In my husband’s words: Magatte Wade spent many months working with a perfumer in Grasse to develop each of Tiossan’s four fragrances. They would spend hours on the phone talking about the characteristics of the fragrances, then he would develop several variants, then they’d go back and forth again a few times. Then once she integrated the fragrances into her products, then they had to be refined yet again based on the interactions with the products themselves.
For the past five years I have spent hundreds of hours working on my recipes to perfect the look, feel, performance, and scents of my products. I have searched for the best ingredients from around the world, in some cases rejecting dozens of different varieties of the same ingredient before I found a supplier who could produce adequate quality. I’ve spent thousands of hours working on my designs, my brand, and my message, and am still constantly refining them. My husband complains about what a meticulous perfectionist I am, but this email that I received from a fan this morning explains why:
“This message is to say thank you. I am a Virgin coconut oil producer here in the Caribbeans. And I identify totally with your message as it relates to feeling that our products are not good enough for the world market.
In the words of Fredrick Douglass: ” your words have added much to my limited stock of language and enable me to give tongue to the many interesting thoughts which have often flashed thru my mind and have died away for want of words in which to give them utterance.”
I spend time reviewing your videos over and over again of speeches where you advocate your ideas. There are many times I see a more advanced version of myslef in you, Magatte. You have given me much inspiration and hope in taking my business to the international market. Thank you again.”
When I say that I want to “rebrand” Africa, in part my ambition is to produce such high quality products that no one questions African quality ever again. It is heartening that other entrepreneurs from around the world are hearing my message.