Tinuke Adetunji is an actress and female entrepreneur who is bringing organic products that she grew up with to people everywhere. The Power Thread sat down with her to hear about her journey, including what it’s like growing up in an East Coast American city in an African home. She recently launched her brand “Mr. E” and talked to us about the importance of treating our bodies with organic ingredients. Read on to learn about her advice for other female entrepreneurs out there!
Tell me about your background.
I was born and raised in Baltimore. I attended elementary school and, shortly after, my parents, myself, and my sister moved to Hagerstown, Maryland. Hagerstown is a small town where everyone knows everyone. I grew up right next to a farm in the suburbs with a lot of nature surrounding me and that’s where I graduated from high school. Ever since I was young, I have always known that I wanted to become a famous actress. I was in every play in school and I took every class that had to do with performing arts. I was, and still am, determined to make myself known in the industry for being a famous actress. I didn’t know how or when. But I knew God would make it happen for me as long as I had faith and worked hard for it. Growing up in an African home, my parents were very supportive of everything that my sisters and I chose to do.
The combination of my upbringing, dreams, faith, and culture is what makes me the amazing woman that I am today.
“The combination of my upbringing, dreams, faith, and culture is what makes me the amazing woman that I am today.”
You started an organic toothpaste business. Tell me more about it! What inspired you?
What inspired me and my family to create this organic toothpaste was my dad’s love for organic products from Nigeria. So when we decided to come up with the name for the toothpaste, Mr.E popped into our minds. Emmanuel is my dad’s name, so we decided to abbreviate his name and that’s how we came up with Mr.E.
We grew up with all-natural products that we made ourselves and Mr. E was on the top of the list. We’ve been using Mr.E’s for over a lifetime. Before Mr.E’s, my dad was going to the dentist for cleanings, and he realized how much he was actually paying for each visit. That’s when my dad started his research on organic ingredients and holistic approaches that could get the job done. My family’s goal has always been to give people a healthier alternative at an affordable price. My dad always asks this question: “Can you imagine if people didn’t have health insurance?” Having this question in mind has really inspired us to make this toothpaste: the best and effective toothpaste that you will ever need.
What has been challenging in the past year?
I would say the entirety of becoming an entrepreneur itself has been a challenge. It’s totally out of my ballpark. All I’ve ever really known was playing tennis and acting. I didn’t imagine that I would one day be the co-founder of a company that my family and I created. It’s been such a journey and we’ve only officially started in November. We are super excited to see what the future holds for us.
What is your piece of advice to young women who are starting out their careers?
My advice would be to JUST DO IT! Do the unexpected, don’t allow being a woman to have any effect on your dreams or goals, no matter what they are. Keep going and remember to put your faith first, and know the only way that you can actually fail is if you give up and stop working toward your dreams.
Do you have a daily routine that you follow?
Kind of. The first thing I do in the morning is to pray. Praying really gets me centered and gives me that peace and reassurance of God’s amazing promises. I usually do a quick full-body stretch to release any tension in my body. Afterward, I drink green tea with honey, lemon, and ginger to get my metabolism going and it tastes amazing. That’s how I begin my day.
“Do the unexpected, don’t allow being a woman to have any effect on your dreams or goals, no matter what they are.”
What are some things on your mind every day?
I think about God and how good he’s been to me. I think about my family and girlfriends and how blessed I am to have them in my life. They are my support system and I don’t know what I would do without them. I think about my career as an actress and how much I want to continue to strive hard every day to get to where I want to be. As a fairly new entrepreneur, I’m always thinking about how I can make my business better, trying to perfect my website and mostly trying to get more sales.
What does it mean for you to be powerful and what makes you powerful?
Being powerful to me means to take control of the things you can control. Stand up for something or you’ll fall for anything. Push yourself every day and do something different to challenge yourself. For example, some of the things that I do differently to challenge myself are auditioning for a role that I couldn’t see myself playing, taking a walk and talking to random people about Mr. E’s, etc. I strongly believe that when I try to challenge myself and stand up for the things I believe in, that’s what makes me and other people powerful.
What is a product, clothing, or book that brings you power when you need it?
The Bible. I strive every day to implement every word and direction that I am given and apply it to my life. I also love reading and researching different organic ingredients, such as oils, alternative medicines and the effects they have on the human body. I usually get the articles online at the library or just research on google.