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Olivier Camara – Founder, Farafina Cosmetics

Tell us a bit about you.

I’m from Ivory Coast - former French colony – and I left my IT job in 2008 to study in Canada. After obtaining my MBA degree from Sherbooke University in Quebec, I moved to Toronto on Dec 25th 2009: Christmas day, to improve my English and find a job. After 9 months, I got a job at Dell Canada as a Sales Rep.

What is your biggest accomplishment? 

One of the biggest accomplishments is when went live in January 2016. It was the beginning of long journey as an entrepreneur. 

What motivated you to start Farafina Cosmetics?

The idea came when I received a black soap from a friend. That was in 2013. I liked the packaging and I contacted the company to see how I could import the soap here in Canada. Their minimum order was $5000. It was too much for me. I found that the company made soap with shea butter. Then, I decided to learn how to produce my own soap with shea butter instead of buying. I bought some books and did some research on the internet. I made my first batch in January 2014. The first time, I was stressed. Since then, it’s a routine, it’s like cooking: create and write down recipes, mix the ingredients and they’re ready to go. By the way, I don’t have chemistry background.

You meet someone who knows nothing about your business; how do you introduce it in a nutshell?

I’m Olivier Camara, the founder of Farafina Cosmetics. We produce and sell cosmetics products made with natural ingredients, such as soap and cream.

What is your vision for Farafina Cosmetics in the next 5 years?

Right now, Farafina Cosmetics is part-time activity for me. So, my goal is to grow the business, so that I’ll manage the company work for Farafina full-time. I want to fire my boss: laughing.

Tell us about your first experience at a Manyatta Event.

I really enjoyed that day. I made some sales and got a lot of new contacts.

What is your networking philosophy?

As an entrepreneur, the best way to promote and grow business your business, is to meet people, build your networking. You never know who you’ll meet during these events. Going to these events is very helpful. I can share, get new ideas from others, and make new friends outside my community.

Olivier Camara
Farafina Cosmetics