“Your Skin Is A Priority” Meet Adi + Bolga Co-Founder Oluwaferanmi Ogundipe

If you meet Feranmi, you may wonder, “why does she love skincare so much? What is it about skincare that makes her tick?” Feranmi’s love for skincare stemmed from her personal battle with acne some years ago. During our conversation, she said, “I wasn’t one to have acne and at one point I had terrible acne and everyone was like “Feranmi, what is going on with your skin?”

Struggling with acne or other skin conditions? Download the Adi + Bolga app to get skin care advice and solutions today!

I remember walking into pharmacies to ask for a solution and they couldn’t quite give me guidance. I remember going back and asking a new friend that I just met because I saw that she had some insight into skincare and she said, “I think you have combination skin and you should get a gel cleanser.”

I got the gel cleanser and just that small tip from her made my life so much easier. My co-founder and have had this type of experience so we said why don’t we just create something for skincare that will help people out?”

“Your skin is a priority”

Feranmi believes that skincare is a necessity for every person. That is one of the guiding ideas for the platform she and her co-founder are working tirelessly to create. However, she acknowledges that different reasons- a major one being money, keeps us from making our skincare a priority.

Adi + Bolga plans to help out with this by creating a budget-friendly system for buying skincare products. As Feranmi said, “we are trying to see if we can help people pay in installments for some of the products because not everyone can afford to buy all of the products they need at once. This will really be for those who have serious problems with acne or other skin care conditions.”

Adi + Bolga has just launched its platform, BARE to help you navigate the confusing chatter around skincare, particularly for black men and women anywhere in the world, through virtual consultations and accurate product matching to skin type and skin conditions. On their platform, you can get a skin analysis, product recommendations, and a clear plan on how to use them.

Adi + Bolga is also the parent company of Bare the Community, an interactive online community for skincare lovers. On there, they share stunning skincare content and offer great advice and product recommendations for different skin types and conditions.

What you can learn from Feranmi’s business experience

  • Know your why: Your goal should be at the forefront of your mind. Be clear on your why. Know what you are in that space to do. This will guide the skills you decide to learn to run your business well. This will also guide the kind of strategies you put in place for your business.
  • Listen to your customers: Sometimes, people reach out to us for product recommendations and the product we may want to recommend is not within their budget or easily accessible in their location. This lets us know how best we can serve our audience. It may now lead to questions like, do we look for cheaper or more accessible products to recommend? Do we contact the brand to find out if they can make their product accessible to our audience?
  • Make your services clear: It is important to make your services clear and understandable to the people you are trying to serve. One of our main challenges is getting people to understand that our service is new. It is not common. We are introducing a new idea to the public and it is always a challenge getting them to understand what we do and why it is beneficial. Let’s say I develop a cream, that will be easy to sell because everybody understands what cream is and what cream should do. I can easily push that but a beauty tech platform is different. It is a very new idea so I need to make sure our services are clear.

You can join the Adi+Bolga community by following Bare the Community on Twitter and Instagram. For more juicy skincare tips sign up for their newsletters.


“You Have To Learn To Stand Your Ground”- Jane Frances Esegha, Founder, JF Segha

Although Jane studied architecture, she had very little interest in designing structures. After NYSC, she worked in an architecture firm but felt stagnant in her role and this made her depressed. One day, Jane’s boss introduced her to site supervision and in December 2017, Jane Frances quit her job to go into construction full-time.

In January 2020 she established JFSegha. In five years, Jane hopes that JFSegha will be working with international construction brands to execute global construction deals. Jane has a diploma in Interior Design from the British School of Interior Design and a certificate in Project Management.

This article contains Jane’s business journey, tangible lessons from Jane’s experience with her construction company, JF Segha.

What inspired you to start your own construction company?

In secondary school, my teachers kept telling me that I would become an architect because I was good at Technical Drawing. At the time, I didn’t even know what exactly an architect did. I grew up in a small town in Ondo and there were no architects there.

When I got into university, it was a different ball game altogether. Studying architecture was fun but I did not enjoy it if I am being honest. I was supposed to do a masters degree in architecture but I did not. I deferred my admission because I just knew that it wasn’t for me. I am glad I did not waste those two years.

I got a job after NYSC and that job introduced me to construction work. I found that I loved being on-site, I loved supervising the artisans and seeing the construction come to life. I could relate well with the workers, talk about materials, finishing and I loved every bit of it. 

How do you manage to work with different people on a construction job?

When we have work I am on the site 24/7. If I am not there, someone else I trust will be representing JF Segha. Our motto at JF Segha is to be thorough in our approach and dealings so we do not leave anything unsupervised.

I design what I want to see and give clear directions but I also stay there to make sure that everything is done well and that they pay attention to details. Also, my experience supervising constructions since 2017 has taught me a lot about managing people and artisans in general.

From your experience with JF Segha, what advice do you have for fellow entrepreneurs and business owners?

  • Stand on your word! As a woman in my line of work, you have to learn to stand on your word. The artisans will try to advise you to go their way. They will say, “ah Madam do this now, leave am like that…” You can’t listen to that. You have to be stern. You have to know what you want to achieve.
  • Don’t fall into mediocrity. If you are selling quality, you cannot allow anybody to sway you because there is a lot of mediocrity in this country, a lot of people telling you to manage. No, I do not want to manage. You have to know what you want and stand by it. No one should change your mind. I have had to let go off a lot of workers because of mediocrity. What do you mean by I should manage?”
  • Perseverance is very important. Running a business is stressful and as such, you must be strong enough to withstand the challenges that would come your way. Artisans will try to stress you, clients, almost everyone will make demands on you and your time but you have to remember why you wanted to have a business in the first place

Jane is one of the She Leads Africa x Oxfam High Growth Coaching Program. Click here to find out more about JFSegha and keep up with their journey on Instagram and Facebook


5 Simple Steps to finally launching your business idea

Was one of your new year’s resolutions to finally get that blog, podcast or business idea off the ground? Well, if so, I’ve got great news for you!

I recently sat down with the amazing Tobi Olujumni who shared 5 simple steps that you can take to turn this dream into a reality.
For anyone unfamiliar with her, Tobi is the founder of the WTALK, a Multiplatform Entertainment & Faith Network which empowers Women to explore Faith via entertainment.

W360 is the membership streaming service of WTALK set to redefine Faith within global entertainment.

Tobi Olujumni

She is a powerful communicator and sought after preacher of the Word of God. You can read the tips that she shared in our interview below:

1.  Start small but do something

First of all, I would say, start small. Start small but do something. I think that in the day and the society and the culture in which we live now, everyone expects you to have ten thousand followers or a hundred thousand followers, or what have you.

And you’re almost deemed unsuccessful if you haven’t attained that. All of these things are just massive distractions. If you have something on your heart to create, I would say start small. If you want to start a blog, start writing. Start writing on your notepad.

For example, it’s so funny because someone asked me about how I do status updates. Well actually, some of my status updates come on the train and I put it in my notepad. Then I get a kind of a nudge a few weeks later and I think “Oh, that’s for this time!” and I post it.
So first, I would say, start small but do something. That’s big! Because, you know, I have a lot of people that come to me and they’re like “how?” or “what should I do” and I’m like “just do something!” It doesn’t have to be fantastic.

I am a perfectionist but sometimes that can work against me because sometimes some things need to go out.

Some things need to resonate. It’s not about the camera angles, it’s the message that needs to reach the person who needs it most. So that’s why I would encourage whoever it is to start and do something.

2. Be consistent

And then I would say, be consistent. Be consistent because people like to trust that you’re going to be around. That’s how you build a community.

That’s how you build a following- if people trust you; that you’re going to be around. And, if you think about it, if we look at any of the big, massive brands, we trust that they’re going to work.

For example, if I log onto Netflix, I trust that the shows are going to be there. That’s because of their consistency and I think, as you show up and you’re consistent, people will build a trust towards you. People will build a trust towards your voice.

3. Know your voice

The third one I would say to everyone is, what’s your voice? It’s incredibly crowded. It’s incredibly noisy. People are getting notifications left, right and center.

So, what is your voice? It goes back to knowing your identity because I think your voice flows from your being. For example, I’m not creating anything today that doesn’t flow organically from who I am.

You only have got to spend about an hour with me and you’ll know that’s true. So, I would say, what’s your voice? I hear people say they want to be the next Oprah. Good for you but Oprah exists and she doesn’t look like she’s going anywhere for now.

What’s your voice? Because your voice will resonate to the place it’s supposed to be sent.

4. Be persistent and be determined

And, after consistency and knowing your voice, be persistent and be determined.

Your idea is not going to grow overnight. If you get it overnight, you’ll probably lose it overnight. It’s about legacy. It’s about building deep roots.

Like at this moment, I’m not overly concerned with having millions of followers but what I am concerned about because we’re in our infancy at this stage (we’re under 5 years as a company), is building deep roots. Roots that are so deep our infrastructure is laid and it’s tight so we can build upon that.

If your infrastructure’s dodgy, if the foundation’s dodgy and you’re trying to get to 100 followers, the whole thing’s going to collapse. The fact is, if you don’t want the long endgame, I would challenge you to question why? What is your why?

If you just want to make a little bit of money- you can do something else that is less stressful. If you want it now, I would challenge you to question your why. If you get your why, then you’ll know it’s definitely a long run.

5. Be passionate

You must be passionate about what you’re doing because you have great wins and you have days where you’re just like “oh my goodness!” And I just think, the thing that keeps me going is my why and my passion.

It’s the passion- seeing who you’re hoping to help or who you’re hoping to bless or who you’re hoping to communicate with, it’s those things.

Having a little reminder on your phone is really helpful too.

Got an article you’d like to share with us? Share your story with us here.

Effective Goal-Setting: Keeping Your new year Resolutions All Year Round

Each year in January, entrepreneurs, and moguls around the world make new year resolutions to help them reach their business goals.

Common resolutions include personal and professional goals like starting a business, building financial capacity, and even improving health and wellness.

As an entrepreneur, your first responsibility is to plan ahead. Not just for your personal agenda, but for the growth of your company.

Your second responsibility is to avoid being a part of the status quo.  A recent study by the University of Scranton suggests that only 8% of people actually achieve their goals.

To avoid being part of the 92%, here are four tips to help you achieve your goals in 2018.

Create an accountability system

Research shows that when it comes to health and wellness goals, having a partner could mean the difference between success and failure.

The primary reason for this is that having a partner creates a built-in accountability and motivational system. The same is true for your business goals.

Practical accountability systems may include creating visual reminders of your goals, scheduling check-ups on your progress throughout the year, and designating key team members that are responsible for monitoring your goals.

Being intentional about holding yourself and your team members accountable using these tools will ensure that your resolutions will not be an afterthought by the middle of the year.

Be S.M.A.R.T. - Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. Click To Tweet

Be S.M.A.R.T

I often encourage entrepreneurs to use the S.M.A.R.T. method when setting professional goals.

S.M.A.R.T. stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.

Specific goals break down your general goals into manageable bite-size pieces. A great example of this might be to increase your annual revenue.

“Increase revenue in 2018” is a decent general goal. An even better goal is to “increase revenue in 2018 by identifying profit leaks, and creating monthly marketing campaigns in order to obtain new clients.”

Even that specific goal can be further developed as you think about other factors that will affect the outcome. By ensuring that your goals are S.M.A.R.T., you set yourself up to experience the thrill of achievement that will become motivation for future success.

Be Flexible

Life happens, which means that despite your best efforts, some things will still go awry. Part of good goal planning is recognizing that and planning accordingly.

Having flexibility in your approach and expectations relieves everyone involved of the pressure that comes with perfectionism. By recognizing that things may not always go as planned, you open the door for creativity to flow, and for discussion about alternative approaches to the goal.

Achieving your goals is as much a matter of timing, as it is a matter of consistency.- @Andrena_Sawyer Click To Tweet

Create Rewards

Rewards are good for morale, which is good for productivity. As you set your business goals, a rewards system is as important as any other piece of the process.

Whether big or small, rewards that highlight performance, collaboration and other values that are important to you and any team members could be the extra motivation for your overall success.

If you find that, in years past, you have been among the 92% of people that don’t achieve their goals, there’s no better time to change that pattern than now.

Achieving your goals is as much a matter of timing, as it is a matter of consistency. No matter where you are in the process, continue to forge ahead using these tips for success in 2018, and in the years to come.

Ryteprint: The biggest print shop in West Africa

What is Ryteprint?

Ryteprint is an online print ordering platform. Using an innovative, transparent and technology driven platform to enable individuals, micro, small, medium enterprises (MSMEs) and corporate organizations to buy: customised business printing, marketing materials, photo and digital art products.

Products include; Business cards, Letterheads, Envelopes, Flyers, Brochures, Notebooks, Paper Bags, Invitation Cards, Wedding Stationery Customised Boxes, Posters, Roll up Banners, Stickers, Banners, Labels, Plan Prints, Canvas Prints, Wall Art, Photo book, Pop Up Stand and many more.


How do you benefit organisations?

The following reasons are why Ryteprint online platform should be of benefit to you or your organization


  • Largest printed products offering in Nigeria and West Africa making us the biggest print shop in Nigeria and West Africa


  • We pride ourselves in the quality of our products making everything we offer first rate, and as you can guess, we do not do sub-standard products.


  • Thousands of design templates to enable you to order prints yourself (DIY)


  • You will have access to our professional creative design professionals, without spending a fortune on fancy design agency fees.


  • Excellent customer care service to enable you achieve your goal. Through advice, free file check and assistance to help make the process as smooth as possible.


  • We will deliver to your doorstep.


  • Customer satisfaction is very high on our list of priorities, we will work to make you happy. That is a promise.  


Why was Ryteprint created and what problem are you solving?

Ryteprint was created to give individuals the opportunity to order print, customized marketing materials, photo and digital art products.

We use a technology platform which turns what is usually a very stressful ordeal for individuals, small and medium enterprises and corporate organizations, into a simple straightforward process- with pricing transparency and delivery convenience.

Ryteprint currently offers the widest range of printed products in the print industry in one place. Essentially making the platform a one stop shop for customized printed material.


What type of organizations do you cater to?

The platform enables individuals, micro, small, medium enterprises (MSMEs) and corporate organizations, to order printed products and customised marketing material.


What type of products do you specialise in?

  • Business cards
  • Letterheads
  • Envelopes
  • Flyers
  • Brochures
  • Folded leaflets
  • Notebooks
  • Paper Bags
  • Invitation Cards
  • Wedding Stationery
  • Customised Boxes
  • Posters
  • Roll up Banners
  • Labels
  • Stickers
  • Banners
  • Labels
  • Plan Prints
  • Canvas Prints
  • Wall Art
  • Photo book
  • Pop Up Stand 
  • Portable display products
  • Customised Clothing
  • Promotional items,
  • and many more.





What locations can individuals and organizations order from? 

Individuals and organisations can order from their home or offices, and have the products delivered to their designated address- taking the hassle out of ordering print.


Please describe the delivery process…

  1. You register on our platform;
  2. Identify the product you want to order on our product list;
  3. Select your product, decide to use our design templates or simply upload a ready design,
  4. or better still you can  request for a customised design from our creative team.
  5. Once we receive the order, we will perform a file check to ensure the order is ready for print.
  6. We then produce the order with the very latest printing technology equipment.
  7. Then we have our logistics team arrange delivery to your preferred delivery address

It is that simple, no hassle.


Do clients have to pay for delivery?

We are currently charging for delivery, but we might begin offering free delivery for orders above a certain amount at some point.


How can people contact you?

You can go on to our website www.ryteprint.com , and our hotline number for customer support is 07019109598 or 0700 7983 77468


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Ryteprint/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ryteprint/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RYTEPRINT


Use the code: SLA5  for a 5% discount coupon!











Afia Bobia Amanfo: Entrepreneurship as a vehicle for social change

Afia Bobia Amanfo is the co-founder of Studentshubgh, a non-profit organisation committed to the mentoring and grooming of young people in sub-Saharan Africa.

Even though she comes from an administrative background, Afia finds fulfillment addressing the challenges of disadvantaged young people and connecting them with opportunities. She has been involved with volunteer outreaches to villages and schools in Ghana for several years, before starting Studentshubgh with her co-founder, Nana Ofosu Boakye.

Afia is a graduate of the University of Ghana, Legon and the University of Lille in France. She is currently registered for the Master’s degree in International Trade at the Universite de Paris Est Creteil, France. Her career goals are to become a social entrepreneur as well as an international business analyst. Afia has a strong relationship with God, which she sees as the foundation for everything she does.

Afia Bobia Amanfo

Young people are really starved for content that addresses their issues, directs and guides them and this is the gap we seek to fill - Afia Bobia Amanfo Click To Tweet


What made you take the leap into entrepreneurship?

I have always had entrepreneurial dreams and a desire to use entrepreneurship as a vehicle for social change. But, for many years I held myself back because of a fear of failing. I finally decided to take the leap not because I had gathered enough courage, but because I was frustrated by the lack of access to quality content for young students in sub-Saharan Africa.

I interact with a lot of young people and I was distressed. By the fact that many of them were making poor decisions concerning their career, academics, relationships and life in general because they didn’t have easy access to information or a qualified mentor.

A quick check on most youth focused sites will show a bias towards entertainment. Definitely, the youth are interested in entertaining news and it is good business to give your customers what they want. However, young people on our continent are really starved for content that addresses their issues, and gives them direction and guidance. This is the gap we seek to fill.

In addition, I was motivated by the desire to lend my voice to instilling a sense of patriotism and pride in African youth. I believe there will be a change in the future of Africa only to the extent that the youth are intentionally taught to believe in themselves as Africans; and learn to exploit their abilities to their fullest potential so they can become successful future leaders. So yes, I took the leap after lots of prayers and I have not regretted it.


You built your website from scratch and you had no background experience to support this. From your experience what are the key resources and things to consider when creating a website?

Thanks to the internet, no skill is too difficult to learn today. From graphic design to website or app development, the tools are all there on Youtube or a blog out there.

So I will say:

  1. Start with research. You can research based on the type of website you want to build e.g.    a magazine, blog, e-commerce etc.
  2. Determine the best domain name registration sites
  3. Find a hosting site
  4. Find templates
  5. and learn about plugins.

You can find something whatever your budget is!

Here are a few resources you need:

  • Reliable internet connection. This is a must since you will spend several hours on      your site.


  • Domain name registration & hosting. You need to check for the availability of your domain name and register it as well. Most hosting services offer free domain name registration and free email address as part of the package. You can do a little research on the types of domain names and decide whether to register as a .com, .org, .gh etc.
  • I have been using ehost.com as my hosting service which is quite affordable and also offer great customer service. Other hosting services include bluehost, godaddy  etc.


  • A website creation tool/ publishing platform. If you are a beginner like me, I will definitely recommend WordPress. WordPress has several templates ( both free and paid) and plugins. You can play around with various templates to find out what you want.
  • I think if you have an online business, it is good to try your hand at designing your site, because experimenting with various templates will give you ideas and your site will end up better.
  • You can always get an expert to add the touch-up’s, but do some experimenting on your own. Besides WordPress, you can also check other tools such as drupal, joomla or wix.


  • You are going to need some great pictures for your site. There is definitely a lack of quality African stock photos online but there are a few options both free and paid. Check out pixabay.com, shutterstock.com and stockfreeimages.com


Afia Bobia Amanfo


Ok, so let’s just say that was manageable. Let’s talk about building a social media following of over 7000 and developing an e-magazine in just 6 months! What’s the secret Afia?

I will say, there is actually no secret. The key to building a social media following has been widely discussed on many blogs and Youtube videos. I have watched She Leads Africa videos which spell out the strategy I used.

A  clear strategy:

We decided to invest in creating a community on social media first before launching our website.  Our strategy is 2 fold: Focused content and target advertising. To be honest, we have experimented a lot with content. We know our target audience and what we want to give them.

Experimentation and iteration:

However, we continue to experiment with the presentation of the content in order to achieve maximum impact. We have learned to consider that our target audience (students between 15 to 25) usually have very little to spend on data so we don’t do a lot of videos, we try shorter posts and also images with quotes, in order to get the message across.

A well structured team:

I also have to add that having an amazing team has been crucial. I am very big on delegation, structure and organisation and that has been our strength so far. We have a very small team of young people but everyone has a specific role. We have an editor for the e-magazine (Naana Essien) and my co-founder, Nana Ofosu Boakye is in charge of the youth mentoring. That delegation and structure helps us to achieve more than if I was trying to be a jack of all trades.

Using digital as a tool:

We have also embraced today’s digital power and the youth’s ‘addiction’ to their phones. We use WhatsApp as an extension of our community. For our mentoring groups and the broadcast feature for the distribution of four e-magazine and so far WhatsApp has been great. We are looking for more creative ways to meet the youth on platforms they are most comfortable with.

We want to see a different Africa and I believe that starts with an intentional investment in the minds of the young people - Afia Bobia Amanfo Click To Tweet

On the Studentshubgh website all areas of student’s life are included. Why students? Maybe clarify what are your hopes for this generation.

Anyone who is desperate to see a better future for Africa will be interested in the youth. They are the future. My co-founder and I really want to see a different Africa from the one we grew up in and I believe that starts with an intentional investment in the minds of young people.

I think we need to move beyond just entertaining our youth and begin to inculcate in them habits that will prepare them to succeed early on in life. We use ‘students’ as a target basically to clarify the age range but we are interested in reaching out to all young people ,aged 14-25, whether in school or out of school.


Afia Bobia Amanfo


What’s your competitive advantage?

Well, considering our vision, we actually want more people to come on board to help mentor and invest in young people. Nevertheless, our competitive advantage is and will remain innovation and creativity.

We are constantly researching and constantly discovering new ways and new methods to make an impact in the lives of young people. We want to always be one step ahead, whether it is with our e-magazine, our mentoring platform or content. We intend to continually learn and innovate.

Afia Bobia Amanfo says her competitive advantage is and will remain innovation and creativity Click To Tweet

Considering how well you have done thus far. How do you plan on maintaining this standard?

All we have been doing these few months is trying to lay a good foundation. We have more plans ahead for our website, our mentoring platform and our magazine.

We intend to be creative and remain true to our vision, while striving for excellence in everything we do and seeking good collaborations. We have a solid trust in God, who has been the foundation of everything we have done, and continues to give us more wisdom and ideas.

Afia Bobia Amanfo, would you rather reverse one decision you make everyday or be able to stop time for at least 10 seconds every day?

If I had that power, stopping time for 10 seconds will be awesome. Sometimes 24 hours doesn’t seem enough and sometimes you need a few seconds to think and decide. I have learnt that all things work together for good when you trust God.

Were you mentored as a student or do you mentor students?

If you’d like to share your story with She Leads Africa, let us know more about you and your story here.

Lingerie, going viral and Beyoncé: 10 tips for building a global brand

The first #SheHive London event took place this August, with inspiring talks from some of the most interesting speakers in the city. One of them was Ade Hassan, founder of Nubian Skin.

From starting her career in banking to running one of the most popular new lingerie brands for women of colour, Ade’s journey is just beginning. At #SheHiveLondon, she talked about making the shift from corporate life to entrepreneurship, going viral and having her products worn on Beyoncé’s Formation World Tour. Not bad for a brand that’s only a few years old, huh?

1. Even if you’re not in your dream job, there’s still so much you can learn…

Ade started her career in banking and management consultancy. While she enjoyed it at the beginning, her mind was always filled with new business ideas. As she started to pursue her Nubian Skin dream, it got more and more difficult to concentrate at work but she soldiered on.

Looking back, starting her career in the corporate world taught her lessons that remain relevant as a founder: professionalism and the ability to work hard no matter what.

When you’re building a global brand, challenges and mistakes are part of the territory; so being able to keep your cool, avoid burning bridges and perseverance pay off.

2. But eventually you have to put your money where your mouth is

Making the move from employee to entrepreneur isn’t an easy one and for a long time, Ade bounced between the ‘should I’ and ‘shouldn’t I’ question: can I really exchange the comfort of a safe corporate job for the stormy waters running my own business?

It wasn’t an easy question to answer, until a friend reminded her that putting your dreams on hold only leads to regret. And that’s what helped her leap into the unknown and pursue the Nubian Skin vision. So far, it seems to be paying off.

No risk, no reward

ade hassan nubian skin shehive london
The bosslady herself, Ade Hassan

3. Invest in yourself

Although Ade was a fashion-enthusiast, she had no formal work experience or education in the industry. In order to fill that knowledge gap, she made what she describes as one of the best investments so far: hiring a lingerie consultant.

The consultant gave her a crash course in the industry, complete with best practices and things to avoid along the way. She also advised her to attend a trade show which would gave her exposure to potential buyers and stockists.

But remember; always be smart and protect your brand through confidentiality agreements. Imitation might be the best form of flattery but it’s also the best way to kill your business before it ever gets off the ground.

4. Never compromise on your vision

When Ade started, creating lingerie for women of colour wasn’t exactly the most tried and tested thing in the world. There’s was no rulebook on which shades worked best, so Ade had to get creative.

She took trips to beauty counters to understand which brown hues were the most popular, and spent hours improving samples from manufacturers by staining them with teabags to get the shade just right.

She didn’t take the first outcome as the final one. She tried again and again until the final product met her standards.

5. Get social

Unless you’ve been living on Mars, you have probably heard about the ‘power of social media’. But what does that really mean? After Ade finished her very first photoshoot, she posted one of the pictures on Twitter and went on holiday (#jetlife).

Within a few days her phone was blowing up, the picture had gone viral and the Nubian Skin fanclub began. When asked whether her social media strategy has changed since then, Ade said not so much, the strategy remains the same: produce high-quality, exciting and relatable content.

When you do this the support comes rolling in and in the case of Nubian Skin, it caught the attention of Queen Bey. Yes, you read right, BEYONCÉ. Nubian Skin was worn on the Formation World Tour.

THAT’S the power of social media right there.

Beyonce performs during the Formation World Tour at Marlins Park on Wednesday, April 27, 2016, in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Invision for Parkwood Entertainment/AP Images)

6. Playing in the big leagues ain’t easy

Not only did Nubian Skin go viral with customers, but it has also ended up on the radar of major retailers like ASOS and Nordstrom. It’s easy to get excited by those household names and think it’s all fun and games… but it ain’t.

Whether you’re a startup business or not, large retailers have strict rules on how much you can produce but the money isn’t always immediate.

This can be tough on startups who don’t have loads of cash to make large stock; so you have to think creatively about what you can offer and negotiate where possible.

7. Make sure all bases are covered, and get help where it really matters

Speaking of money, the mula, those dollars, all businesses need to keep themselves cash flow positive (i.e. have spare cash for major purchases and emergencies).

Ade knew that she couldn’t do it all, so she hired a friend as her CFO, someone to sort out her accounts and help her avoid bankruptcy. Admitting that you don’t know it all isn’t always easy, but it is the first step to success: once you’ve identified your strengths and your weaknesses you can take steps to make sure that you’ve got it covered.

8. Don’t underestimate yourself

While investing in the essentials is important, doing as much as you can by yourself will also help you save those precious coins. By moving distribution and packing in-house (i.e. doing it within the company, instead of hiring another company to do it), Ade was able to save, save, save.

We tend to underestimate how much we can do, but if we challenge ourselves a bit and take responsibility we’d be surprised by just how much we can achieve.

Also, think about what other sources there may be that can help you out. For example in the UK, organisations like UKFT (UK Fashion & Textiles Association) and UKTI (UK Trade and Investment) provide all sorts of advice and financial support.

While its not always the same on the continent, there are so many accelerators around to help all you #MotherlandMoguls on the continent.


9. Make sure you have the right support system around you

The entrepreneur road is an exciting, but Lord knows it can be rough,  even for the strongest of us.

Ade’s circle of family and friends helped her to stay the course during the most challenging times. Having positive, honest and encouraging voices that talk sense into you will help you to keep perspective.

10. Keep the copycats away by sticking to your guns

As we said, imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery but it can also kill a startup. When the large retailers saw the waves that Nubian Skin was making, they rushed to release their own ‘mocha’-toned lingerie products.

And yes, they have bigger teams and more money, but what Ade has found is that establishing a strong ethos and sense of identity in your brand is what will help you beat the competition, no matter how big they are.

Being a black-owned business helps too, and Nubian Skin has gained strong support from the black community worldwide.