Women from across the industry – marketers, bloggers, distributors, entrepreneurs, journalists and product developers – came together on what was a glorious balmy evening, to connect with each other and share their experience and expertise – a key tenant of the Nurture and Network™ events.
Hosted in partnership with Becca, women of colour from across the city had a wonderful time at the Becca Boutique in South Kensington- which provided the perfect setting for the evening.
The key note speakers spoke candidly and energetically to the audience.
Hafsa Issa-Salwe – the award winning beauty blogger, Muslimah Beauty (P&G Beauty and Grooming Awards 2012 – Best Indie Blog), educated the audience on the power of the internet and social media and the need to establish ones identity and find your own unique voice . “…when people look at me, they see black and they see Muslim…” she stated, “when they read my blog they soon learn that I am much, much more than this”.
Lukwesa Burak, Sky World News anchor and the founder of the online beauty store Gidore.com – a store dedicated to catering for the needs of women (and children) with multi-textured, curly and kinky hair types. She openly shared the challenges she faced starting and sustaining a new business, how to approach working with US and oversea suppliers and the importance of understanding the EU Cosmetic Directive, as a brand developer, a distributor and as the consumer.
Lara Odusanya, Becca’s Marketing & Communications Coordinator was interviewed by Natalie and she shared her experiences of how she broke into the beauty industry. Lara revealed her how she secured her current position. It was a passion for beauty that led her first to work as a make up artist and then to work for several brands. However, when she would go to the brand’s head offices for training, she found she was more interested in the marketing component and the concept be hind the products that the application of the products themselves, and thus decided to embark on a marketing degree. She left the audience with an overall message that getting into the industry is more about passion and drive than book knowledge and having a specific qualification. Lara emphasised how completing an internship helped her to secure a role – but warned that the the days of coasting through an internship without bringing anything to the table are over, as the beauty industry is extremely competitive and one have to demonstrate the value they will add to any organisation. Lara, then went on to give a demonstration of the Becca products and how ideally suited they are to women of all skin tones.
“I am really keen to work with the mainstream brands, states Natalie, “as women of colour who enjoy using quality, efficacious products are often unaware of the range of products these brands have to offer, products that work well with a variety of skin and hair types.” “Some of these products – such as the Phytospecific range of hair care products, that is developed by the Phtyo brand (Phytospecific also partnered with Keziah Connections on the evening) – specifically target the women of colour, but there are many, many products that would be ideally suited to the woman of colour, that are unfortunately perceived as ‘not for me’ by these women – and these brands are missing out on engaging and building a relationship with this very lucrative consumer group”.
All in all, it was a spectacular start to what is sure to become a key event in the British Beauty Industry’s calendar.
“The event was really interesting and provides a great platform for beauty professionals to network and inspire each other. The Keziah Connections concept is extremely positive and I am in no doubt it will grow from strength to strength”