much I love what I do.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
There have been a lot of interesting things and stories that has happened throughout my journey in business but one major one that I would share is the intercourse. I have experienced throughout my journey. Times when I constantly get asked, which man is funding your business, or are you married? Your husband must be extraordinarily rich etc. The stereotype that a man must be behind a woman’s success or finances is sickening but hey, that’s the world we live in.
Are you able to identify a “tipping point” in your career when you started to see success? Did you start doing anything different? Are there takeaways or lessons that others can learn from that?
I realized two things early on, 80% of beauty products and popular beauty brandsout there are owned or controlled by men. The CEO jobs, marketing jobs you name it, in this industry they control it. It is already a common knowledge that men are paid higher than women in the same sector, as if that is not enough, they still make it harder for us, but we are getting there. Knowing all of these, I looked beyond the statistics and refused for them to define me or my success, I pushed and reached for the stars and gradually things started falling into place with the start of my beauty store franchises. Feeling empowered, I then created a space in Adaora.com by women and for women. That does not mean that men cannot shop on Adaora.com. We have great products for men too. But it is about women taking up space and taking a slice of the pie. The second thing that occurred to me was that most brands and businesses catering to ethnic hair and skin were not produced by people of color. As an African in America, I wanted to bring my years of experience and expertise and create a space that was fully devoted to the specific needs and wants of people of color.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person to whom you are grateful who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
You are right, in this journey to success people have been a part of my success story and it will be prideful for me not to acknowledge them. My very first customers, the people that stuck by me and constantly shared or helped promote my stores both on social media and word of mouth. Another gratitude goes to my amazing staff, especially the ones that started out with me when we were nothing.
These people played a key role in Adaora and my success and I am grateful to God for bringing them to me when I needed help.
Ok super. Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. The global beauty industry today has grown to more than a half a trillion-dollar business. Can you tell us about the innovations that you are bringing to the industry? How do you think that will help people?
Adaora.com came to me as I was constantly trying to figure out what to do to help small business owners that reached out to our Adaora Beauty local stores daily asking us to carry their products. 9 out of 10 their products are not really known in the market so I was always caught up in between saying “I’m sorry we don’t think we can carry your products” to “we would really love to but…” I got tired of constantly saying those words and one day, I said to myself why not create a bigger platform where this small business owners or brands can list their products and using my brands influence, we can market it for them, in this way they don’t just rely on our limited local customer base but now they can even reach a wider range of audience and even go international.
Can you share 3 things that most excite you about the modern beauty industry?
Innovation, acceptance, and inclusion.
Can you share 3 things that most concern you about the industry? If you had the ability to implement 3 ways to improve the industry, what would you suggest?
My wish is for more women, especially for women of color to create brands and companies that cater to our specific needs. The difference between Adaora and other similar e-commerce platforms out there is our niche. The fact that we are beauty-niche makes a lot of difference. We carry a lot of popular products for women of color who may not find them in other places.
I would also like to see a meaningful change in media and the advertising industry’s portrayal of women. For decades, covers of magazines have been dominated by young models in their teens and early twenties who are super thin and mostly Caucasian. We need to see much more diverse faces, colors, and shapes on magazine covers and editorials.
The last thing would be for the industry to stop creating highly unachievable aesthetics that are damaging to young girls. Models’ faces and bodies are photoshopped to look perfect, thinner, and overall, more unrealistic all the time. This may not faze me as a grown woman, but it is dangerous for young impressionable girls who are measuring themselves to impossible standards. All of us can work on this as there is a lot of room for improvement.
You are an expert about beauty. Can you share a few ideas that anyone can use “to feel beautiful”?
I drink water more than I eat lol, so drinking water is my very first beauty habit, but I also exfoliate and moisturize my hair and skin as they both need all the moisture it can get.
For my hair, I use LA Braid and for my makeup, skin, or hair care products, I use FEC.
Drinks lots of water, sleep between 7–9 hours a night, wear sunscreen, and have lots of laughs.
Here is the main question for our discussion. Based on your experience and success, Can you please share “Five Things You Need To Know To Succeed In The Modern Beauty Industry”. Please share a story or an example, for each.
Be yourself. So many times people get lost trying to follow others standards of beauty or even success but when you know what works for you in business stick with it, be it in the beauty industry or any industry you will see it work wonders.
Be Spontaneous and not rigid. Modern beauty industry is evolving and so should you be open to the flow of innovation and technology.
Be Creative, in the modern beauty industry creativity will help you stand out. Whether it is by creating great contents for your Youtube channel or
Be confident, believe in yourself and do not let anyone tell you can’t just because they can’t.
Trust the process, everything in life takes time and so does business. It is not a night day job. I remember a time in my business when I thought nothing fruitful was going to come out my funding and sweat but here, I am today blooming so believe me when I say trust the process. This things are not magic; it takes consistency and smart work to get sustainable results.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Giving back and sharing one’s good fortune is important. Shopping on Adaora.com supports a great cause and helps a lot of people. A portion of the proceeds benefits the Adaora Foundation, founded in 2015. The foundation donates wigs, makeup, and other essential beauty products to victims (heroes) of unforeseen circumstances. Beneficiaries include cancer survivors, burn survivors, and accident survivors who lost their hair or sustained damage to their face due to circumstances beyond their control.
It is particularly important for us to give back to the community by helping those who have suffered or have been victimized for whatever reason but unable to afford much needed supplies. Adaora Foundation is committed to helping as many people as possible.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
You can be anything you desire. Growing up with this quote in my head helped me become unstoppable especially when I realized that the only thing that can stop me from being who God has destined me to be is ME.
How can our readers follow you online?
Adaora Instagram: @adaora.com_
Adaora Facebook: Adaora.comofficial
Chinecherem Eze Instagram: @chinecheremeze
Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.