Opening a business as a woman wasn’t easy. But Arielle Akanbi made it possible with AKA Skincare. Let’s dive into her diverse supplier story and how becoming EDC certified impacts her business.
From A Consumer To A Diverse Supplier
As you may know, the skincare industry has been steadily climbing with no sign of slowing down anytime soon. When considering a personal care product to buy, women often have no clue what ingredients they’re supposed to use.
Arielle Akanbi, the owner of AKA Skincare, was in the same boat where she struggled to find the right product with the right ingredients for her sensitive skin. Majored in biology, Arielle quickly realized her knowledge back in college came in handy. After doing research and constantly working on her skin, AKA Skincare was born.
“My idea for this business was all about clean. The term “clean” means clean enough. We don’t want to use greenwashing in our brand,” Arielle said.
Go Above And Beyond The Skincare Brand
Arielle’s business goal is to build AKA Skincare as a trusted & transparent brand with premium ingredients by clarifying and educating people on the benefit of each ingredient included in their product. That’s a reason why AKA Skincare currently released only one product, instead of launching many products without carefully taking into consideration customer needs and product quality.
She’s also building a community where everyone openly shares knowledge related to skincare and learns from each other – what works and not works for each skin type.
The Impact of Being Diverse Certified
As a first-generation immigrant, Arielle didn’t have a lot of financial support or a huge investment to start her business. To her, becoming diverse certified is a way to open up doors for her business to scale up.
“Being able to get diversity certification is super helpful for small businesses to be eligible to apply for certain loans as well as government programs where companies can look for specific diversity-owned businesses,” Arielle said.
“I’m Impressed By The EDC Process”
As one of the first businesses to become Enhanced Digital Certification® (EDC) certified, Arielle was surprised by how fast and easy the EDC certification process is.
“I’m impressed by the process that is a lot easier and faster than other diverse supplier certification agencies. I also like the fact that buyers can see my certification within their portal, which I think it’s a huge benefit,” Arielle said.
Since using SupplierGATEWAY’s supplier premium plan, she can also check who sees her business profile, how many times that her business shows up on the buyer’s search, etc.
Advice To Other Future and Current Diverse Businesses
“The way you represent your business is critical and also not afraid of mentioning your minority-owned business status. Some people still don’t want to mention that, but I think it’s considered a strength. Many businesses are constantly looking for purchasing from small and minority businesses, especially in the country’s current political climate.” Arielle mentioned. “Besides, making sure you regularly check in on your online platforms such as SupplierGATEWAY’s platform and try to optimize it as much as possible.”
To learn more about EDC, please visit our website.