We get a lot of emails from you guys and we thought it would be fun to answer some of your questions in this blog post. Although many of the emails usually focus on natural hair, today we will be focusing on 5 questions from random emails regarding entrepreneurial advice, branding e.tc. So let's get to it.
Okay, where to start. Many people don't know this but Catherine Marion was once a clothing line, which we started in college but later closed down because it was just too difficult to keep up. We reopened Catherine Marion a couple of years ago as a wig company after going natural and discovering we had a talent of creating protective style wigs that people actually wanted to buy. But to be honest we were never satisfied with Catherine Marion as a wig company because quite frankly it just wasn't where our passion lied. Pause! Depending on which part of the story you are reading, "WE" doesn't always represent both of us (Abby and Ivie) but we will refer to we to keep this simple. Back to the story... so where did our passion lie? Well at that time we definitely had no idea but we knew we wanted a company that just represented things we liked. When we went natural it honestly was more of just a fun hobby at first, but we got to a point where we wanted to see some real progress with our natural hair. In order to see some drastic progress you have to put in a little research. Through research we discovered that we have a passion for natural hair and having an overall healthy organic lifestyle. That eventually led us to see that there was still a need for organic products especially ones that cater to kinkier girls like us. Eventually Ivie's background in Biology and Abby's background in business lead us to where we are today. So the one advice we have for you (based on our experience), when opening a new company is to try and focus on things you are actually passionate about. When you do so you will find that you don't have to look too hard for a product or service to offer. It almost begins to come to you organically through your passion for it. Whether you passion lies in technology, art, fashion, finance, etc. focus on that and go from there. Also, it is completely normal to have interests in many things, so don't feel like you have to pick one particular interest. Just because your last venture was a bust, doesn't mean your next one will be. Keep at it, stay consistent and look to things that interest you for ideas on where to start.
This is a tricky one. Honestly it all depends on your financial situation. If you are at a place where you are financially comfortable enough to keep up whatever lifestyle you are accustomed to, where do not need a job then you should definitely QUIT. You do not need a job consuming precious time that you can spend on your company. But if you are NOT there financially then you should definitely keep your day job. The one thing about owning your own business is that there are ups and downs through out the year no matter what industry you are in. We started Catherine Marion with a small investment from our family but we worked while running Catherine Marion for many years. So it pretty much depends on how much of a risk taker you are and your financial situation.
In this day and age of social media marketing, branding was and still is very important. Branding basically helps you project the image you would like to represent your company. It shows your customers "hey THIS is who we are, THIS is what we like, if YOU like stuff like THIS then you have come to the right place". "Your Brand" should show the personality of your company, so when potential customers find you, they pretty much should be able to immediately get the feel of what your company is about. We discovered our brand's personality through living a more natural lifestyle in all aspects of our life. There are some things that we are naturally drawn to visually but we also did some research on what sort of personality already existed within our industry (not that this matters but it is nice to know), what sort of personalities our "Target Market" has and what we wanted our brand to project. Luckily for us our ideal brand personality (which was honestly based on our interest) naturally aligned with our customer’s personality. But if you find yourself in a situation where your natural interest doesn’t align with your “target market” then it’s up to you to do more research and think about what identity you would like your company to have. In cases like this we would advise that you cater to your customers but stay true to yourself. As we speak we are still learning as we go and through that always evolving as a brand.
The funny thing about this question is we asked something similar to Vanessa De Luca, the editor of Essence Magazine, when we spoke at the “SHE LEADS AFRICA” NYC event. We asked this because we go through phases sometimes when we get so overwhelmed with creating social media content that we feel like stepping into the background and just quietly running Catherine Marion for a while. There is nothing wrong with wanting to step back but social media is definitely important. If you do not want to be present on social media then you certainly do NOT have to make yourself the face of your brand. Try using spokes models, bloggers, and brand ambassadors instead. Also you do not have to present on all platforms of social media, for example we have a larger audience on youtube and snapchat but a small but growing audience on facebook instagram and twitter. Focus on whatever platform your customers are finding you on and go from there. Finally, being relevant on social media is important but being present in real life is just as important if not more. Make sure you are doing collaborations, trade shows, pop-ups and events in which you get to directly interact with your customers building a stronger relationship and possibly opening new doors.
Ivie “Abby is a little obsessed with dancing and knows all the current instagram dance challenges but won't let me record her.
Abby – “Ivie is forever deciding whether she should go Vegan or not, but the Nigerian in her loves pepper soup and goat meat.
I haven't shared a hair post in a while honestly because I haven't tried anything new, worth sharing. But alas! that changed when I received Catherine Marion's Hair growth system. The review you are about to read represents my honest opinion, no extras lol. Catherine Marion is an African owned business started by Nigerian sisters Abby and Ivie Omoruyi. They started this natural product line to address the needs of many natural hair women by providing a one-stop shop for everything from natural home-made products which supports hair growth to natural wigs for protective styling.
Packaging : I love great packaging and the folks at Catherine Marion didn't skimp here. My products arrived beautifully packaged in clear plastic bottles. The meticulous way at which the products were packed ensured no spillage or damage to the products. (Amazon could learn something here, no shade lol I have received quite a few messy packages.) I love the fact that I could clearly see what's in the bottle, no guess work there.
Shampoo : The Earth Clay shampoo as the name suggests is clay based, so forget about the huge lather you might be used to from your current shampoo. It took a little adjustment cos I am used to seeing large white forms, lol. I didn't know what to expect but it did its' job. Cleansed all the excess oil and dirt in my hair and did the same for my 3 year old daughter. She had everything in her hair too BTW (sand, scrapes of lint, paper, etc, lol) typically stuff kids get in their hair right? I love the smell of this product, simply put it smells like a "spa in a bottle" It has this earthy mint smell which I found relaxing! I also loved the tingling feeling in my scalp from the peppermint in this shampoo.
Conditioner. The Moringa Infused Softening Conditioner is a winner in my books. I love the smell, also minty but not overpowering. My favorite thing about this natural hair conditioner is that it is light. I am used to piling heavy conditioner in my hair, it's almost like I have been programmed to think that, that's the only way I know its working. I applied it from root to tip and left it in my hair for 30 minutes. The results were fantastic! I have never had this much curls in my hair EVER from just washing and conditioning my hair.
Leave-In Conditioner: The Moisturizing Aloe Vera Leave-In Conditioner is a light leave-In conditioner that penetrates the hair. My hair absorbed this product so well and I didn't feel the heaviness that I was accustomed to from my past products. My hair felt completely moisturized. Oh and yeah it smells great too.
Moisture Seal Oil: I know sealing oils are important but I just find myself sticking to my favorite moisturizing oil, coconut oil. I had a change of heart when I tried Catherine Marion's Moisture Seal Oil. It is packed with Jojoba oil, Vitamin E, just to name a few ingredients. I love that this oil doesn't have a heavy scent. My hair and my daughter's hair fully absorbed this product.
Guide to Growing Natural Hair : My natural hair system package came with a Hair guide which breaks down most of the myths and questions you might have about your hair. If you have every wondered about hair type, detailed knowledge on what causes hair breakage, how to fix it and most importantly how to grow your hair? This book is a must read, they have the hardcover version as well as the e-book version.
Final thoughts I love that for the first time someone made hair products that is specific to TYPE 3 and TYPE 4 hair. I am most ecstatic that this product is natural, suphur free, paraben free and within a PH balance of 4 and 7 (read about this in the e-book) I loved this product so much that I ordered another bottle of conditioner so I could try it on my daughter's hair. Overall I loved the results on my hair, amazing curl patterns. For my daughter's hair I liked the product too but it didn't enhance her curls like it did for me. She has more curl definition naturally.For the price point, you get high quality hair products that works.
Thank you for the awesome review TiTi, visit her beautiful BLOG for more beauty tips.
Repost from CRAVINGYELLOW.COM. "This brand is literally #goals! I've been following their blog for a while so you can only imagine my EXCITEMENT when I finally received their hair products.
In my latest Youtube video, I'm giving you the full specs on who they are, why I love their brand, what products they have and why you should bookmark them right away! Feel free to have a suss here! So this is definitely one of those coffee-table books I'll have in my living area for a while! Not only is this book a fun and easy read, it has the prettiest illustrations and graphics to keep you turning pages from cover to cover. It covers a wide range of topics such as breakage and dryness and also has a 42-day hair calendar to help you build a regimen that works.
The first time I tried this I was like #wayment. Why is this not lathering like those Head & Shoulder commercials? Then I read the ingredients list and was like oohh! Hahaha! Catherine Marion Flower Child Curls is made of Rhassoul Clay and does not contain foaming agents like Sodium Laureth Sulphates that have been known to strip the hair of natural oils. Instead an infusion of soapberry liquid is included for another dimension to the cleansing power of the shampoo by using the natural saponin (cleansing agent) it contains to clear build up. Talk about next generation haircare people - natural sudless shampoo!
I've used this conditioner twice and it is GOLD. Pure GOLD. It literally melts into my strands like BUTTER. I have no words to describe just how impressive this conditioner is. It can be used both as a quick rinse after shampooing, as a co-wash on its own, or even as a deep conditioning treatment. It softened my hair tremendously and I'd recommend it to you 100%
3. Leave-In Conditioner and Oil:
Now the leave-in conditioner is yet another amazing product - it is protein-free and infused with Vegetable Glycerin, Aloe Vera Juice and Coconut Oil. Just like the conditioner, I found this product MELTED into my strands and was just oh so bomb! Catherine Marion Flower Child Curls Oil is a natural pure jojoba oil infused with vitamin E and is formulated to closely resemble our scalp's natural sebum.
I'm honestly quite impressed with these products and overall, I'd give them a 10/10. I've used them three times now and have not had any issues so far. I also love that they are perfume-free and only use light essential oils to add a soothing aroma. I know you'll definitely love them too if you tried them."
Thank you Craving Yellow for your review! We absolutely love your blog and are so glad you liked our products. Visit her blog at CRAVINGYELLOW.COM