President and Founder of Oria’s O’Shay
Accomplished entrepreneur and author of “Detours,” Maria Lee-Driver, creates magic wherever she goes. Her journey into the charmed world of small business began in her late teens and continues to this day. Although there have been detours along the way, they have all led her from a place of inspiration to innovation and immense success.
Maria opened her first business, Re-Ons Designing Impressions Hair Salon at the early age of nineteen. She continued to operate the salon for the next two decades, sharpening her business skills. She created a second business in the same building, where she taught cosmetology and barbering.
After years of working with an extremely varied client base, Maria saw a need for a natural product that promoted long-term healthy, beautifully radiant skin and hair. In her quest for natural products for her children’s salon, she fell in love with Shea butter. Creating a product for children that was natural and free of harmful chemicals became her mission. Maria began experimenting with different mixtures in her kitchen and created Oria’s O'shay, a multi-use product that is as versatile and effective as it is economical. Oria’s O'shay is now endorsed by the medical community, sold worldwide, and used by growing numbers of women, men, and children. Her efforts, on this monumental feat, earned her the Madam C J Walker Award, 2nd Runner Up in 2013 from the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Pennsylvania Chapter.
Today, Maria is laser-focused on growing her businesses, developing new products and business ventures. During the height of the pandemic, she created an all-natural pet deodorizing line, Fresh MinkTM Pets. The line’s four products - pet fume, moisturizing shampoo and conditioner and sage are all natural and free of harmful chemicals.
In the summer of 2021, Maria received an invitation to attend SuperZoo in Las Vegas to display her new line. It was there she would find out she was making history as the only African American participant at the conference of a thousand attendees. Maria later discovered she was the first African American to have a national pet line of products. She took it all in stride and used that momentum from the event to connect with Chewy.com. They saw the potential and offered her an opportunity of a lifetime to carry Fresh MinkTM Pets products on their platform this February 2022.
Her journey to manufacture the new product line in mass quantity led her to founder and CEO of Team 84, Herman Moore. Moore, a serial entrepreneur and NFL All-Pro, was excited to get behind the Fresh MinkTM Pets initiative. “Maria checks all the boxes for the types of businesses we like to support,” said Moore. “First, she’s a passionate entrepreneur who has already succeeded in so many areas. Second, championing female and minority-led businesses is at the top of our priority list. Team 84 is looking forward to the partnership.”
Maria's magnetic personality catapulted her into the public eye. She is frequently asked for interviews, to host events and make guest appearances. She also stepped into the award presenter arena, public special engagements, radio, television, and web-based opportunities.
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