I'm the CEO of Afrocenchix, the first afro hair product stocked by Whole Foods, AMA!

Rachael Corson
12 replies
Hi Makers! Over the last 10 years I’ve taken Afrocenchix from a side hustle to my main focus with a team of 9 based in London. Our products have been used by Jill Scott’s hair stylist Felicia Leatherwood & Tomi Adeyemi to name a few high profile Afrocenchix fans. Our natural hair company has raised $650k+ Including cash won in pitches to celebrities such as Gary Vee, P. Diddy & Ashton Kutcher. We were selected from 1800+ applicants for the first Backstage Accelerator cohort. When I’m not raising investment, I’m raising my 2 children! In my (limited) spare time I write sci fi, play the guitar, read a whole lot of books or play basketball. 👋🏾 ready to answer questions about building a team, scaling a product business, digital marketing, copy writing or ethics & sustainability.

Replies

Founder & CEO, Hustle Crew
I'd love to hear your thoughts on how you've developed your pitches over the years and what specific elements helped you win funding. Was it storytelling? Focusing on the USP? It would be great to find out more about that.
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CEO, Afrocenchix Ltd
@abadesi hi Abadesi, Great question! I used to debate at University and one of the best things you learn in the sport is how to listen. The best orator in the world can’t win a debate without listening to others. So whilst practice, confidence, annunciation and brevity are important, the biggest key is listening. Before giving our pitch for something I will rest it with different people and listen to their questions then adapt and modify until major concerns are addressed before they are even asked. It helps to ask a range of people to listen to your pitch: people who know the business, people who don’t, people who are customers and people who don’t get the problem at all. Once you’ve listened and created a widely responsive pitch, everything else falls into place.
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Hey Rachel! How did you get access to celebrity investors? Any tips on that front? They're not easy people to reach! Did you find having celebrity investors help and in what ways? Thanks!
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CEO, Afrocenchix Ltd
@melodyma hello Melody. Competitions are likely the best way. Celebrities are busy people so going to meet them in places where they have already pledged their time is the wisest move. Some celebs have funds so I’d advise doing a little research then respecting their boundaries and going through the process on their website. It helped us in terms of PR, press & generally increasing our visibility.
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@raecorson Thanks for sharing!
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CEO, Afrocenchix Ltd
@melodyma you’re welcome!
Curious about new stuff
Hi Rachel, your business story is pretty cool! I'm really interested to know what the main challenge in going from side hustle-production to supply-to-Wholefoods production was, and also the main obstacles (if any) you faced in having an ethical-driven approach?Thanks.
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CEO, Afrocenchix Ltd
@sarasiddiqiuk thanks Sara! The biggest challenge has been getting the right team together. Our people are our biggest asset and also the source of the most learning opportunities! We’ve learnt the hard way that it’s important to hire slow & fire fast. You’ll protect the rest of your team if you’re careful about who gets to be in it. In answer to your second question, you have to have firm boundaries. Some people will try to pressurise you into saving money by lowering your ethical standards. You have to stand firm. A staff handbook, regular training and thoughtful communication helps to instil your values in your team.
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CMO @ Bunnyshell
Hi Rachel, what are some really good books you recommend reading, that would helped you on your journey with Afrocenchix?
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CEO, Afrocenchix Ltd
@alexandru_golub my top leadership reads in the last year have been: Leaders Eat Last, High Output Management, Boundaries for Leaders, Deep Work & Measure What Matters
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Founder & CEO, Hustle Crew
Thanks for your time makers and @raecorson - this AMA is now closed.
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iOS Pops building apps for daughter
Amazing!!!