A Beauty Startup That Cares More About Internal Beauty
Those are my words, not hers.
I’ve had the pleasure of watching my friend, Nausheen, build this company from scratch over the last few years with nothing more than a smile and a smashing British accent.
I’ve watched as she struggled through the chemistry, the international trade and taxation issues, sourcing the glass bottles from Italian craftsmen, mining the organic algae and minerals from Kenya’s Rift Valley, and getting the creative branding and packaging going.
But before I tell you more about the product, I want to tell you her story. It’s about love, loss, determination, family, and being “crazy” (more on that in a bit). It’s high time to be told.
Her father was born in Kenya, as was she and even though she now resides in London, she has dual citizenship so she wouldn’t have to give up her love affair with the country that helped raise her.
She spent her later youth in London with her sister and parents. Her father, a gentle, selfless man owned a business and was loved by the people who worked for him. These qualities have rubbed off.
But then tragedy struck. Both Nausheen’s parents passed away when she was 14 and it was up to her to not just take care of her sister, but also her father’s business so that the people who worked their wouldn’t lose their jobs.
I can’t even imagine how difficult that must have been. And yet, she describes it as “…just something I had to do.” And did it, she did.
Cut to many years later and she’s been building this company solo, her sister just graduated with her Master’s, and Nausheen’s created close friendships with people all over the world. To say I admire and respect her is a disservice to her character. Words only go so far.
But the best is yet to come.
Because her heart has never left Kenya, and because she saw her fellow women sexually ravaged from being used as poker chips in male landowner games, she wanted to do something to help.
Nausheen noticed that the mineral and algae-rich water (she’s a Chemist by the say. Did I forget to mention that?) located in the Rift valley had an interesting effect. The women who live there use the water to wash their faces and heal their wounds, and these magical minerals not only reduced scarring, but also left the women looking a decade younger.
So she did what anyone with gumption and love does. She set up an organizing that would not just teach, but also pay these women to mine the minerals and algae for use in facial creams. The profits from the sale of these creams in high-end London and American department stores would go back into the Kenyan communities, thereby completing the circle.
The Rift Valley, where this natural skin care compounds originate from is called the Cradle of Civilization for a reason. It’s where every human being originated from. We are all connected.
So, what does Nausheen and a Beauty startup have to do with humanizing technology? Hopefully I don’t have to answer that question after a story like this.
But here we are, two years later, and she’s at the 1-yard line, about ready to start shipping after a few more minor tweaks to the formulas and supply chain logistics. And I couldn’t be more proud.
Here’s to the ones who never give up.
“Because the one’s who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”