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Taloua Garden is a new beauty brand, launched in 2021 and created by Diana Kouotho and Fabienne Haby Sidibé. Made from raw materials mainly from Côte d’Ivoire, Taloua Garden’s products want to meet all your skin needs and be accessible to all. Taloua Garden is also a social enterprise.
The idea had been simmering in the heads of Diana Kouotho and Fabienne Haby Sidibé for years. Why not create their own brand of beauty products, in order to meet the demand? For Diana Kouotho, a graduate in Business Administration from the Université de Saint-Boniface, the needs were far too great. “While discussing with Fabienne, we realized that we had the same ideas. We had noticed the lack of accessible products in our communities, especially among black-skinned women. It was difficult to find products that were right for our skin types. We often had to bring the products from abroad, it was complicated. We told ourselves: If we have this kind of problem, it’s certain that other people have it too.”
Indeed, it is a need that Diana Kouotho and her partner became aware of once settled in Canada. Both of them from France, they quickly felt the effect of the great Canadian cold on the skin. “I had never lived in such a cold country,” says Diana Kouotho. The cold can quickly make certain skin types itchy because of the dryness. My parents had to bring me products from Côte d’Ivoire, our home country, that really helped.”
These quality ingredients from Côte d’Ivoire are found in the range offered for body and hair offered by Taloua Garden: whipped shea and mango butter, hibiscus, baobab and nigella oil, for example. These oils are noble and sometimes difficult to find in the West, or very expensive.
“It’s important that our products are pure,” adds Diana Kouotho. Sometimes some products advertise shea butter, but if you look at the label carefully, you realize that it is mixed with many other ingredients and that it is not even the main ingredient. We make sure that our products are raw and unrefined.”
But beyond creating cosmetic products, Taloua Garden has the vocation to forge strong links with the African continent. This is why Diana Kouotho and her business partner source directly from Côte d’Ivoire, through the Bounkani cooperative society, in the north of the country. “The commitment of the president of this cooperative, Lydie Kambou, really spoke to us,” says Diana Kouotho. Listening to one of her speeches, it is as if she had put words to our mission. We immediately contacted her and the exchanges started from there. It’s been a great adventure ever since.”
Taloua Garden wants to make a difference in the cosmetics industry and brings support to the community. “In addition to offering products for black women in the West, we want to be agents of change for women who make the raw materials themselves,” says Diana Kouotho. It should be noted that the majority of women who produce shea butter do not benefit from it. These are hard-working women. We want to support them. We would like them to have the necessary equipment and resources and reduce their arduousness at work. ”
Diana Kouotho and Fabienne Haby Sidibé create their own products. They have trained to have the basics of cosmetology and receive excellent advice from pharmacists to continue to improve. In the future, they want to expand their product range to include body and hair products. And continue to meet the challenges of entrepreneurship.
“Being an entrepreneur takes a lot of time,” says Diana Kouotho. There is strategy, production, accounting… We have to wear so many hats at the same time. The big challenge is risk-taking. We love safety and comfort, but entrepreneurship is about going against the tide, innovating and daring to take the plunge.”
Finally, the name chosen by Diana Kouotho and Fabienne Haby Sidibé for their company is also very evocative. “In one of the languages of Côte d’Ivoire, taloua recalls the woman, the femininity,” explains Diana Kouotho. Everything related to nature and the natural. And it’s reminiscent of our mission: we want to source mostly from Africa, with natural ingredients.”
Diana Kouotho will be present at the St. Boniface Summer Market on June 23 and 30, to present the products of Taloua Garden. Diana Kouotho is delighted: “I hope to be able to convey Taloua Garden’s vision, raise awareness of our products and remind customers that they buy quality, but also increase our visibility in Manitoba.”
Visit Taloua Garden’s Instagram page