Today we’re introducing the story of Ori Lifestyle as part of our “Introducing” series that interviews brands that you have probably not heard of yet. It’s an introduction to the brand story, giving your more insight into the brand. Please meet Ori Lifestyle founder Titilolami Bello.
Can you tell us more about your journey so far and how you got to starting Ori Lifestyle?
In 2015, I was horrified to discover that my hair had been damaged from excessive styling and heat. Not only was it thinning, but I had lost all the hair around my edges (temple). Enough was enough. If I didn’t stop my bad hair care practices, I knew it would get worse, and I would be locked in a vicious circle of camouflaging with the exact hair practices that led to my hair loss. I decided to immerse myself in caring for my own hair.
However, I was not accustomed to wearing my own natural hair – but I was determined, no wigs, no weaves, no extensions, no braids. For those outside of my culture this may be hard to understand. But I belong to that generation that completely subscribed to the beauty standards we saw in magazines, on TV and I believed the erroneous messaging that our hair is hard to manage and so impractical to wear on its own. Worse still, I internalised messaging that our hair is not desirable.
The decision to wear my own hair forced me to confront these biases. And in the three years that followed, I learnt exactly how to care for my Afro, how to grow it longer and I underwent a mindset shift –A lot of people in my circle started asking for advice when they saw the transformation in my hair and this led to my online hair course and the products followed.
What is different about Ori Lifestyle as a brand?
Ori Lifestyle is rooted in education. We adopt a holistic approach that considers our client/customers lifestyle. So, while we sell hair care products we are constantly educating on the role of nutrition, stress and sleep management. We pride ourselves on being ethical and so we don’t partake in fear mongering marketing or make wild claims about hair growth products which simply do not exist nor do we demonise ingredients e.g sulphates, parabens or silicones.
What product would you recommend to customers who haven’t heard about your brand yet…
The Khalila Oil because it is suitable for all hair types, and super effective at locking in moisture, smoothing frizz, it lubricates strands to minimise tangling and prevent split ends and it is not sticky or tacky.
Can you tell us more about the support you give to Path to Possibilities?
We donate 50p from every product purchased from us to the UK registered charity, Path to Possibilities. Path to Possibilities sponsors disadvantaged children through secondary school in Nigeria, and in 2017 it established a resource centre in the slum area of Ikota, Lagos, Nigeria. Children in the slum community have access to the charity’s free library and computer centre. Path to Possibilities is close to my heart because I grew up in poverty in Nigeria.
I was able to obtain my first degree in law and my master’s degree in public policy because my mother benefited from charitable donations in my early years. Ironically, I was expelled from a secondary school in South London, but I credit education for the life I live today.
What is your biggest highlight of your business journey so far?
Launching in both Selfridges and Harrods was surreal and a far cry away from how I grew up.
Any plans for near future?
We are launching two new hair care products this winter and more in 2023.
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