Victoria Olubi, 23, from London, is the founder of My Curls, a new brand for Afro hair. In this interview, she talks about her journey to fusing natural hair and business together.
1) When did you launch the business and what was the driving factor behind launching it?
I launched my business at the beginning of this month (October) so it is very new. I initially came up with the idea about a year ago, shortly after graduating from university and spent a lot of time planning and preparing before starting the business. The driving factor behind launching my business was a combination of being disheartened by the lack of quality products for women with afro hair as well as my entrepreneurial spirit. I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur and I realised that there is no time better than now.
2) Describe your brand to us in 5 words:
Natural, feminine, beautiful, informative and effective.
3) Who would be your ideal spokeswoman for your brand?
Wow there are so many but my ideal would have to be Corrine Bailey Rae because her hair is beautiful and she embodies so many of my brands qualities: natural, beautiful, feminine and fearless.
4) What does your flagship product, Curl Smoothie, offer naturals that other brands do not offer?
The Curl Smoothie is a great product because it moisturises natural curls without build up and residue. It’s filled with natural ingredients including organic coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil and honey. It leaves the hair feeling soft and smooth, making it easy to detangle.
5) How many people work in your business at the moment and what would you suggest to naturals who want to build a solid business?
At the moment it’s just me but I’ve had incredible support from some family members and friends. It can be very difficult running a business on your own especially because there is so much to do and in the early stages you have to put a lot of time and energy in ensuring that the business becomes profitable. My advice to other naturals would be to have a support system in place that enables you to get objective advice from someone outside of the business, for instance a mentor or someone you know who runs a business. I would also advice other naturals to be persistent and positive because business has its ups and downs but a good business person is resillient and maintains their vision.
6) Is your business working out financially for the moment, and would you suggest women start by selling online first?
I’ve been fairly fortunate because up until a few months ago, I had a fairly stable job that enabled me to start saving for my business. I would definately recommend starting online as it enables you to reach a wide audience and is cost effective. If your willing to put the hours in, you could build your own website and start building an online presence. However, it does take time to start making money or even breaking even so I would recommend keeping the day job or having an alternative income if possible.
7) What are your dreams for Curl Smoothie in the coming years?
My dream is to build a successful brand that is nationally recognised as being a staple for natural haired women. I hope that the Curl Smoothie becomes one of our best selling products and that it helps women to moisturise, nourish and love their curls.
Here is a picture of one of Victoria’s products, Coco Curly conditioner (I like the flowers!):
What do you think of Victoria’s business journey? Comment and let us know.