HN FeatureHN Q&A

“I want to be known for never leaving a place, situation, or person the same.”- Joycee Awosika

Joycee Awosika is an award-winning entrepreneur, energy economist and speaker. She has a history of running companies, mainly ORÍKÌ, the first and only all natural farm to skin brand to operate a fast-growing premium product & wellness spa brand on the Continent of Africa. ORÍKÌ has developed 6 spas in four years and distributes products globally as well as provides contract manufacturing services for brands, hotels, and hospitality companies. Her work has been featured in several global publications including CNBC, The Huffington Post, EbonyMagazine, and The Guardian. She has built a reputation for her expertise in creating a structure for businesses and homes, and provides, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and templates through her platform, SOAR. SOAR is a leading operation and business process consultancy that works closely with businesses and individuals for sustainability, consistency and standards. Joycee is avidly passionate about impacting SMEs to be sustainable and scalable realizing that they form the backbone of any economy.

Prior to building ORÍKÌ full time, she worked for the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development’s (DFID) infrastructure assistance program in Nigeria, with the Nigerian Infrastructure Advisory Facility (NIAF) as the Technical Adviser on Research, Analysis, and Informatics (Performance Monitoring) to the Honourable Minister of Power. Joycee contributed to energy policy, the privatization of the power sector, and multi-sector collaborations during the Power Sector Privatization Reform in Nigeria Her research, contributed to several of his speeches and publications. She began her career in the power sector at Constellation Energy, a Fortune 100 company in New York. As an analyst, she worked on the energy and commodity pricing desk and successfully built an energy brokerage firm focused on the supply of renewable energy, natural gas, and electricity across four states in the USA.

As the former Curator of the World Economic Forum Abuja Global Shapers Hub a highly selective group of young people around the world, creating valuable impact in their communities, Joycee led a team comprised of 21 entrepreneurial young leaders, on a number of community initiatives focused on education, youth unemployment, and entrepreneurship. She has been selected to attend three World Economic Forum events around the world and has been an invited speaker on leadership, youth development, energy access, and energy solutions in emerging countries. One of the staple initiatives during her tenure as Curator was the development of Employability & Entrepreneurship Workshops, which have reached over 2000 young people in Nigeria thus far. The project aims to tackle youth unemployment in Nigeria by delivering employability skills, entrepreneurship training, and jobs. One of Joycee’s long term aspirations is to be a mass employer of labour in developing nations and growth markets through her company – REDESOL Group ‘Resource and Development Solutions,’- dedicated to making an impact on the Continent by investing in the resource potential across various sectors including agriculture, energy, and commodities.

Read our Q & A with her and be inspired!

In your words, describe Joycee Awosika (Full name, background, etc)? Joycee Awosika is a passionate woman living a purpose-driven life designed to impact all areas of her life. She is highly motivated to create value and never leave any place the same. Joycee is a trained energy economist who although born and raised in the DMV area of the States, developed a colossal desire to contribute to the energy and electricity issues in Nigeria. After commuting to that for a few years and taking a leap of faith to move to Nigeria having been, she continued with her first live – entrepreneurship. By marrying the abundance of natural resources in Nigeria, the abundance of human capital and the need to make wellness integrated into lifestyle, she built ORÍKÌ Group. ORÍKÌ is the first brand to create a multi-location wellness spa chain coupled with a high-performing farm-to-skin product line.

What do you consider your greatest achievement in your life so far? My greatest achievement so far is finding my bearings around being a mother, wife, and entrepreneur at the same time. By the grace of God, I have managed to have an uncanny ability to prioritize what’s most important at any given time and work efficiently to ensure that nothing lacks. It’s not easy to balance, in fact, I don’t really believe it’s ever fully “balanced” however I have been able to juggle it all and see my children’s thrive, my marriage flourish, and business break barriers as I strive to imbibe what it means to be a Proverbs 31 woman. 

You are so passionate about adding value. This, you have done consistently through your work and surely, at the home front as well… what are some of the key factors that motivate you to stay consistent? In my life, there is a reoccurring theme of creating impact, oftentimes synonymous with adding value. Impact is what motivates me and what drives me, from a young age I have consistently looked for how my contribution can be felt and how it can change lives and make things better. Another motivator for me is legacy. I often ask myself, “Joycee what will be said of you when your time is up?” What will my kids say? My community? My employees? When posterity is at the forefront of my mind, it’s easy to stay motivated and consistent.

What’s a day in the life of Joyce Awosika like? One word – it’s dynamic! It’s busy. No two days are ever the same. On any given day I have 3 different offices I could be working from or alternatively I could be on the field. I like to do weekly operational touches; they aren’t mandatory but as long as I’m in town I always like to check out each location. I’m grateful to have a fantastic team that holds the fort down exceptionally well so 90% of my time is spent on strategy. We are currently on a launch drive, as we work on opening new locations, new innovations, and two new subsidiaries my time is well spent on strategy and growth. 

Tell us about Oriki Group – What inspired you to create Oriki? I grew up seeing American brands tell stories of how they are doing exceptional work by giving back to African countries by purchasing their raw ingredients and turning them into finished goods. As I got older, I became more and more uncomfortable with this narrative. To top it, I came to Nigeria for the first time as an adult and I was floored with how resource-rich Nigeria is. Nigeria is truly an opulent and great nation; we just need to do more to bring it out.

My discomfort turned into a solution, that was the impetus to start ORIKI, a proudly Nigerian brand that couples farm to skin products and wellness experiences and competes globally. For me, it’s high time that we put Nigeria on the map in this space globally. At ORIKI, we are disrupting our industry and will be launching two new subsidiaries that will undoubtedly get us closer to our vision – to leave a piece of Africa with beauty and wellness consumers around the world. We’ve been a part of the development of 8 spas in 6 years and our goal is to take the ORIKI Spa and Products to the world, we have started and there is more to come.

What/Who inspires you and why? My husband inspires me, my children inspire me, and founders who defy all odds to take a big piece of the market share inspire me.

Several times a week you can find me listening to the “How we made it” podcast where entrepreneurs around the world are interviewed on their success stories. I listen to it often because it constantly reassures me that it can and WILL Be done.

My husband inspires me because without sounding cliche I have never met an individual as relentless and determined as him. Being able to live with these types of character traits and do life with him is a blessing. My husband literally finds a solution in any circumstance. 

My children’s larger-than-life view of the world and innocence inspire me to do great things, to achieve my goals, and to leave a legacy for them that they would be proud of.

What advice can you offer to young women looking to be as intentional and consistent as you are, Charting the serial entrepreneurship path and doing quite well at it?

My first advice is to align with God, my life’s mission is to consistently be in pursuit of God’s purpose for Me. This lens has made my life more intentional, and it’s made me stay on course even in the hardest times.

Secondly, build sustainable structures, the foundation you build will determine how far you will go and how successful you will be. Everything I build is built upon structures – I create processes, I build great teams and then I empower them. This is crucial to chart the entrepreneurship journey. You can’t do it alone. 

October marks “Emotional Wellness Month”… as one in the wellness industry, what are some activities you would suggest people adopt to improve mental wellbeing?

  • Do something you love to do at least once a week. I’ll give you an example, I love sushi, I love quality time with family and I love watching sermons. I incorporate these into my life weekly, well maybe not sushi every week 🙂 but the point is that you need to have me time and be deliberate about it.
  • Take time out to REST. I cannot overemphasize this enough. I’ve experienced burnout firsthand and it’s not pretty. My default function now is to operate from a place of rest. I work extremely hard, but more importantly, I work smartly, and I ensure that I am not toiling. Sounds hard to believe, but it is possible to achieve 
  • Go to the spa! Honestly there’s nothing like getting pampered and rejuvenated. Wellness is a lifestyle not a trend so you have to be intentional about it.
  • Meditate. I spend time meditating on all Gods promises for us, all my big dreams, happy thoughts, happy moments and it is always a boost. 

What is the most important life lesson you’ve learned so far? Be your authentic self. There’s no copycat to me, I am uniquely and wonderfully made, and I embrace it. There was a time that I wasn’t being true to myself, my environment dictated my identity and I felt lost. I attract more things now, success, opportunities, happiness because I am authentic. 

Where do you draw strength from when you are not feeling particularly motivated to get anything done? The Lord and the Word of God. By the time I say my declarations and decrees I can’t help but feel motivated! When I remember that I’m called to greatness, and I’m called to wealth, and I’m called to build my strength is restored. My other personal strategy is to play worship music, it’s an escape for me that leaves me on a high.  

What is your take on “women supporting women” It’s necessary, it’s critical, it’s essential. I think we should stop talking about it so much and do it more. I’ve tried to personally analyze why this topic comes up so much and I honestly feel it has to do with my previous point. When we are all authentic and we realize that what’s for you is for you and there isn’t a competition, then this Matt’s will be embraced much more. As for Me, I live this out daily. I’m always looking for avenues to support my fellow women.

Time travel or teleportation? Teleportation all day. Take me there instantly! I’d like to snap my fingers and experience all parts of the world in an instant. 

What would you like to be remembered for? Building sustainable structures that change lives, I want to be known for never leaving a place, situation, or person the same. My prayer is that I can live a life full of impact out loud.

More about Joycee Awosika

Joycee is a World Economic Forum Global Shaper Alumni, a nominee of The Future Awards Prize in Public Service, 2013 & 2016, and selected into the African Leadership Network. She sits on the board of Oxfam’sWork in Progress Program and on two other charity organizations. She is a Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Program Fellow. Joycee speaks Spanish fluently and has spoken at over 90 events. She was selected as one of Nigeria’s 100 most inspiring women in 2015 and as a 2017 woman of the Year for ‘Her Network.’ In September 2021, ORÍKÌ Spa was selected by the prestigious Pyne Awards as Spa of the year. Joycee is known for her uncanny ability to research trends and innovate to impact others. Her most recent innovation is the ORIKI wellness bar, a bespoke and customized experience where massage oil blends are customized to solve customers’ specific pain points and needs.

She is currently on a mission to develop 500 ORIKI Spa locations in the next 5 years through the ORIKI Franchise opportunity. In addition, alongside her passion for helping to solve the unemployment gap in Africa, she is spearheading the launch of the ORIKI Training Institute (OTI) in October 2021. OTI will be the leading spa training institute committed to supporting spa, wellness businesses, and industry professionals across Africa by providing training, consultancy services, and influencing industry standards. We are the first indigenous training institute in Nigeria to offer comprehensive training programs in conjunction with consultancy services to spa professionals and individuals interested in venturing into the spa and wellness industry.

Joycee is a mother to two young boys and is married to Tola Awosika, a consummate entrepreneur. Together, they are building global hospitality and wellness businesses across regions and continents.

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