richelieu dennis is an inspiring entrepreneur who founded the famous beauty brand for black women Sundial Brands. He is now helping young founders fuel their efforts and reach new heights of success. He grew up in Liberia during the civil unrest in the country. It was a violent situation, and he left the country in 1987 when he was ten years old. Here is a glimpse at the life of an entrepreneur who inspires many people with his will never to give up.
Richelieu Dennis and his life with war
Dennis lost several extended members to the violent riots. The life of his immediate family was on the line too. He learned how ruthless humans are at a young age. However, he was keen on getting himself out of that situation while looking for the cause behind the civil unrest. So, Dennis engaged himself in fighting for students’ rights and education rights.
How did richelieu dennis start Sundial?
richelieu dennisreceived a scholarship from Babson College in The USA. His mothers persuaded him to leave Liberia and move to The States. So he started selling shea butter that his mom sent. He sold it out from his dorm room to his classmates. By 1989, selling shea butter was his means of earning a livelihood as he wasn’t receiving funds from his mother.
Shea butter has played a key role in the lives of the African people for centuries. And in the west, people were trying to use it to solve skin problems. Moreover, it was when American consumers were educating themselves and were in a transition phase. They wanted to learn more about the products they were using and if they resulted from exploitation.
When Dennis’ mom visited The US for his graduation, her house was bombed by the rebels due to growing civil unrest. So, they started making different formulations using shea butter and selling them from a card table on Fifth Avenue. The business grew as he delivered his products and shifted to the distribution business. He realized that customers were segregated in the beauty market based on their color. He knew his target customers were black women who knew what wonders shea butter could do.
Dennis sold his company to Unilever in 2017. However, he did not give up on his entrepreneurial spirit and will to help people of color. He has been helping young black female entrepreneurs with funding with his success as the driving factor.