Winifred Awa: Changing the Conversation in the Beauty Industry

Winifred Awa is the CEO and Founder of Antidote Street, a global beauty marketplace for multi-cultural women
Zeze Oriaikhi-Sao and Winifred Awa

Winifred Awa is the CEO and Founder of Antidote Street, a global beauty marketplace for multi-cultural women. She talks to Zeze about the relationship women of color have with their hair. Along the way, she dives into her personal history and discovering her natural hair. Winifred discusses how Antidote Street is bringing the salon experience for women of color into the modern era.

Winnie didn’t start in the beauty industry. She originally was an analyst with IBM Business Consulting Services. She stepped into the industry working with Net-a-Porter as a Strategic Program Manager. Winifred Awa discusses the pivot and the need for the work of her hands to have a real impact. Learn about the beginnings of Antidote Street and advocating for her business.

In this episode with Winifred Awa, we talk about:

  • 00:00: Introduction of Winifred Awa
  • 2:13: Winifred’s impetus for starting her business Antidote Street and discovering her natural hair
  • 4:43: Women’s relationship with hair, especially as a woman of color
  • 7:28: The frustration of having people not knowing what they’re doing, and how understanding allows you to make decisions from a place of power
  • 11:01: Bringing the experience for women of color into the 21st century with excellent formulation and packaging
  • 14:01: The ritual of hair
  • 15:05: How Winifred ended up studying management technology and a career in management consultancy
  • 21:15: Pivoting into e-commerce working with brands like Net-a-Porter
  • 25:50: Putting out a salon manifesto and putting the fashion industry to task. Inviting people to have a conversation about the industry
  • 29:45: About the five-point manifesto and staying accountable
  • 31:57: Tapping into our experiences as third culture kids
  • 33:24:  Realizing she wanted the work of her hands to have an impact
  • 36:22: The beginnings of Antidote Street, the hair lab, and advocating for the right location.
  • 40:42: Diving into creating a fashion label andVerv alongside the hair industry; creating black vintage glamour; being at London Fashion Week’s Discovery Lab

Mentioned Resources

About Zeze Oriaikhi-Sao

Zeze Oriaikhi-Sao attended Grenoble Ecole De Management where she received a Master’s in International Business. She also holds a Bsc (Hons) in Informatics. She is mother, an international and entrepreneurial leader. The Founder and Managing director of Malée Natural Science; Africa’s 1st global luxury fragrance and body care brand operating across two continents with products available in 9 countries in wholesale, B2B, Hospitality, E-commerce and travel retail. An advisory board member and Program director at INNOCOS, the world beauty innovations summit as well as a consultant and international speaker and beauty industry expert on the luxury beauty and cosmetics industry, sustainability practices, innovation, disruption, trends and brand heritage.

Featured in international TV and Media publications such as CNN, The Telegraph, Grazia, ELLE Magazine, Glamour, Oprah Magazine and Atlanta Post. She is a pioneer of Female owned luxury business in Africa and is passionate about innovation. Zeze is the host of the pioneering podcast Third Culture Africans. She shares entrepreneurial tips and more on her personal website Zezeonline.com