Beauties, if you've read any of our feature interviews with the founders of our brands, you'll realise there's a common theme - they saw an unfulfilled need or niche in the market and they went out and filled it! Of course what they further have in common is that those needs belong to women of colour, women with afro and multi-textured hair, women who are STILL not catered to sufficiently by the offerings of the market. Yes, even in 2019.
Ade Hassan fits right into that category - she realised (as so many of us have) that there was a serious lack of skin-tone inclusive lingerie and hosiery - i.e. nude that is nude for EVERYONE - and she applied her entrepreneurial spirit to bring a solution to the table! She created Nubian Skin and we all rejoiced at having suitable skin-tone options! Read on and get inspired by Ade's journey from Private Equity to Hosiery.
Let’s set the scene – could you please tell us a bit about yourself? i.e. your background, career and journey in starting Nubian Skin?
I was born in the UK, but my family is Nigerian. I grew up all over the world, in the UK, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and the US. After I finished my masters I ended up in Banking, which was something I had been interested in doing, but ultimately I knew that I wanted to be an entrepreneur. Both my parents are entrepreneurs, so I guess it’s in my blood. I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do, but I’ve always had an affinity for fashion. When I couldn’t find lingerie or hosiery in my skin tone I thought I might as well try making it!
How did your career in Private Equity shape your approach to launching Nubian Skin?
I was used to keeping things professional and working long, hard hours and those are things that are applicable in any business really, so it helped set the tone for how I worked and how I wanted to run things.
What trait of yours do you attribute to the success of Nubian Skin?
I would probably say that I’m very hard working, determined and positive. Those have all helped the journey so far!
What are your top 3 tips for someone who is wishing to transition from the corporate to the entrepreneurial world?
1. Believe in yourself – there will be times when this is super hard, but remember it’s your baby, keep at it.
2. Ask for help – this can be hard when you’re so passionate about something, but believe me you can’t do it all on your own.
3. Build a good network of fellow entrepreneurs who are at the same level as you – this is just as important if not more than having a mentor. Sometimes you need to check in with people who understand what you’re going through to keep you sane.
What are your hair care essentials? (you know we had to include that;-))
I’m still playing around with a lot of things, so it’s constantly changing! Moisture is key though!
What piece of advice would you give a younger ‘Ade’ on the topic of beauty and self-acceptance ?
I was really lucky to have a mother who embodied quiet self confidence, and as I viewed her as the most beautiful woman and what I aspired to, it really rubbed off on me. In very simple and subtle ways she made me feel beautiful and whenever I had hangups, she would be the first to say she admired that particular feature. So, the advice I would give to my younger self is the path I took, which is ‘listen to your mum!’. With regards to self-acceptance in general, I would tell the younger me to fully embrace who you are contradictions and all…anything less just doesn’t make sense. It’s so much more important for you to be happy with yourself than others to be happy with a different or lesser version of you.