54 Thrones on Shark Tank: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

54Thrones on Shark Tank

ABC

Entrepreneur Christina Funke Tegbe took her company 54 Thrones and its products to the sharks on “Shark Tank” to see if she could get one of the sharks to invest in her company during the October 29, 2021 episode of the hit ABC show.

The episode synopsis revealed that “an entrepreneur from Houston, Texas, hopes her beauty line inspired by her African heritage makes the cut.”

The entrepreneur pitched her company to sharks Mark Cuban, Kevin O’Leary, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec and guest Shark Nirav Tolia, founder of Nextdoor.

Here’s what you need to know about 54 Thrones on “Shark Tank:”


1. Christina Funke Tegbe Dreamed of Being on ‘Shark Tank’ for Years

Christina Funke Tegbe has dreamed of being on “Shark Tank” for years, she revealed in promotional materials sent to Heavy. She said, “I have watched Shark Tank for years and always felt that one day I would be on! That day is now and I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to be in the Tank!”

Tegbe launched the skincare brand 54 Thrones in 2016. She was inspired by the richness, diversity, and culture of Africa. The ingredients she uses in her products are “handcrafted in Africa by Africans,” her personal website revealed. She said,  “I partner with women-run cooperatives and entrepreneurs in Ghana, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria and Uganda who handcraft the botanical ingredients that make up 54 Thrones.”

Tegbe grew up in Texas with an American mother and a Nigerian father. She was influenced by her Nigerian aunt, 54 Thrones’ website states. Her aunt would share tubs of shea butter from Nigeria with her, which led her to be inspired to create 54 Thrones to celebrate the “sacred beauty of Africa.”

In an interview with Travel Noire, Tegbe said, “As a kid, none of that really resonated with me. I kind of thought, why are we getting our lotion from Africa when there’s lotion at the store? But as I got older, I looked back and realized that was her way of sharing our culture and our heritage with us, because she knew that we would miss out on a part of that Nigerian culture. That was her way of making sure we grew up with the same beauty rituals that she and my father did.”


2. Christina Funke Tegbe Pays Tribute to Her African Roots With 54Thrones

Christina Funke Tegbe’s aunt may have started the fire that grew into a deep appreciation for her African heritage, but Tegbe is doing more than her fair share to promote African culture, uplift female African entrepreneurs, and celebrate the spirit of Africa through 54 Thrones. Through the women who handcraft the ingredients for her products, Tegbe “promotes trade, not aid through conducting business on the continent to change the narrative,” she revealed on her personal website.

The year before she founded 54 Thrones, Tegbe quit her corporate job. In an interview with Bustle, Tegbe said, “I felt like I needed to go and learn about my heritage. I needed to be around my family.” She traveled alone to Africa and explored the continent, stopping at markets to buy pure argan oil and African shea butter, Forbes reported. “This is the same stuff my aunt used to ship our family when I was a little, scrawny kid,” Tegbe said. “I just gravitated to how these things were being made. And I think that’s when the idea [of starting] a brand started kicking in.”

She launched her skincare line a year later. She personally travels to each African country to meet each artisan, cooperative member and business that she works with, 54 Thrones’ website revealed.

The name 54 Thrones “is inspired by the richness, diversity, and cultures of Africa and its people; while the name is derived from the 54 distinct countries that make up the beautiful continent of Africa, and its vast resource of natural ingredients,” Tegbe revealed in promotional materials provided to Heavy.


3. Christina Funke Tegbe Has Other Businesses

Christina Funke Tegbe is a true entrepreneur and 54 Thrones is not her first venture. She worked as a corporate consultant until 2015 when she left on her solo trip to Africa where she was inspired to create the clean beauty brand 54 Thrones, Forbes reported. Tegbe has started a couple of other businesses as well.

Her personal website reveals, “In 2016 I founded a portfolio of local service-based businesses ranging from housekeeping, janitorial, maintenance and property services. We leverage technology to provide on-demand local services to businesses and residents.”

Her website also reveals that she started another company in 2019. “I founded a U.S.-based task outsourcing agency; AvailVA. We leverage technology to help niche industry business owners outsource tasks to our trained professionals. We make it simple for local service business owners to scale by handling daily operational tasks and support. My partners and I co-founded ZiggyVA (exited 2021); a key component of a tech eco-system project and Dreamdesk; an all-in-one SAAS CRM solution. ZiggyVA is a cloud-based call center that provides standardized on-demand customer support for local service businesses while creating jobs for women in the Caribbean.”


4. 54 Thrones Is Sold at Sephora

Christina Funke Tegbe’s 54 Thrones features African beauty butters, face and body oils, soaps, and face and body masks “using ingredients such as Shea Butter from Ghana and Uganda, Baobab Oil from Nigeria, Argan Oil from Morocco, Marula from South African and Jasmine and Neroli from Egypt,” promotional materials provided to Heavy revealed.

Oprah named 54 Thrones’ face oil as one of Oprah’s Favorite Things 2020. That same year, 54 Thrones face oil won the Best Face Oil award from Oprah Magazine. In 2021, Sephora chose 54 Thrones as part of its Accelerate cohort and started selling it in stores and online. The brand can also be found at Nordstrom.

Tegbe is offering select products on a special “Shark Tank” deal this week. They can be found on 54 Thrones’ website.


5. These Are Christina Funke Tegbe’s Favorite Ingredients to Work With

Christina Funke Tegbe intends to remain hands-on in choosing the artisans she works with and the ingredients she uses in her skincare line. Her absolute favorite ingredient is shea butter. In an interview with Travel Noire, she said, “I’m all about shea butter. I use it head to toe…You can find shea butter in a lot of West African countries like Ghana, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Togo, Mali, and you also can get it in East Africa.” She revealed that the shea butter she uses in 54 Thrones products is found in Kenya, Sudan and Uganda.

Her second favorite ingredient is tansy oil. She told the outlet, “I was so happy to include tansy oil in one of our butters. It’s usually only found in really expensive products, so I wanted to put it in our hand cream so more people could access it. It’s great for sensitive skin and acne-prone skin and helps retain moisture and your skin’s barrier. It smells amazing and has calming energy effects, too.”

And finally, her third favorite ingredient is from South Africa. It’s kigelia Africana extract oil. Tegbe uses this oil in 54 Thrones’ Nejma Balancing Night Oil. She revealed to the outlet, “It is a powerful oil known to help oily skin and inflamed skin.”

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