The day has finally arrived when Shades of Beauty Live makes its debut in London town, and we can’t wait. By the time you read this, women of colour will be converging at the Royal Horticultural Halls, for the interactive beauty extravaganza featuring some of the most popular hair and beauty brands, influencers and business women all under one roof. We managed to catch a few minutes with Christina Adesina, co-founder of the event to talk about her remarkable success as a first-time beauty event creator. And if you’ve yet to read her beautifully written and poignant open letter to black women, check it out here.
What inspired you to create Shades of Beauty Live?
I started a company called Fair Hair Care (fhairc.com) which promoted standardisation and quality when it came to hair extensions. The hair industry is highly unregulated and bad practices meant customers do not get value for money. When I started to build awareness about the campaign I quickly realised most current shows centred around natural hair and there was a gap for those who braid or wear wigs and weaves or are just into makeup and skincare. There was nothing in the UK to cater for this audience and hence Shades of Beauty LIVE was born.
How did your journey begin? Did you always have a clear vision of what you wanted to do?
I always had a clear vision of what I wanted to do but the journey continues to be a winding path and I have had to face many obstacles and challenges to achieve our vision. A great starting point for us was being able to speak to business owners and consumers about their thoughts on the current state of the industry.
Did you face any challenges when you began your own business? What lessons have you learned along your journey?
Like with anything, there are never enough hours in the day! It’s important to enjoy every moment of your journey as there is always a lesson to be learned in whatever we do.
How would you describe your typical customer?
SoBL celebrates the diversity of looks and beauty within the black community because, as we know, there’s no one way to be black. SoBL is a celebration of individual expression. We’re creating a safe space that celebrates women of colour, particularly black women, because there is too much divisiveness in the community. There’ll be no #teamlightskin or #teamdarkskin – we are all beautiful whether you wear your hair natural, rock a wig or your beautiful polished head! We aim to bring the old skool vibe of big shows with a fresh twist whilst reflecting all the changes that have taken place online.
What advice would you give to a budding indie black beauty business owner on how to create a thriving brand with limited resources?
Patience is key and not getting it right the first time does not mean you should not try again. A positive mindset is everything. I believe that resources are unlimited, especially in the UK, but it’s all about having a plan to grow and scale and leveraging resources, including relationships, as you continue to grow.
Who would you consider your ultimate beauty entrepreneur inspiration famous or otherwise?
Pat McGrath’s career success is one of my beauty industry inspirations. I always believe it is great to look closer to home for inspiration. Pat being a Black British born woman, who self-funded her first business to now being named by Vogue magazine the most inspirational make-up artist in the world is an amazing feat.
What have been some of the most profound learning experiences throughout your entrepreneurial journey?
It sounds cliché but never giving up is number one. Secondly, building a solid team around you. The support has mainly come from our team and the likes of platforms like BlackHair magazine (thank you) and our other media partners who believe in our vision. Where we lack resources (compared to more established events), our small dedicated team compensates this by going above and beyond, working round the clock to bring to the show together. They too believe in the bigger vision and without that support it wouldn’t be possible.
What does the rest of 2018 have in store for you and your business?
We look forward to preparing and working on Shades of Beauty LIVE 2019 but in the meantime, we will be working on smaller masterclasses.
There are still a few tickets left to the inaugural Shades of Beauty LIVE! Don’t miss out, book your tickets here.