While the African beauty industry is dominated by international beauty conglomerates, Belle Nubian seeks to challenge these statistics, and also help the continent reclaim what it considers to be African beauty.
As beauty ideals begin to shift, the demand for brands that understand African skin continues to grow. Tapping into a billion-dollar industry that is dominated by international companies is no easy feat. Yet, Faria Ichola already possessed a skill that would help her achieve this goal – a work ethic instilled in her by an A list American Singer. “It was an intense experience, but as my coach and mentor, she instilled an incredible work ethic in me.” It was during this period that Ichola was introduced to skincare solutions practiced by celebrities, and she noticed how these solutions helped maintain healthy skin. Coupled with memories of her late mother’s entrepreneurial spirit, and her master’s in Business and Administration, it wasn’t long before Ichola set out to provide solutions to women on the African continent.
A solution for African skin concerns
Hailing from the Republic of Benin and Ivory Coast, West Africa, and struggling with her own skincare issues, Ichola sought out remedies. She discovered a formula that was so effective that she believed it would offer the same benefits to others. Launched in 2016, based in New York, Belle Nubian now has 40 stores around the world, with just over 200 distributors, and an annual turnover of $10 million. Translating to Beautiful Black, the brand emerged after Ichola was introduced to glutathione, an antioxidant ingredient gaining popularity due to its effectiveness on the skin and overall health.
After discovering that the compound was relatively non-existent in the beauty market, Ichola created a dual glutathione and vitamin C product, and began selling. It wasn’t long before the product sold out, and as the brand grew and began introducing new products, Ichola recruited distributors that would help her sell across Africa. 60% of revenue is generated from the franchises and distributors in Europe and the USA. Ichola has also created opportunities for African women to earn a living by distributing Belle Nubian products. “We empower so many women who are now financially independent and happier in their marriages and in their lives. They don’t have to take any burden from men anymore. They’re free.
Laying the Beauty Foundation
Launching a successful business is a feat that Ichola is proud of, yet she has realized that no matter how large her consumer numbers grow, it doesn’t make her immune to criticism. Ichola acknowledges that every struggle comes with a lesson, and if she hadn’t gone through these struggles, then she wouldn’t have learned what she needed to in order to move forward.
A beauty secret revealed
Consumers often struggle with trusting brands, especially those that produce products to be used on the skin. “My audience likes me because I’m genuine. I don’t pretend to be what I’m not…I share my struggle. I share my battles, and I’m transparent.” However, it is not just the effectiveness of her ingredients or candidness that Ichola credits her success to, but also her attention to detail. “Unfortunately, while some companies will possess all the necessary tools and resources, they may fail to meet success due to poor implementation and organization,” says Ichola. By ensuring organization in her business, and never letting anybody discourage her, Ichola launched a successful brand that brought luxury skincare to the continent. With plans for the brand to introduce products aimed at babies, as well as haircare, it’s clear that Belle Nubian is leaving its beauty mark on Africa – and beyond, as the company intends on expanding into real estate and finance
DISCLAIMER: Brand Voice is a paid program. Articles appearing in this section have been commercially supported.