INSPIRED BY her busy corporate lifestyle, Nnenna Obunso wanted to create a skincare brand that encouraged people to slow down. So LBB Skin was born. The smart name stands for Life Is Beautiful In Balance.
The ex-banker hopes her brand will encourage busy professionals to put their wellbeing first for a moment during their jam-packed days: whether they have just one spare minute, or 20!
The Voice spoke to Nnenna about her entrepreneurship journey so far, what she wants other entrepreneurs to know and the challenges she has had to overcome as a Black businesswoman.
What is most rewarding about owning a business?
It’s been part of a transformational journey for me, to find more balance myself. Seeing this vision come to life, grow and continue to help others is very satisfying, but I’m still only at the start of my journey.
What challenges have you faced as a Black business owner?
I cut my teeth and rose through the ranks in a highly competitive and male-dominated, city environment, so I’ve already had to grow a thick skin about lots of things.
As a result, excellence has become my standard because no one can argue with it! Unconscious bias is no secret, but it’s also not within my control, so I try not to waste energy worrying about it.
As a start-up in a competitive industry the odds stacked against you are already high. I focus on building the best business I can and attracting loyal customers who become ambassadors. It’s simplistic, but that is the foundation from which great things are possible.
What advice would you give to other Black women who want to start their own businesses?
It’s so important that you have a great foundation to build from. Don’t underestimate that part of your journey. I still trade on skills and relationships gathered from being a banker.
If the calling is strong then do your homework, explore it deeply and then go for it! Start in a way you can learn fast and cheaply – even if it’s a side hustle, a blog or an internship.
Finally, never underestimate the role of mentors and sponsors in bringing you up the curve fast.
What is the most common skincare complaint you hear from Black customers?
My customer base is very diverse, and many of us have passed our 30s and are in our 40s now. A common concern is how we can change our skincare so we can age well, because we’re at an age where all the enjoyment we did during our youth starts to show up.
Increased dryness, photoaging and hyperpigmentation are some of the problems we’re facing. I think healthy skin starts with a well-protected barrier. It’s your personal armour against skin enemies like pollution, UV rays and all the other gunk that will try to steal your glow.
With that in mind, my number one rule is to hydrate! Keeping your skin moisturised is essential. One of our balms is a great investment, even if I do say so myself, because ceramides and hyaluronic acid are the secrets to healthy, nourished and hydrated skin.
Everyone has them in their skin, but our natural quantities drastically diminish from thirty onwards, so it’s important to replenish them as mush as possible regardless of whether your skin is oily or dry.
Our balm can be used as a moisturiser, a lip balm, a hand cream, a primer, a highlighter and even as a burn cream, because my motto is really to use less, but better.
It’s also really important to protect yourself from the sun if you have dark skin. UV and HEV radiation from computers and being indoors contributes to lots of issues for dark skin like cancer, advanced lines, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. You should be wearing at least SPF 30 every single day!