Hi! I'm Ange, it is so nice to meet you...
I am a beauty enthusiast turned creative entrepreneur turned e-commerce business coach. A very warm welcome to you, I am so glad you are here, this is a platform for exchange, for storytelling and for the celebration of creative living, the creation of meaningful endeavours.
I have been a beauty enthusiast since I can remember, I have always loved beauty but the prospect of creating a brand was a very farfetched dream that did not seem possible… fast forward I launched my nail polish line over four years ago and I would like to tell you that it was what I had dreamed about and that all my expectations were met, basically the perfect fairy tale.
It was not... but the journey was worthwhile and I am glad I was courageous enough to chase this somewhat elusive dream of mine, I know how hard it is to create and launch a brand.
I initially wanted to open a cosmetic shop in 2007 after I had graduated from college, but as any fresh graduate I did not have the capital to start so my journey to my own endeavour took about eight years of 8 to 6 kinda jobs.
When I started my entrepreneurial journey, I had no idea about what it took to launch a brand, I was excited about the prospect of creating something that I quickly suffered from overwhelm.
I officially launched AZZI, first of its kind cosmetic brand in January of 2016 after almost three years of research and development, AZZI includes a range of twenty colors from nudes to bright, creamy finish and metallic finish, the products are cruelty free, long wearing, quick drying and 5-free. I named the colors in Kinyarwanda (my mother tongue) and using girls’ names to make it fun and relatable to my community.
I have created this blog to share my experiences and the knowledge that I have acquired along the way and to answer questions that I kept getting about what it entails to start a brand, the creative process. I decided to also include motivational and encouraging content because God knows this entrepreneurial journey is hard and is certainly not for the faint of heart.
Before I share a bit of encouragement, I would invite you to check out my resource page, I share planners and workbooks that will help you get started. Be sure to also check my Youtube Channel, i post videos on weekly basis on creativity, entrepreneurship and personal development.
So as you embark on your entrepreneurial journey, here are a few things to keep in mind:
I remember how women would come up to me to check if I had included their names in my collection, sometimes they were included sometimes they were not but what I love most is that when they didn’t find their names they would tell me to make sure that it was featured in my next collection; that meant the world to me that people could see themselves in my vision that they felt compelled to want to” join in” so to speak and as much as I have struggled turning my idea into a viable brand, those moments felt like a pat on the back, they felt like a great achievement.
CREATE AN AUTHENTIC NARRATIVE
I think it is very important that we create a narrative for our brand but for ourselves in general, no matter how big or small your brand is you owe to yourself and your people to share your journey, as imperfect or embarrassing as it may be, people relate more to your story when they can see themselves in it.
EMBRACE THE CHALLENGE
Starting as a solo act and limited in resources, I was in charge of every aspect of my startup: product development, branding, e-commerce, accounting, tax and customs, shipping, the list goes on and on. The reality of most startups is that you are going to fund yourself before investment comes in. You might have to start small and keep your day job. The journey will not be easy especially if you are limited in resources, you have to keep your eyes on the goal and take calculated risks.
Further down the line, in 2018 I was hired and trained as an E-commerce business coach by the International Trade Centre (ITC) to help local SMEs build a strong online presence and export their brands to the world. This has opened my eyes to the potential that an online brand could have, I have started this blog to share the knowledge that I have acquired.
LEVERAGE ONLINE TOOLS
The reason the online scene is so appealing to me is that I think technology has leveled the field and has allowed so many people to make something of themselves; people have interacted and exchange knowledge and stories that would have not been told a few decades ago.
I hope you show up with your personal style, voice and touch and wow us very soon and I hope I am of service to you; I hope this where you find the tools and the courage to go after your dreams, possibilities are literally endless but carry the same amount of challenges with them, so buckle up and join the adventure!