Ama Amo-Agyei - Planted Wellness
Ama is an inspirational powerhouse.
For those of you who don't know of her, Ama is a wellness entrepreneur and the founder of vegan hair brand Planted.
Planted was founded in June of 2020, and has made over 101k in sales within 5 months. On Black Friday alone, they made over 30k. You can't buy the products anytime soon - they've been sold out for months.
It's clear that Ama knows how to run a wellness brand, and run it well. She's cultivated enormous success in a minuscule time-frame.
The question is, how on Earth did she do it? 🌎
In this interview, we'll break down how Ama got to where she is today, and what she credits her success to.
After reading, you'll:
- Learn how to create a product people actually want buy
- Know the four pillars to successfully differentiate your e-commerce brand
- Identify the valuable side hustles critical to learn as an entrepreneur in the e-commerce game
- Start building a life you want through Ama's proven visualisation technique
Chapter One: Unsatisfied With A Predetermined Path
Unlike most entrepreneurs, Ama didn't grow up knowing she'd want to be her own boss. Truth be told, being an entrepreneur seldom crossed her mind.
She had been living life according to what society wanted her to do.
Go to Uni ➡️ Get a job ➡️ Get married ➡️ Move into a new house ➡️ Work 40 + years ➡️ Retire.
It's a story we've all heard before.
Ama was cruising along this predetermined path, getting her degree in Psychology at University. Her end goal was to become a psychiatrist, a cookie-cutter and recognised career.
Yet she hated her degree.
Ama was objectively fascinated by psychology. Yet the degree itself required bogus prerequisite classes and arduous assignments. She simply couldn't keep herself interested.
Ama was in a rut.
A Book Changes Everything
It wasn't until Ama was having a conversation with her brother in early 2017 until her perspective shifted.
He brought up the new book he was reading, 'Rich Dad Poor Dad'.
'Rich Dad Poor Dad' illustrated how the majority of society is programmed to live an okay life. Most people were going to be "just over broke," and few would take action to escape this fate.
Ama read the book and it was the catalyst for starting Planted.
Her inkling of "I want to have more," suddenly burst to the front of her mind.
Jumping into Business
In 'Rich Dad Poor Dad', owning a business is one of the fastest ways to reach the path of financial freedom. Ama figured, "let's give it a shot."
At the time, Ama didn't really have any hard skills.
In order to learn, Ama fearlessly dove in to the freelance world and began selling her services.
She worked with a few clothing, wellness, and financial brands, and was learning along the way. While the pay wasn't impressive, Ama was learning hands-on instead of passively sitting in a classroom.
She was on the right track, selling her services and being her own boss. Yet there was still something missing.
This is Planted: The Blueprint
Ama launched Planted in June of 2020. While Planted's success has been steadfast, it didn't happen overnight. Ama credits the success to the quality of her products.
If you had to guess how many products are in Planted's line, what would be your take?
A dozen? 20? Maybe 50-ish?
Here's the breakdown on each cult product, all of which sell out within hours.
Drizzle - Airy Aloe Rose Hydrating Mist
Hair moisturiser and detangles. Carries ingredients such as aloe, lavender, and rose water. Simple ingredients, but when blended together makes for a powerful formula.
Inches - Hair & Beard Growth Oil
The flagship product, coined "hair crack" by customers. It's a blend of herbs, essential oils, and antioxidants that repairs damaged hair and help it sprout. Helps with alopecia, baldness, or people who don't have the beard to stroke.
Roots - Dry, Itchy, Dandruff Scalp Oil Treatment
Resets your scalp to help you get the hair growth that you want. Tackles flakes, dandruff, and irritation that comes from your hair.
Soil - Hair Growth Soufflé with Chébé
A hair cream with a melts-in-your-hand texture. A growth and volume antidote to stop thinning in its tracks.
Why Only Four Products?
Hack into the Human Routine
Ama knew she was going to create four products from the beginning. Her reasoning behind this has to do with how we establish routines.
And when it comes to wellness, there is always routine of habits.
The key is to inject your products into a persons wellness routine as seamlessly as possible.
Yet if a routine includes a 12-step skincare regimen before bed, many people are turned off by the intricacy of it the process.
Because for a new habit to blend into one's routine it has to be realistic and approachable.
Since Planted only offers four products, it makes it easy to incorporate into one's routine.
On Building a Team
Ama's team consists of herself, a freelance designer based out in Ghana, a close friend who helps with visual branding, a photographer, and one a part-time customer service rep.
While a tiny team, they're managed to scale to 100k + in 5 months, which is no easy feat.
The Team Building Philosophy
See It as an Investment, Not a Cost
If building a company ask yourself, "What would I like this business to look like one-year from now?"
If you envision considerable growth you'll need the help of a compact team to speed up the process.
It's critical to lay out your foreseeable goals to reverse engineer how you'll achieve them.
If you goals include a surge in manufacturing, the creation of new product, or an increased social media presence, hire the appropriate people to help you achieve this vision.
Work With Me, Never For Me
Ama doesn't see work relationships through a hierarchical, vertical lens. Meaning, no one works for her, and she doesn't work for anyone. The team operates on a horizontal scale, and they are all considered equals within their skills and contributions.
Ama only hires people who care as much as she does about Planted, if not more.
For example, Ama's photographer took Planted's products to his Christmas weekend getaway to do a photoshoot, completely unprompted.
It's the kind of behaviour that shows people care and take their craft personally.
It's not about just another client, another paycheck, another project.
You want people to join your team when they feel as though they're a part of something bigger than themselves.
How to Crush the E-Commerce Game
The e-commerce sea is burgeoning, and thousands of new brands are jumping in each day. How do you stand out from your competitors?
Create Demand and Generate Excitement
Planted only restocks their items every month or so.
This goes the grain of commerce business techniques, where most people try capture an audience as widely as possible and make sales every single day.
The questions begets: why?
Ama instead employs a scarcity approach to marketing.
The scarcity model is the best way to build demand as quickly as possible and make it irresistible to consumers. The brand becomes exclusive because not just anyone can own the products.
Ama's step-by-step strategy:
- There is a countdown before each restock. It becomes a an anticipated event as promotional content is blasted through social media and email marketing.
- The restock takes place at a coveted hour. Planted releases their products at 11:59 PM.
- Only those who are on Planted's email list are allowed to shop. They must subscribe to receive the 8-digit code which allows them to access Planted's website.
When Ama first tried this method, she mad over £500 in one hour.
She now makes £10k in 15 minutes using this scarcity model. 👀
PSA: This isn't only applicable to wellness products. It applies to sneaker drops, retail, watches, and cosmetics.
Utilize the Four Pillars of E-Commerce
E-commerce guru Greta Van Riel has mastered the art of e-commerce. She's made millions off of her ventures, and Ama regularly refers to Greta's framework to differentiating yourself from the competition.
- Functionality - What can your product do besides its original purpose? For example, a water bottle is supposed to quench your thirst. Yet a water bottle with markings on the side that indicates how much water you need to drink per day is also a measurement device. This makes for an intriguing purchase.
- Price - How is the price going to differentiate your product? A sky-high price signals exclusivity. A low-ball signals it's a bargain.
- Time - When can customers purchase the product? Limiting the amount of given time a product can be purchased plays into the scarcity mindset.
- Design - How can you build your product to be enticing? Aesthetically pleasing products hold an upper hand.
The Process Behind Product Development
All of Ama's products constantly sell out and have scores of 5-star reviews. Yet Ama has no real experience creating products. She never went to formulation or cosmetics school.
How did Ama manage to create such successful products in a short period of time?
Learn as Much as You Can
If you don't have a successful product, your business will never take off. Take the time to immerse yourself in information and learn from others at every direction.
Take Advantage of the Internet
The School of Youtube and Google is wonderful (and free!) resource.
You'd be silly not to use it.
Ama began studying the cosmetic gurus and formulators who were posting their knowledge online for free.
By watching step-by-step tutorials and applying their advice, she slowly became an expert in formulation.
Approach It From a "Problem" Standpoint
Instead of worrying about pretty packaging, get to the source of the problem. What do people actually need solved?
Many brands, especially the ones in the wellness industry value aesthetics over solving problems.
This puts them at a disadvantage.
Do market research online and within your own personal network. Ask people what problems they'd like solved or other pain points.
For instance, within Ama's research, she uncovered:
- Many people complained about dryness, which lead to breakage.
- A plethora of people have alopecia - especially men. They don't know the the very thing they love they love the most - testosterone - is actually killing their hair line.
- Most people didn't have a routine, meaning they were incapable of delivering the daily nutrients their hair needed to be healthy.
Conducting market research on people's commonly faced problems is a direct way to get to provide an accurate antidote to their issue.
The Paradox of Niching Down
In business, lots of people tell you to "niche down."
Take this with a grain of salt.
The niche is how you solve the problem, not the problem you're solving.
For instance, Ama's brand wanted to solve the universal problems related to dryness, brittle hair, receding hairline, and alopecia.
The way she niches down is by using products from two specific geographical areas: Asia and Africa.
Analyse Your Competitors
Don't forget to look around and scan your competition.
Ama would look up the ingredient list from her competitors and think, "that's it?"
Once you can dissect your competition and see exactly how they operate, you're in a position to one-up them.
Ama was able to create superior products by understanding where her competitors had previously set the bar.
The Necessities: E-Commerce Starter Pack
Be a Lean Startup
'The Lean Startup' teaches entrepreneurs that they must validate their ideas as cheaply and quickly as possible. You want to do the bare minimum, with the lowest costs, but not lack quality.
In the beginning of your business, focus on validating your assumptions. Do people actually want your product?
Once you see success with your product, then you can go nuts and move to loftier projects, such as product rebranding, staffing, or packaging.
Build an Email List
Capturing emails is a necessity for anyone running a brand or business. Creating a brand without building your email list is a rookie mistake.
It's a collection of people who care the most about what you're doing and building. You're able directly promote, monetise, and receive feedback from interested customers.
Ama has over 5,000 names on her list, and intends to continue building out her list.
Teach Yourself Side-Skills to Become a Better E-Commerce Entrepreneur
When watching a movie or series, write down what's standing out to you.
What are the feelings and thoughts you're gathering from the show, and why do you think this is? How did your perception of life change after watching?
Read poems and short excerpts of text to build copywriting skills. You want to observe how people are saying the most powerful statements in the least amount of words possible.
Example: Greta Van Riel's latest e-commerce venture sports the slogan "Mindful."
It appears ridiculously easy, yet the more effortless the writing looks, the more effort the writer had to put into the process.
- Spotting Trends
The trends you'll want to discover aren't the latest Tiktok dance craze. You'll want to look into "human trends," not algorithmic trends. This means uncovering how people are spending their money and what they're looking up on Google.
Planted is the result of riding a trend wave. Ama noticed that during COVID, personal care, beauty, and wellness shot up.
Cheat Codes From an E-Commerce Entrepreneur
Visualisation: The Key to Ama's Success
Ama practices scripting.
Scripting is a Law of Attraction technique that involves writing in detail about the reality you want to manifest.
It's different than journaling, which is the free-flow writing of thoughts, musings, and whatever else may pop into mind.
Scripting is intentional. You want to write out exactly how you envision your future unraveling.
Ama's Personal Scripting Experience
When Ama scripts, she:
- Never projects too far into the future. She envisions her immediate goals within the one-year range.
- Makes lofty goals. After all, if you're writing down what you want, why not go big?
- Dates every entry.
- Doesn't overthink it. Ama commonly writes on the Notes app on her iPhone. Nothing fancy.
On September 6th, Ama scripted, "I'm so grateful for achieving 100k in sales."
It was a lofty goal as her current benchmark hovered at the time hovered around 60k.
In the month of November she made 44k in a single day.
This is especially impressive considering Ama hasn't spent a dime on paid press, sponsored advertisements, or big media.
On her most recent script, Ama scripted about how grateful she was to have a business worth 7-figures by June 22nd, 2021.
We'll have to wait and see how the play of her life unfolds.
Life is tumultuous. Ama's been through the riptides through it all, and has some advice if your circumstances have you feeling lost.
If You Lost Your Job
It doesn't define you.
That place doesn't define you, because it has nothing to do with you. It's simply a place you existed in. Nothing to do with your personality, aspirations, or worth.
If You're Feeling Miserable
You can change your life around, just by thinking that you can.
Life will give you the opportunities.
Once you believe you are worth living a life you want and deserve, life will begin to bring options.
You need to be prepared to pick. The things destined for you will pass you by if you don't take action.
If Ama hadn't gone agreed to her friend's idea to start Planted, where would she be today? Who knows.
If life isn't bringing you good things, your thinking is enshrouded in negativity and scarcity. Focus on being in a dreamland.
If You Don't Have Your First 100 Customers Yet
Exploit your network. If what you do is remotely of interest to them, they'll be interested.
If your network isn't interested, you'll have to reach out to strangers.
This is less frightening than it sounds. Reach out to them via the brand or personal account. Don't be salesy; seek to have a human-to-human conversation about overlapping interests and how your products might help.
The first couple of months, Ama was going to community pages and reaching out to people who she thought could be interested in her product.
✨ Good luck ✨