Please tell us what is a typical business day for you?
There is never a ‘typical’ day where my schedule is concerned. As a freelance Police Station Advisor, I can literally be called out at any moment to attend a police station to represent a client on a Criminal charge. Because of this, I don’t plan my day I just ‘do’. It’s rare that I have a free day where I’m not filling orders from either the Shea Decadence Bath & Body Range, or the Kinks Hair Range. I always endeavour to get my orders put together first thing in the morning so if I do get called out to work; I just need to drop orders off at the post office. Many times I’ll be undertaking the delicate task of emulsifying a product when I’ll receive a call to attend a police station! Very annoying I tell you!
What made you start the business and what steps did you take to start operating as a business?
I didn’t consciously think ‘let me start a business’….. I had stopped weaving my hair due to traction alopecia, and was forced to deal with my hair in its natural state. This led me to look at natural products and realising whatever you put onto your scalp/skin to a certain extent, was absorbed into your body. That’s when I learned about harsh unnecessary ingredients in everyday products and decided to make my own bath & body products. That was over 4 years ago but the hair products didn’t materialise until 2012, hence the Kinks Range. I saw the change in my hair's health once I started using my own handmade natural products and so decided to make it available to all and sundry.
What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment in the business world to date? There’s nothing better than receiving great feedback from happy customers that use my products! My Cocoa Frappuccino leave in conditioner is definitely one of my greatest accomplishments to date!What has been your biggest challenge in business so far?
Being a one man band is very trying at times as you’re responsible for every aspect of the business while still holding down a career. I can’t rely on anyone else to make the products, label the products etc. This is really noticeable when I have an Event on and have to make a large quantity of products as well as filling regular everyday online orders.
What are your future plans for the business?
Shea Decadence/Kinks is moving in the right direction in terms of securing stockists for the Range. At the moment I have a stockist in Sydenham, The Calabash of Culture, 21Sydenham Road, SE26, and also have a few online stockist in the pipeline. I’d like to make the Range available wherever possible, specifically the Kinks Hair Range. There are now so many ladies wearing their hair in its natural texture, and I think it’s great that there are numerous different brands available in the UK to choose from. I’m glad to be a part of that.
If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?
Possibly having a partner from the get go? Possibly……….
What’s the best compliment you could receive in business?
That what I’ve created, accomplishes that which I set out to do; create natural organic products that work effectively and people enjoy using. I like nothing better than getting feedback from my lovely customers.
Why is it so important to inspire young women in particular to follow their dreams? Many people are in jobs they really don’t enjoy doing and as you spend most of your adult life working, it makes sense to do something you don’t find quite so laborious. So if you have dream, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t or shouldn’t do it, strive to do what your heart is in.
What advice would you give to somebody who wants to start a business in your industry? With all the new EU regs, it isn’t quite as straightforward as it use to be. Therefore you need to thoroughly research what is required of you and whether you have the funds needed for all the safety assessments etc.
What or who inspires you in business and why? Anyone who takes the initiative (with a big leap of faith) to start a business, especially young people thinking outside the box.
What is your favourite inspirational quote? ‘Live your truth’ don’t watch what others are doing to gauge where you are……especially on social network sites. ‘Likes’ on FB, do not necessarily translate to customers etc so don’t think because someone has thousands of likes and you have 10, that you are somewhat lacking. Just concentrate on what you are doing and set yourselves goals and targets to reach.