Excellence in Business: Lanre Tunji-Ajayi

Lanre -- BusinessIf there is no road, build it. In a field dominated by Caucasians, Lanre Tunji-Ajayi, along with her husband, Timothy Tunji-Ajayi, founded All Naturals Cosmetics Incorporated.

The Canadian manufacturing company, birthed in 2002, began making breakthroughs when its products hit the shelves of mass-market stores including: Wal-Mart; Shoppers Drug Mart; Zellers; Pharma Plus; Pharma Prix; and Health Food stores across Canada.

It manufactured the first and only Black Canadian-owned product line sold nationally in mass-market stores.

All Naturals Cosmetics Inc. owns over 75 Stock keeping Units (skus) and custom formulations. Currently located in a factory space in Barrie, Ontario, it continues to serve the many business entrepreneurs looking to own their private labels/products.

The company believes that, “the trees of a nation are for the healing of the nation.” It seeks, “natural skin care ingredients from the tropical rain forest that will bring a synergy and balance to the body, spirit and mind.”

Mrs. Tunji-Ajayi is a Cosmetologist and Hearing Instrument Specialist, holding a Bachelor of Science (HONS) in Business Administration and H.I D; H.I.S (HONS) in Hearing Instrument Studies.

Along with being nominated for many awards, including the YWCA Women of Distinction Award, she has received: the African Canadian Women Achievement Award for Excellence in Business, Community Development and Philanthropy; the Toronto Police Black History Month Community Award of Excellence; the Eglinton-Lawrence Outstanding Volunteer Award; and the Planet Africa Visionary Award.

A strong voice in the formation of the national sickle cell organization, she is President and Executive Director of the Sickle Cell Disease Association (SCDA) and has been recognized by the SCDA of Nova Scotia as an “outstanding contributor” to the cause of sickle cell disease in Canada.

A celebrated health writer and community advocate, Mrs. Tunji-Ajayi has spoken at health shows, written health-related articles for various magazines, including the nationally distributed ALIVE and VIVA Magazines. Regarded as an expert in her field, this trailblazer has been interviewed by electronic and print media, including the National Post, CTV, CH Morning Live, Chex TV and Rogers Television.

Understanding that corporations must support the communities where they do business, in 2005 Mrs. Tunji-Ajayi engaged All Naturals Cosmetics Inc. to establish a charitable arm, through which the corporation will support its community.

Having lost her brother to the complications of sickle cell disease and with many in the at-risk communities not enlightened enough about sickle cell disease, her presentation to All Naturals Cosmetics Inc. gave birth to the Sickle Cell Awareness Group of Ontario (SCAGO) formerly known as Seed of Life Philanthropic Organization or SOLPO.

She is also past Chair of the Network for Rare Blood Disorder Organizations (NRBDO), and sits on the board of the Black Health Alliance.

An advocate for the inclusion of sickle cell disease in the Ontario’s Newborn Screening Program, Mrs. Tunji-Ajayi was one of the esteemed speakers at the 2010 Grenada Sickle Cell Conference, Grenada—commemorating the 100th years of the discovery of Sickle Cell Disease in the Americas.

She notes: “We must all rise and educate each other if we must see a significant reduction in the number of children born with sickle cell disease; and yes, we can stamp out sickle cell disease.”