You have a great idea, you have taken the tentative steps to embark upon on your entrepreneurial journey, you have tested and proven the concept and established credibility with your customer base, so what next? Taking your fledgling beauty brand to the next level is where many can hit the wall. According to article in the Financial Times published last year, barriers to entry to the beauty industry are low…but scaling up is where the challenge lies. Growth requires finances! Thankfully the routes to securing investment for the early stage entrepreneur have been revolutionised through the crowdfunding model.
It is exciting to see some of the up and coming brands started by British #brownbeauty entrepreneurs launch their own campaigns!
MDMFLOW – FLAWLESS BASE FOUNDATION
MDM Flow’s founder Florence Adepoju started her business right out of university (she has a degree in Cosmetic Sciences from The London College of Fashion), creating a line of bold, vibrant lipsticks inspired by her love of hip-hop, youth style and street culture, her desire to utilise her knowledge of the latest colour technology and to cater to the under-served market of beauty for the Women of Colour.
Since then, she has expanded the range to include the a mascara and is now seeking to develop a range of foundations – the MDMflow Flawless Base foundation- and is seeking to raise £60,000 via Indigogo. The base will be available in 20 skin-loving shades and the formulation is vegan-friendly too!
Q. How do I select my shade on the crowdfund page? —————————————— A. Every single person who backs the crowdfund with receive a sample kit once we hit our target. The sample kit will contain 4-5 shades in your shade range. If you can’t find your perfect match we will keep sampling until you do. So make sure you pre-order via link in bio ASAP! #Lablife👩🏽🔬
Florence’s motivations to develop the range included:
1. Building a brand built on community. When Adepoju asked her beauty community what products they would like to see in the range, a foundation was a recurring request.
2. Addressing the fact that ‘diversity is deeper than skin tone‘. An area of diversity that people don’t really talk about is price. So as well as creating a high quality product, it was important to Florence that the product would be available at an accessible price point. This is a pertinent issue that was recently addressed by Stylist’s Beauty Bhagwandas, who recounted her teenage memories of not being able shop the makeup aisles in her local pharmacy or high street beauty stores like her white friends, whom had a plethora of products to buy for no more than a weeks’ worth of pocket money.
— Stylist Magazine (@StylistMagazine) April 5, 2018
3. Creating a quality product with the best active ingredients such as; Creatine – which boosts the metabolism of the skin cells that help produce collagen, elastin and keratin, Vitamin C – to protects the skin against UVB damage and reduces the formation of acne, Resveraterol – an anti-oxidant that protects against the early signs of skin ageing and against environmental pollutants and Hyaluronic Acid – which improves the skin’s barrier function.
There are a range of perks on offer in exchange for support for the launch – find out more here!
Fellow UCL graduates (because we are not just pretty faces 😜😜😜!), Rachael Corson and Joycelyn Mate started Afrocenchix in 2009 after bonding over their over shared problems with alopecia, skin irritation and ineffective hair care products. Fast forward nearly ten years later and the award winning brand is listed in 20 stores around the world, including all nine Wholefoods in the UK and service customers from the UK to Africa to India.
What are you working on today despite criticism? 💚 When we started Afrocenchix we were laughed at. We were told people with Afro hair don’t care about natural ingredients/have money. We were told to make sure we don’t get distracted from real careers… We knew that the problem we’d experienced (a lack of safe, natural, effective and eczema friendly hair products that smelt good) was a symptom of a bigger problem, and one we could actually tackle. Last year we made history as the first brand for afro hair to launch in UK Whole Foods stores. We share this because it’s proof that the negative voices were wrong, and we love disproving naysayers (just not as much as we love solving problems so that’s where we keep our focus!) 💚 Keep going and let your work answer your critics. #MotivationMonday
The dynamic duo are seeking raise £25,000 to:
1. Scale up the manufacturing so that products are made quicker
2. Update packaging across the range for better function and aesthetic
3. Launch Spring, an 100% natural styling butter
4. Complete research and development and cosmetic testing for Swirl, the silicone-free conditioner
Afrocenchix has been featured in Buzzfeed, Black Hair Magazine, the BBC, Huff Post, the Voice, London Live, Spell Magazine and the Telegraph to name a few and after having ‘enough of being told black families are niche’, the campaign will help the brand help them meet health and beauty needs of black families on a greater scale.
Find out more about the campaign here.
So…is success even feasible?
It certainly is! Last year, British brand Liha Beauty launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise £10,000 for the creation of their new facial product Oju Omi, which was over funded by £607!