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“Beauty rituals for modern warrior Queens rooted in ancient botanical heritage and wisdom"

How did it all begin?

I struggled to find skincare that suited my maturing and darker skin tone, nothing ever satisfactorily delivered the level of purity, nourishment, smoothing and rejuvenation that I was looking for. Inspired by my great grandfather who was a botanist at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, I decided to look to plants and traditional skin healing ingredients for solutions. Pursuing my love for plants and flowers, I set up my own floristry business in Lagos and then completed a Diploma in Organic and Natural Skincare Formulation. Armed with knowledge and passion for all things botanical, I have developed each formula myself over 2 years, working with the highest quality whole plant oils and extracts that contain the most dense potency of nutrients possible.

What sets your business apart?

– We are rooted in traditional African and British holistic skincare practices and botanical wisdom, these powerful natural products have spent 2 years in research and development, combining ancient skincare rituals with modern, natural skincare science.
– The formulas are created using a wide spectrum of wild harvested oils and plant-actives, in optimal quantities and ratios, with natural preservatives for maximised purity and efficacy. All ingredients are sustainably sourced and organic where possible, from African and British farms.
– All three products in the collection are designed to work synergistically to multitask on a wide range of skin concerns.
– Sustainability is at our core, using fully recyclable and biodegradable materials in our packaging.

What is the concept behind your business or the problem you’re solving?

EKÓ botancals is created to simplify your beauty rituals and to elevate the process of looking after yourself each day. The ingredients work to enhance not just the body but the mind and soul. All three products in the collection, Amina Ritual Cleansing Oil, Nefertiti Radiance Botanical Serum and Makeda Radiance Botanical Oil, are are designed to work synergistically to multitask on a wide range of skin concerns and to prevent signs of premature ageing; fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, dehydration, enlarged pores and acne.

Where to next/What is your brand vision?

We are building better and stronger, we launched in March 2022. Our next step will be to expand into retailers and gradually build the brand offering.

Apinke Efiong

Founder of


What do you feel passionate about/what drives you?

I have always been passionate about botanicals, as a child I was curious about the shapes of leaves, drawn to the scent and colour of different tropical flowers. Today, I love to see women empowering each other and that’s closely linked to the ethos of EKÓ Botanicals.

Share an example of early life that has shaped you?

I grew up in Lagos, a tropical country and loved spending time outdoors in the warm sunshine. My early memories of collecting flowers from vibrant hibiscus or jasmine bushes on my way to school as a child remain with me today. Though I initially worked in investment banking for over a decade, I found my way back to my first passion for all things botanical.

Highlights of your business journey so far?

Seeing the vision become a reality, hearing the lovely reviews from real people, the community of people I have met along the way. Receiving a Pure Beauty Finalist Award for our Nefertiti Radiance Serum just a few months after launching in March 2022.

Key lessons you have learned along the way?

Keep going, believe in yourself.

Best piece of advice you have received?

Take opportunities.

Advice to an aspiring entrepreneur or woman just starting her career?

Find a great mentor.

What funding route have you chosen for your business and why?

Self funded to date, this will change as we grow.

Some of the challenges you have faced and how you overcame them?

So many, at the beginning prior to launching there just seemed like so many things needed to be done. Having clear plans and priorities and working with a team of experts with good references.

Why is it important to support women-led business?

There is an African proverb that says “If you want to go fast go alone, if want to go FAR go together”. We can achieve so much more by lifting each other up and supporting other women.




Apinke Efiong

My inspiration is...

my great grandfather who was a botanist at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

My greatest fear is...


The most courageous thing I’ve ever done is...

climbing to the top of a hill as a teenager (without looking down though).

Guilty pleasure?


Mantra you live by?

run your own race.

Female role model?

my beautiful mother.

Women-led brand you love?

Deliciously Ella.

Top productivity tool?

to do list on MSN.

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