Born to a former Chief Justice of the Republic of Ghana, it is surprising how she ended up selling shea butter (‘Nkuto’) instead of venturing into the highly sought-after legal profession.
Ms Violet Fredericka Tsotsoo Padi, affectionately called Tsotsoo or Violet by her peers, is a 30-year-old vibrant, smart, good-looking lady with oratory skills.
In 2007, in South Africa, she found herself itching uncontrollably one morning for no apparent reason. And when all remedies proved futile, she reached out to her mother, who gave her a consignment of shea butter to use, and to her surprise that was all she needed.
Violet transforms shea butter into world class brand
Though she was grateful that her problem had been solved by the shea butter, she did not like the smell of it and was sure her friends did not like it either, which she found embarrassing.
As time went on, she remembered how her mother would mix the ‘nkuto’ with eucalyptus oil and use it on her when she had a cold and how the oil changed the smell of the raw shea butter.
When she returned to Ghana, she started working on making the shea butter smell better by mixing it with any essential oil her mother had at home at the time. Little did she know that this would eventually become her source of income.
All through her university years, Violet enjoyed her shea butter along with complements on her well-hydrated and clear skin despite the harsh Swiss winter.
About seven years later, she and her family had become used to using the homemade essential oil-infused shea butter privately, until an aunt of hers based in Sweden mentioned that she had a good product that she should consider making a business out of.
At this point, Violet was a Meetings & Events Executive at a 5-Star hotel in Accra working long hours and almost every day of the week in some cases, and was thinking how she would manage both activities.
Her aunt gave her a bunch of orders from some students who had heard about the special shea butter after they visited Ghana and were eager to try it. This was where her business then called ‘Sisal Shea’ was incubated.
Once she was convinced that the shea butter business was a good idea, Violet decided not to make ordinary shea butter. She researched the benefits of many organic and essential oils to ensure each product she made would be beneficial to the user.
In 2018, she resigned from her position at the hotel and started an events management company with her cousin while she “half-heartedly” took shea butter orders from time to time.
The COVID-19 pandemic in 2019 came with its challenges and adverse impact on the events industry. Violet, a single mother with two children at the time, decided to put her heart and soul into the business now called ‘Shea Sentials Gh’ to make it the most sought-after skin product.
The young enterpreneur started by making various body butter [cream] options but having a daughter who seemed to struggle with hair growth, she began to delve into hair products.
Today, Shea Sentials Ghana has Body Butters, Hair Products, African Black Soap Paste, Face Products, Body Scrubs, a kids’ line and soon to start a complete product line for men.
Violet Fredericka Tsotsoo Padi
Ms Padi was born in Accra to her Ladyship Justice Sophia Akuffo (Rtd) and Mr Fred Sam Nii Padi (deceased). She grew up as an only child living with her mother who was her sole caregiver and cheerleader.
Coming from a well educated background, she attended many schools including the British School of Lome. She completed her high school at Roedean School for Girls in South Africa, and finally obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree (Hons) in Events Management from The Swiss Hotel Management School, Leysin, Switzerland and Derby University (England) in 2013.
Violet believes everyone who wants to look and feel good with their skin and hair should have access to organic, chemical-free skin and hair care products that would enhance their beauty and self-esteem.
At the moment, she makes each product herself from production to packaging. In the long term, she sees her products becoming the most sought-after brand that is “trusted to give exactly what it says it does,” and available on every shelf globally.
As lively as she is, she enjoys trying out new remedies and looks forward to taking dermatology courses to broaden her knowledge. Until then, she remains a hardworking mother, daughter, Events Manager, and ‘Nkuto’ seller.