Like it or not, entrepreneurship is the name of the game these days. Many Black creatives are leaving behind the traditional 9 to 5 to create businesses inspired by their passion projects. Over the last few years, we’ve watched Rachel James’ Pear Nova shake up the nail game and Monique Rodriguez, founder of Mielle Organics, take the haircare industry by storm. Now, entrepreneur Courtney Adeleye, CEO and founder of Olbali, a conglomerate of beauty, food and beverage, and health and wellness, is the latest beauty boss showing aspiring female entrepreneurs the way.
If the name Courtney Adeleye sounds familiar to you, it’s because she’s the founder of The Mane Choice. Thanks to Adeleye’s science background, she made The Mane Choice one of the most notable brands in the textured hair space before the company was acquired in 2020.
Most Black creatives would never dream of selling their companies, but the Olbali CEO tells us that it should be a part of every entrepreneur’s thought process. In fact, it’s a lesson she’s using while building Olbali. “Begin with the end in mind, Adeleye says. “You may never sell a company or have the desire to sell a company, but a company should always be sellable. If you begin with that mentality, your company will be built in a profitable and strategic manner. I had to retrospectively go back and reorganize my business before I sold it. Now, I build my companies with a ‘build to sell’ structure, even if I never sell one again, because a sellable company is a valuable company.”
Growing the Olbali conglomerate
With The Mane Choice in the rear-view mirror, Adeleye’s sole focus is taking Olbali to the next level. The conglomerate currently has three brands under its umbrella: Foolproof Body, a feminine hygiene product company; Cool Coffee Clique, a beverage company that offers a plethora of coffee, merchandise, and appliances; and Poptritional, a vitamin-infused popcorn snack company. The main plan for Olbali includes leaving retailers out of the equation and partnering with real women.
“Olbali is now being converted into a direct selling company. I have partnered with retailers most of my career,” Adeleye tells us. “This time around, I want to partner with my community of women. I want to create opportunities for women and their families around the globe.”
Even though Olbali is the complete opposite of Adeleye’s work with The Mane Choice, the boss lady shares that solely selling beauty products boxed her in. With Olbali, Adeleye can now target new consumers, allowing her to expand her reach further than the beauty world.
However, that doesn’t mean that Adeleye has completely left the beauty world behind. Fans can look forward to a skin and cosmetic line in the future under the Olbali conglomerate. Plus, a return to the haircare industry is also on the table.
So, for Black aspiring female entrepreneurs looking to enter the space, the Olbali CEO says that it’s all about thinking outside of the box. “Be inspired by what hasn’t been done versus what has. There are more ideas that have not been created versus what has, Adeleye shares. “Step into new industries you don’t see many black people in. Don’t let what you haven’t seen intimidate you.”
Salute to Ms. Courtney Adeleye for serving up #BlackGirlMagic and showing us Brown and Black women that any dream is attainable.