How I almost lost my Natural Hair Business

buuya logo profileI suppose the big question is, “why the name change?” Well, it is a bit of a long story but allow me to take you back a couple of years.

A (very) Brief History

In 2014 I started Rockin Naturals without much of a clue what I was doing, really. Following a tip off from a fellow natural, I found a bulk Shea Butter supplier in the depths of Salt River’s Albert Road. I often questioned my sanity when I stood in his shop but nonetheless, he supplied me with a good product at a great price.

I’ve always described myself as dynamic and energetic; I am extremely driven when I get into something. It was not difficult for me to get into all the necessary research and, in no time, I was selling Shea butter to my friends and my husband’s (then fiancé) colleagues.

That first sale was a rush! I was, in my mind, a bona fide business woman: juggling a full time job and a side venture. I partnered with an amazing lady who gave me the dish on strategy, costing, management, inventory—she was exactly the mentor I needed. Together, we expanded from Shea Butter to what is now known as the Rockin Naturals Range.

We grew from strength to strength until in August 2015 I had to return to my home country, Zambia, due to immigration difficulties. I remember sitting on the floor with my man the night before my flight and crying (don’t tell him I told you). It felt like our world was coming to an end.

To cut a long story short, the business suffered in my absence. I simply didn’t have the capacity to run it from another country and with my partners being in full-time employment, the struggle was real. I eventually (happily) returned to Cape Town in February 2016, got married in March and had to find a job because, you know, life.

I look back at what followed with simultaneous gratitude and regret. I was thrust into the world of small business and was able to see first-hand exactly what makes a business a success (or failure). I learned that it goes beyond the books, beyond the systems, beyond the protocol. I enjoyed the learning journey and I loved my job. I put my heart into it and slowly (quite fast actually), Rockin Naturals became a side business, almost dying a natural (pun intended) death.

I thought I was happy where I was until I slowly started to realise I was feeding other people’s dreams; helping other people grow while I continued to recede into insignificance. I felt empty and sad. Something had to be done.

I went back to the drawing board, revived that fire that I had burning inside of me two years ago, put myself under pressure and the diamond that emerged is Buuya.

About Buuya

Buuya (Pronounced with a soft B that rolls through your lips and sounds almost like a V) is a word meaning “Beauty” derived from the Zambian language, Kaonde. Kaonde, my dad’s tribe, is one of the 72 Zambian tribes (yes, 72).

I felt the name Buuya spoke more to me and also to the brand that I am trying to build (also, I have an awesome little cousin with the name Buuya). I envision Buuya working tirelessly to ensure that women with natural hair are well informed, well serviced, and highly empowered—a brand we can truly call African.

Using indigenous, natural, African ingredients, our range speaks to the woman of colour who is concerned about the holistic health of her hair and body. We look at hair as, not only a lifestyle choice, but a journey of personal growth and discovery. A space where one gets more in touch with ones roots.

And THAT is why the name change.

Stay Beautiful
xoxo

 

Beauty, Beauty Business, Entrepreneur, Hair Care, Healthy Hair, Natural Hair, Natural Hair Products, Natural Oils, South Africa, Zambia