Introducing Naiga an ambitious creative with a passion for fashion and CEO of organic cosmetic brand Naiga Naturals. Sharing her journey as a young entrepreneur and her mission to provide affordable, chemical free cosmetics inspired by nature that will help your hair grow and skin glow.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Creative, Ambitious, Compassionate.
Give us a background into yourself and your journey making you into the woman you are today?
My name is Naiga. I am 22 years old, and I was born and raised in the UK with Ugandan heritage. I am the Founder and CEO of Naiga Naturals. I started my business in 2017, while studying Fashion Design at University. Making cosmetics had become a hobby of mine while I was studying at university. I noticed a lot of the products in stores did not work for my natural hair and my sensitive skin. Even the products that claimed to be natural on the label were actually causing acne on my skin and hair breakage. So, I decided to create a brand of natural products with ingredients that truly benefit the customer's skin and hair.
Tell us more about Naiga Naturals and what inspired you to start?
Designing and crafting has always been my passion. Making natural cosmetics and oil blends for my hair was a hobby of mine, especially in my late teens. I used to make natural creams for my family and friends to use and received so much positive feedback on how their hair was more manageable, growing and lustrous, as well as improvements in their skin. They would always come back for more products and were willing to pay. This is when I realised, I could turn my hobby into a business.
I came across several documentaries about the afro cosmetics industry and became aware of the dangerous effects of skin bleaching creams and hair relaxers, which made it clear that few products do not list all their ingredients clearly - some of which may have negative health effects. Therefore, it's difficult for customers to know exactly what they are applying on their hair or skin.
I wanted to see more black women running the afro cosmetics industry - from growing raw materials to manufacturing and retail, as I believe we know what works best for our skin and hair.
What would you say are some of your biggest challenges and what advice would you give to people that wish to follow in your footsteps, especially the young entrepreneurs?
As a young entrepreneur, it was challenging to launch my business whilst studying full time at university, but I am grateful to my family, friends and customers who have continued to support me. I have had many opportunities by my local community to promote my products at events and trade shows, which has given me perseverance and confidence to achieve higher.
The advice I would give to anyone that wishes to follow in my footsteps:
Learn about budgeting and finances and how to make it work for you and your time schedule.
Get into the habits of reading, and writing things down on paper as these will both help you to retain information better.
Try to discipline yourself in waking up early and having goals for each day.
What are some of your proudest moments in life and for Naiga Naturals?
My proudest moments are being able to stock my products in Osbon Pharmacy Stratford and Lewisham and also being featured in Glam Africa Online Magazine. As a small business, I am grateful to all the people that appreciate and support my hard work, every purchase and review I receive is always exciting.
When you’re not focusing on your business, what are some things you like to do?
I have just completed a four year degree course in Fashion Design, which has always been a passion of mine since I was a child. I also love photography and visiting art museums. In my spare time, I like travelling to different countries, reading and music.
Finally to you - What is real? What is authentic? and What is winning?
God is what is real to me, because he continues to bless me and guide me every step of the way.
Authentic is not conforming to the crowd and being bravely and fearlessly you.
Winning is thinking like a queen and not being afraid to fail.
Continue to follow Naiga's journey by following and connecting with her on
Instagram - @naiganaturals
Facebook - @naiganaturals
Website - www.naiganaturals.co.uk