Christina Tegbe’s three main passions are traveling the world, Africa, and beauty. Tegbe graduated from Tulane University in 2007 with a degree in Business Law and Management. She then went on to earn a Masters in Science from University of Houston-Clear Lake, with a concentration in Healthcare Administration. She worked in several consulting positions before founding
54 Thrones in 2016.
Her impetus for creating this unique beauty business came when her mother was diagnosed with (and fortunately survived) breast cancer. In an interview in Voyage Houston Magazine on June 14, 2017, Tegbe explained how this event made her re-evaluate what foods she and her family ate and the skin care products they used. She realized that most beauty products contained harsh chemicals, parabens, and synthetic dyes.
Tegbe’s father is from Nigeria and she remembered how every time she visited her relatives there, her aunts would always give her shea butter to take back to the States with her. Shea butter is used widely in many African countries for skin and hair care. Combining her love of Africa and her determination to use natural, organic beauty products, Tegbe founded 54 Thrones. The name reflects the 54 countries on the African continent and almost all of the organic and natural ingredients used to manufacture their beauty products come from one of those countries. 54 Thrones partners with women-run cooperatives and individual entrepreneurs in numerous African countries, including Ghana, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria and Uganda. Tegbe spoke about the power of advancing gender equality in producing communities at the 2019 Global Shea Alliance annual meeting.
Many of the African beauty routines that 54 Thrones celebrates through their products originated as healing or celebratory rituals, and they depend on natural, plant botanicals—roots, leaves, berries, and butters made from the shea tree.
54 Thrones is committed to honoring their African roots and traditions and Tegbe is producing postings on 54 Thrones’ Facebook page that will eventually share pictures and information about all 54 African countries.
The beauty products produced by 54 Thrones have won several awards, including Oprah Magazine’s O-ward for Best Face Oil 2020 and was also chosen as one of Oprah’s Favorite Things in 2020. Sephora’s chose 54 Thrones to be part of their Accelerate cohort and the products will launch in Sephora stores later this year. The beauty products are sold in Nordstrom, other select retailers and through the website.
Although Tegbe founded several other business ventures, 54 Thrones is closest to her heart. In the article in Voyage Houston Magazine, Tegbe stated that the most essential characteristic for success is audaciousness. It isn’t so important that others believe in you or your idea. They don’t have to, as long as you believe in yourself and do the work to make your vision a reality.