Beauty with purpose. Malée [Pronounced Mah-lay] is Africa's first global luxury fragrance and body care brand.

Malée embodies the ancient African premise of beauty with purpose: healing, wisdom and nature. The circular symbol on Malée’s logo is a reference to Adinkrahene – the primary symbol of the Ghanaian Adinkra – a series of symbols used to tell stories and describe history.

How did it all begin?

In 2009, I moved to South Africa at the height of the recession and couldn’t find employment. I saw the gap in the market for a luxury African brand that had a local impact, but global reach and decided to take the leap. After all, I had nothing to lose.

What sets your business apart?

Our dedication to quality and formulas that work for the customer. We believe that personal success starts with self-care and that luxury should not come at a cost to the environment. And that brands should give back to local communities to help build a better world. Our award-winning brand is inspired by the ancient healing rituals, beauty traditions, and breathtaking landscapes of Africa. Our natural skin care and fragrance range is formulated using powerful active botanicals carefully selected for their proven nourishing, restorative and anti-ageing properties.

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

As a brand we offer luxury and optimal skin health, without compromising on social and ethical values.

Where to next/What is your brand vision?

Continued growth and the ability to continue to positively impact the lives of the children who benefit from our support at Ripple Reading; we are currently available in 8 countries world wide.

Zeze Oriakhi-Sao

Founder of

Malée Natural Science

What do you feel passionate about/what
drives you?

Making a positive difference in the lives of everyone who is a part of our Malée tribe: customers, employees and the children who benefit from product sales.

Share an example of early life that has
shaped you?

I was lucky enough to be able to travel at a young age, the ability to see different cultures and the transformative impact innovation can have on a community has been a big influence.

Highlights of your business journey so far?

Everyday that I can continue to do what I love by serving our customers at Malée, I am humbled by the gift.

Key lessons you have learned along the way?

Build your business on your strengths, be open to learn everyday, a sustainable business takes time to build, be comfortable in your failures, as they are learning experiences.

Best piece of advice you have received?

Rome wasn’t built in a day.

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

Be patient. Build a business because you are passionate about the solution it brings to the customers that you care about.

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

Friends and family.

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

My biggest challenge has been remaining the course of my initial vision, it is so easy to get carried away and want to be everything for everyone.

Why is it important to support women-led business?

I think the next generation of girls need to see the possibilities of their efforts and achievements.

60

Seconds

with

Zeze Oriakhi-Sao

My inspiration is...

My daughter.

My greatest fear is...

Leaving the world without having done enough.

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

Starting Malée.

Guilty pleasure?

Biscuits and cups of tea.

Mantra you live by?

Is this something you believe in? Is this something you stand for?

Female role model?

I have several: female family members, friends, other accomplished business women, mothers, any woman doing her best each day.

Women-led brand you love?

I have several...

Top productivity tool?

Apple Notes.

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Connect with

Malée Natural Science