Efe Eghujovbo is a first-year criminology student at U of T — and a small business owner. Eghujovbo’s business, Simply Haircare, is in its second year of operation and sells scented hair conditioners and hair growth serums.

An idea years in the making

Eghujovbo has had the idea of starting a hair care-related business since she was 14 or 15. “I’ve always loved stuff to do with cosmetics, haircare, skincare, stuff like that,” she recalled. 

When she was in grade 11, Eghujovbo got more serious about turning her interest into a business. Starting and running a small business during a pandemic is no small feat, and Eghujovbo explained that finding the confidence and motivation to get her business off the ground was a challenge.

After launching the business in 2020, it was the support from her community that made her want to keep going. “Once everybody started giving me such good feedback, I knew that this is what I was meant to do,” Eghujovbo said. 

Since its launch, Simply Haircare has gotten media attention, and the products have been featured in the Black Owned Toronto store and the Eaton Centre. “All the overwhelming positive feedback has just been so inspiring for me and encouraging, as well as encouraging to other young Black entrepreneurs,” she said. 

One-person operation

Currently, Eghujovbo does everything herself — from creating new products, to marketing and designing packaging. When coming up with ideas for new products, Eghujovbo starts by looking at gaps in the marketplace that her products can fill. For example, before launching her own conditioner, she had noticed that “there were no oil-based conditioners that worked for my type of hair.” After that, she started researching ingredients that might work well together, and now, she sells oil-based leave-in conditioners in three different scents. 

She even tests all the products herself, then tests them on her friends and family. “All the products that I put out, and all the products that I want to put out, are tested by me,” she explained.

From the packaging to the ingredients, simplicity is definitely a theme for Eghujovbo. “Everybody can use simple products that actually work for you at a reasonable price,” she explained. All her products are natural, organic, and cruelty-free. 

Managing her time

Neither being a U of T student nor a business owner is easy — so how does she do it all? Though it’s a question she gets asked often, Eghujovbo responds: “Honestly, I don’t. I’m a mess half of the time.” But for the rest of the time, she “really just [keeps] organized.” She also credits her parents and friends with supporting both her schoolwork and business career. 

Looking into the future, Eghujovbo says her main goal is growing her business. She hopes to expand her product line and eventually open a store. 

Ultimately, Eghujovbo expressed that her main goal in starting the business was “[inspiring] other young, Black female entrepreneurs like me to really go out and do what they love to do and put that out there into the world.”