Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in skincare but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Elena Minnow, owner of Twenty20 Skincare, located in Ottawa, ON, Canada.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Twenty 20 Skincare is an Ottawa-based business featuring natural ingredients from my grandmother's hometown. We are devoted to creating products with simple and clean ingredients that are safe for our health, community, and the earth. Here you'll find handcrafted skincare products made with Shea Butter from Ghana to keep you moisturized.

Through the purchase of fair trade Shea Butter from Ghana, Twenty20 Skincare enables women in the Shea supply chain to improve their living and working conditions. Our vision is clear and simple products that are safe for our health, community, and the earth.

Tell us about yourself

My name is Elena Minnow, and I am the owner of Twenty20 Skincare. We are an all-natural skincare company, and we specialize in products that are made with shea butter. Part of my story and our journey is that I struggled with eczema and had really dry skin for a lot of my life. I was prescribed topical creams and tried various lotions to help with the breakouts, but nothing worked. After spending years trying to find a product that would work on my dry and eczema-prone skin, I visited my grandmother's hometown in Ghana. It was there that she introduced me to Shea Butter and how my family has been using it for years for their skin, hair, and so many other things. As a result, when I returned back home to Canada, I started making my own shea butter products in my kitchen in 2013. I started using those products for myself and eventually shared them with some friends and some family, and now I have a company where I sell a whole line of products made with fair-trade Shea Butter.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment as a business owner has been being able to produce quality products that have worked for so many people. I love hearing the testimonies of those who use Twenty20 Skincare products to heal their eczema and other skin conditions. It's pretty phenomenal to see the relief it brings, and by largely word of mouth, we have been able to grow really quickly.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

My biggest challenge has been the learning curve of owning a business and knowing there is still so much I have to learn. It has been a journey mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally learning how to wear the many hats of being a founder, and I'm still figuring it out. But I am always grateful for the journey and the mentors, coaches, and cheerleaders I have in my corner.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Start now, don't delay. Don't put off starting whatever it is.
  2. Do your research to be able to answer the who, what, when, where, and WHY of your business.
  3. Surround yourself with like-minded people. I'm a firm believer that you become who you keep around you, walk with the wise, and you will become wise.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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