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We Are Amway: Meet the People — Oumar and Dèdè

Welcome to WeAreAmway – a brand-new interview series where we meet the people who help power and continue our incredible 60+ year legacy. From trailblazing entrepreneurs to dedicated employees, WeAreAmway explores the diverse experiences of the hundreds of thousands of individuals that make up our community, the landmark milestones in our history and the tireless endeavors that lead us into the future. 

For National Entrepreneurship Week, we spoke to Oumar and Fatoumata “Dèdè” Toure Keita, a powerhouse duo of entrepreneurs based in Houston, Texas. 

Interviewer: Hi Oumar, hi Dèdè, thank you for joining us today in honor of Entrepreneurship Week. Tell us a little bit about yourselves. 

Dèdè: Hi, my name is Dèdè. I’m from Houston and I’ve been part of Amway for the past six years now with my husband Oumar. 

Oumar: Hi, I’m Oumar — also representing the city of Houston. We’re originally from Mali, West Africa and like Dèdè said, we’ve been building a business together for six years now,  

Interviewer: It’s nice to meet you both and I can’t wait to get started talking about your experiences with Amway. So first question – How would you describe Amway and why did you decide to become an Independent Business Owner (IBO)? 

Oumar: I would describe Amway as an opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs. As a new business owner, the hardest part is to get started, because there is so much you don’t know. Amway is a really good way for new and experienced entrepreneurs to explore business ownership without the typical barriers, mainly financial barriers, associated with starting a business from the ground up. Dèdè and I were involved with a few entrepreneurial endeavors in the past – from clothing stores to real estate – but Amway provided us a holistic and less risky opportunity to start and build our business. 

Dèdè: Yeah, Amway, I would say, provides a level playing field for everyone. We are all starting with the same resources, the same infrastructure, and access to a vast network of like-minded business owners, to support us. Amway gives you a chance to put in the work to build a sustainable business. 

Interviewer: Why do you think you’ve been successful at Amway? 

Oumar: When we think about all the businesses Dèdè and I started before we became IBOs, I remember how clueless we were. We had no process – we really just would sit down, write down ideas, and whatever sounded good, we’d try and turn it into a business. It was like throwing spaghetti at a wall and seeing what stuck. Needless to say, we didn’t have the knowledge, the experience or the support we needed to become successful there. But Amway focuses on reducing barriers to entry for aspiring entrepreneurs and that’s what it has done for the 60+ years of its existence. Amway provides IBOs with the opportunity to sell successful health and wellbeing products and the necessary supply chain for these products to reach customers, while supporting us in developing our own business plans and goals. We don’t need to build a brick-and-mortar store and Amway even helps us in navigating the world of e-commerce. New business owners have literally zero purchase requirements and no sign-up fees. That hugely reduces the financial burden for us. So, when we came across the Amway opportunity, we saw everything that we needed to be successful, that we were missing before, and obviously it was a no brainer.  

Dèdè: The main difference between Amway and the other business opportunities we’ve been involved in is that Amway provides us with a community of business owners to lean on and learn from. It connects IBOs to each other and now we have this vast network of individuals who are going through similar situations as us. Amway is big on “being in business for yourself and not by yourself” and I think it’s one of the main reasons we’ve been successful at Amway. 

Interviewer: That’s a great segue to my next question. How does Amway support you in building your business plans? What does that entail? 

Dèdè: So many things – starting with the resources available just on the Amway website. The Amway education page is phenomenal. It offers a bunch of free courses and trainings for IBOs in various forms – from presentations to podcasts. I personally love the little two, three-minute videos that we get to watch and educate ourselves on all aspects of the Amway business. It provides us everything we need to know to not only get started, but to build a sustainable business. That’s what we were looking for. And, like I said before, Amway connects you to a host of other business owners who know exactly what you’re going through and are able to provide you guidance from their lived experiences building this business.  

Interviewer: Absolutely, you definitely need a support system. But besides that, what do you think are some of the key skills that are required for an IBO to succeed?  

Dèdè: The best part is – everything can be learned. For me specifically, I was not the best “people” person and I used to think I was the worst communicator – which can both be huge requirements of being a business owner. But I learned all the skills I needed, with  help along the way from so many other IBOs. So, everything here can be learned as long as you stay consistent and persevere. I would say an IBO needs to just go after their goals and then allow themselves to learn along the way.  

Interviewer: What was your initial perception of Amway?  

Dèdè: Initial perception – I mean I guess it was just common sense?  A company’s not going to be around for 60 years for nothing, right? We knew Amway from its products, but not as a business opportunity. So, between knowing how long it’s been around and the fact that it has some of the best-selling health and wellbeing products in the market, we were interested in learning about it from an entrepreneurship standpoint. 

Interviewer: And for our last question. Okay. How has Amway affected your lives? 

Oumar: In more ways than one. I’ll start with just the opportunity for free enterprise – we come from a country that doesn’t necessarily provide that. We might have freedom, but the ability to start your own business and especially to have the same opportunity to succeed as anybody else is pretty phenomenal. Amway has also given us a sense of belonging. I’ve heard somewhere that entrepreneurship is not something you do is who you are. Joining Amway has really provided us with a community of like-minded people with similar goals and the urge to accomplish them. I think that was probably two of the biggest things for me. 

Interviewer: Well thank you both so much for this really eye-opening conversation. I’m sure all of Amway joins me in wishing you continued success in your journey as entrepreneurs.