In line with Presspeep’s Discover and Celebrate agenda, we chanced on this promising lady by name Genevieve Donkor, whom we learn is the CEO of two palmy brands, Genny’s Kitchen and Lady Gee Cosmetics.
After reading few lines of her journey as an emerging brand on her Facebook wall, we contacted her, and today, ask her to tell the world, her story thus far. Just relax and read the story of Genevieve Donkor and how she transformed her scummy circumstance, into a success story.
I’m the last out of 4 siblings and lost my parents when I was 7 years old. Let’s just say, as a young lady growing up without parents is the toughest thing in life.
Presspeep.com: You look so nice one may take you for someone who has never hustled before or was born into an affluent home.
(Giggles) But I spent all my teenage years at a village in Suhum with my Aunty, who had 5 children and 4 grandchildren. We all lived in a one bedroom apartment. So you can imagine the stress and the overcrowded situation.
But the best part of living in the village is, I was taught how to cook very well, act like a lady and know how to farm. So after 10 years of living in the village, I came back to Accra to continue my secondary education (Benkum Secondary School).
The whole 3 years in school, I had only one visit, which was my elder brother. It’s as if they threw me inside the school and left me there. My friends always laughed at me that I’m a ghost since nobody visits me. But fast forward after school, I decided to leave with my big sister (Ewurama) who was then married with a kid.
She was my everything – my mum, my friend and my rock. But later, rent was due and times were hard, so I had to go live with another Aunty in Nungua for a year, then I later moved to live with my big brother.
I then decided to gather some salary to rent my first apartment (single room with porch) but after 3 years of working in a political environment, I decided to quit and rather do a talk show with my friend, because I’ve always had a passion for presenting.
We spent all our savings to shoot the pilot for the show, but it never came on TV. Fast forward to 2015, I left to rent my second apartment in West Legon (1 bed room) and I started making body lotion which I use myself.
But my big sister, Ewurama, told me to make that a career and produce in large quantities to sell, because my lotion was very good. So I had a friend who gave me some money to start, but with less knowledge on how to preserve large quantities of creams and how to market them.
All the lotions I produced were stuck in my room and got spoilt within two months. I cried my eye balls out for a long time. I was so mad at the world and decided not to do nothing the entire year.
Meanwhile, my sister kept motivating me day and night to never give up on the cream production because she believes with a little more effort I can make it. So I spent months doing a lot of research on cream productions, ingredients and marketing.
But just as I was all set and ready to go, I lost my sister to a car accident. I went totally insane the day I heard the news. She left 2 kids behind and I promised her that I will forever take care of them.
Well after my sister’s death, my rent was due, but I had a little money saved to renew my rent and I also wanted to start my business again. Unfortunately after weeks of searching and begging, I couldn’t get anyone to help me financially to start my business.
So I took a bold risk and took GHC 800 from my rent money to start my cream. I was very scared but I had no option. I was able to make only 12 bottles of lotion and soaps.
By this time, I had faith in everything I was doing. So I then selected a fancy name for my products (Slay Queens Beauty Products), did some photo shoot in my corridor for the labels and created a Facebook account for my business.
With a little boost advertisement, I had calls all over the country seeking for my products. I then started working hard and saving big time because the money was coming. I later did a professional photo shoot and changed my entire branding.
I also got enough money to rent a 3 bed room house to be able to do massive production, since the orders were coming in every minute. In 4 months, I was able to save enough money to rent a big shop and fill in with stocks.
I then employed 3 ladies for delivery and shop attendants’ positions. Meanwhile, I developed 4 different products aside the body lotion & bathing soap. I even had a set for bridals and for special occasions, individuals started selling my products at various regions in Ghana and I also started selling worldwide.
So now that I’m successful with my skin care line, I decided to open my second product line – which is catering, Genny’s Kitchen, because I’ve always had passion for cooking.
Luckily, I was able to get a space right opposite my shop to mount my catering utensils and equipment’s, which is great for me – so I can monitor both businesses. I employed 3 ladies for the catering.
But I always checked on them and supervised till they were able to acquire my skill of cooking. We cook everyday as food vending and also do deliveries and events. I thank God for his strength and how far he has brought me.
So for my official one year anniversary I decided to do some charity work at Village of Home at Gomoa Fetteh to help the less fortunate ones in society.
Presspeep.com: Your last words……
So in conclusion, I will urge young people to never ever give up on their dreams and shouldn’t always wait for a huge door of opportunities to open. Just pray and take some risks, because with hard work and determination, it will definitely pay off and the rest will be history.