This past weekend was so much fun at the Savvy Chic hair beauty hub. We had a blast hosting Nigerian hair care brand KUI CARE.
Below are pictures and excerpts of Majiri Otobo's( CEO KUI CARE) session with us.
On Going Natural...She went natural a few years ago after working in a manufacturing plant and being asked by her supervisors to take out the weaves she was wearing as a safety precaution. She tried to explain to them her need for a weave and soon realized how absurd her heavy dependence on weaves was and decided to go natural.
On starting a Hair care brand
Since she was sixteen years old she always wanted to own a business, after working as a chemical engineer for years at a production plant, she was inspired first to create makeup suited for black skin tones but soon turned her attention to products for natural hair. She came back to Nigeria and decided to incorporate a company which birth her brand KUI CARE.
On the Journey from incorporation to certification to retail- This was a long tedious and painstaking journey. To get NAFDAC certified, she had to incorporate her company first, finding a name that got approved was a challenge until a friend told her to just pick a number!! She picked the year 1988 as her company name and voila, it was approved. Her brand name has a little more meaning though....KUI means STAR in ijaw language and so KUICARE essentially is a brand that brings out the star in you :)
NAFDAC had it's own hurdles, she said she visited their offices over 40 times!! She had to be very humble and patient making sure to have extra photocopies of all her documents each time she went. Making sure to greet everyone kindly and pretty much suck up to get what she wanted.
KUICARE is made in Nigeria through and through!! From the products to the containers...she narrated how she had to deal with omoniles tasking her trucks which conveyed her empty containers to which she exclaimed they are EMPTY!! Nothing of value to you please!!
On her target...
When she started, she wanted to have about 15 products in her range but she decided to narrow it down to the absolute essentials...shampoo, conditioner, hair mist and hair cream so that customers could start then finish a wash day with ease using her products. She also targets average income earners so her products are affordable with nothing retailing more than N1500. This is so that people can see her product as an alternative to the imported natural hair products...as quality is not compromised.
On Challenges...she has faced a few, some raw materials like the tea tree oil and cinnamon are imported and the currency crisis has had it's effect on the business. Getting the right team has also been a challenge she has had to navigate through....I love what she said here...she said she doesn't pay herself a salary and put in all her energy working on the brand, marketing etc. when her staff drop the ball and she has to pick up from them she is essentially working FOR them and of course that cannot happen...it was based on that she let go of one of her staff.
She was very deliberate about choosing the fluorescent green her bottles are made of. She made a logo in teal green which signifies the spa like relaxing essence of her brand and put it on different bottle colors until she picked the show stopper green. She also was deliberate about her brand ambassador, an upcoming male musician Ycee....she wanted to peak curiousity by picking him and so far it seems to have worked.
Majiri's Tips for Entrepreneurs
* Just Start....for three years she was working behind the scenes on her brand concept, marketing etc even before NAFDAC registration.
* Use your connections...it's easier to forge ahead if you make connections with the right people in your industry and use it to your advantage.
* Grind hard!! No one knows your brand like you do, believe in it enough to talk about it to any and every person.
* Get the huge obligations out if the way....NAFDAC registration is inevitable so be tenacious and focus on that....if in other fields, make sure you make compliance to necessary regulations a priority.
Next up we had live demos using the products, our hair models Deola and Tomiwa were awesome...
I thoroughly enjoyed the party- we ended the evening with socializing and chatting with fellow bloggers and Hairlistas.
You can purchase Kuicare from Ebeano Supermarket stores, Hubmart, Shoppers Delight and of course the Savvy Chic Hair Beauty Hub.
Thanks for stopping by.