Is a six-figure business, in national lockdown, even possible? Well, we chatted to Chioma of “Aesthetics by Chioma” to find out how she started such a successful enterprise, and how she made that bag during an unsettling time in the economy.
Obviously, it is not an easy feat, and Chioma has encountered some pitfalls, but she never gave up on her dream.
Let’s see what she had to say about her experiences.
Tell us about who you are and how you came about starting your business Aesthetics by Chioma?
I’m Chioma Asomugha, I’m 23 years old and my business actually started when I was 19. I was so passionate about natural hair and I hated how expensive and complicated the world made taking care of natural hair out to be. So I decided to start selling the simple and clean products I used on my natural hair on campus. I sold Shea Butter & Black Soap and I got so many great reviews, so I went on to set up an online store and an Instagram page. Soon after that, I started to fuse my passion for natural hair with my passion for skincare since I had struggled with severe acne for a decade and here I am today!
You created a six-figure business in two years – what would you attribute to this success?
I’d love to say I did it all by myself. But I’m going to have to give the credit to God. Without Him, I don’t think I would be anywhere close to where I am now. There were so many points where I didn’t see my business moving AT ALL, days would go by without a single sale, but I was resilient by the strength of God. Even when I didn’t see a way forward, I kept my faith in Him and worked as if I was already where I wanted to be. A big part of running a business is marketing, without that, your business doesn’t exist. So I stayed resilient and continued to use social media marketing until it worked for me.
What is it like being an entrepreneur during the Covid-19 pandemic? Did you have to change the way you run your business?
One of the perks of running a fully e-commerce business is that I didn’t have to change anything at all! During the heavy lockdown, we were registered as an essential service (even the government thinks self-care isn’t selfish haha) so my business mostly ran as normal and actually grew a lot during the lockdown. There was a point when I couldn’t import our ingredients from West Africa so that was a major challenge but I made a plan and things were quickly back to normal.
What types of products do you sell and where can we find them?
We sell pretty much everything to do with natural hair care, skincare, and body care. Most of our products are multipurpose because they’re natural, simple, and have raw ingredients. You can find them on our online store aestheticsbychioma.com, and on Takealot soon.
Have you encountered any hiccups in your journey? If so, how did you deal with them?
Definitely. I think business ownership is very glamourised on social media, and going into my business journey I expected the same thing. I expected to just post my products on Instagram and to “boom!” get instant sales and support. That was far – very far from the case. So for quite some time, I felt very stuck and stagnant in my business journey because I was doing everything all the other boss babes were doing on Instagram, but I got very little return. So I had to learn and research what actually goes into running a business, marketing tactics, and how the consumer mind works. After that, I found a strategy that worked for me and I’ve stuck with it.
Do you have any advice for aspiring entrepreneurs out there?
- Use the Internet! Anything and everything you want to know about running a business is very literally right there.
- Don’t quit! I’ve seen far too many businesses that started around the same time as I did on Instagram that just stopped. If your business is truly your passion, don’t give up on it. What you see now isn’t what will be forever.
- Keep God on your side! When you have Him on your side, nothing can be against you.
Getting to know Chioma:
- Who is your SHEro?
I have so many! Mihlali Ndamase, Rabia Ghoor, Ruby Asabor, and Kylie Jenner. They all inspire me in different ways and they don’t know it, but they’re all my mentors.
- Pizza or pasta?
What a painful question haha! I’m gonna have to go with pizza, just not any pizza with pineapple.
- What is your fave hobby?
I love to cook, go to dance classes, and paint. Anything that inspires creativity and an outlet for expression.
- What would you sing on karaoke night?
Anything straight out of old school Disney – High School Musical, Hannah Montana. But I’d probably just sing anything Snoh Aalegra or Kendrick Lamar too.
- Quote you live by?
“Keep on praying”. Whether you’re happy, sad, losing or winning just keep on praying 🙂
Thank you, Chioma! Follow her journey below!