by Emeline Nsingi Nkosi
A Cosmetic Scientist, Founder of Cherry Coco (a natural skincare company) and Black Beauty Communications ltd. Cheryl Jumbo, one of six children, was born in Glasgow to Nigerian parents. She recently announced the UK’s first ever beauty industry awards event for Black Beauty products aptly named the “Black Beauty and Fashion Awards”.
We spoke about her experience in the beauty industry, BBFA and what she plans on achieving …
“Black Beauty and Fashion Awards is a movement, I am set on advancing the industry.”
Today I am someone who loves business and empowering people; I think it’s important to leave a legacy. I find much satisfaction in supporting individuals in pursuing their dreams; I believe you can accomplish anything you commit yourself to!
My entry point to the beauty arena was most unexpected, around the age of 19, I had intended on purchasing a premium foundation from a company called fashion (there wasn’t much else available), whilst I was browsing I was approached by one of the beauty consultants. We started talking, she enquired about my skincare regime, my interests and asked me what I was doing for a living. I explained that I was studying to become a Sound Engineer. She scoffed lightly and said “no no no my darling, YOU belong in the world of beauty. I can see you now with your silver Hitachi case going to a business meeting”.
As a student of sound engineering, I was the only female in my class, which I didn’t mind much at all. I needed a part time job so I decided I’d explore a little, I sought employment with a cosmetics consultant agency to find out more about the world of beauty.
I had assumed it would be very superficial but being creative and technical I excelled. As I began to consult and sell cosmetic products to consumers, I yearned to understand why people were buying from me besides my selling technique. What was so good about these products? What made them so effective? Were they truly beneficial at all? I wanted to learn the science behind these amazing pots of promise.
Fortunately, around that time The London College of Fashion, had recently introduced to the UK a new BSc (Hons) Cosmetic Science, I secured a place and eventually, proudly graduated whilst maintaining employment throughout my studies.
Since then, I have gained a broad experience of the industry, working in various capacities from setting up a beauty business, working as an expat in Africa, providing skincare workshops, brand development, consulting, working in regulatory affairs at QVC UK, product design and formulation of skin care at E.C Dewitt and Manufacturing at Barry M Cosmetics.
In the UK, I have found myself working in places where I am the only black person in the entire organisation. This has presented some great advantages and in some cases disadvantages, I am keen to see more of us in this arena, our contribution is necessary in a multicultural society.
Sadly, BBFA was born from a feeling of social exclusion. Every single year, we have beauty industry awards that celebrate the great product offerings available from various brands across the UK and further afield. This is great until you realise that none of the products spot-lit with adulation cater to your needs. One particular year as my colleagues and I geared up to attend the latest installment of beauty awards, I pondered on this fact; I have contributed hugely to the UK economy via my hair and beauty needs and wants. I pondered on the fact that at age 19 my only choice of foundation was an expensive premium product, which as a student cost me a small fortune.
I decided that I would become the change that I wished to see. It was at that moment, 6 years ago, that I knew I would create the Black Beauty and Fashion Awards! It would be a celebration of diverse black beauty and culture. However, it would have been seen as too Afrocentric, and so I decided to wait until the right time, which is NOW!
Our event is divided into two halves, firstly, the public voting poll which lasts approximately 4 months from March 2017, followed by the corporate end which takes place later in November.
BBFA seeks to empower BMR* consumers’ voices to express their passion for the products they enjoy using or want to support, and exercise their unassailable right to inclusion. Black males are for the most part ignored in advertising of grooming products. Women of colour spend on average, six times more than their counterparts on hair and beauty products. It is about time to acknowledge this significant contribution to the economy.
Advancement is taking place within the industry concerning black beauty, hair and fashion and it must be acknowledged. There’s a great range of products available for BMR people, but a ‘disconnect’ exists between brands, retailers and consumers. Often people can’t find what they want, although it exists…somewhere.
BBFA seeks to promote, encourage and celebrate producers of high-quality BMR products and build bridges to prompt greater inclusion via mainstream channels. This is all towards bringing about the growth that our communities will also benefit from.
My dream is to see Black Beauty and Fashion Award-winning products made available to the public in mainstream stores across the UK
My vision is to celebrate the diverse beauty and see greater representation in mainstream media. To acknowledge the brands that have over the years, diligently catered to our ever-changing beauty needs. To support entrepreneurialism. In a multicultural society, I would like to see more BMR individuals as manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers and being part of the supply chain of this industry. After all, we are the ones using the products! It would be great to have a hand in what’s being added to these products created to care for our unique beauty.
My mission is to advance the beauty industry, impacting it positively. To celebrate the diversity of black hair and skin and our beautiful culture. To make BBFA a global entity as we expand our Industry award to the Continent and the Caribbean.
All winning products and brands have the right to carry the BBFA winners’ seal created to be displayed on company websites, marketing literature, and products, visible to consumers at the point of sale.
BBFA is the people’s choice award! We are here to elevate to empower the voice of consumers, to alleviate social exclusion and to carve out a space for our beauty products in mainstream outlets. We hope to see Black Beauty and Fashion Award-winning products available online and in high street stores.
Black Beauty Communications’ BBFA has amongst its aims, to be the go-to marketing and quality assessment vehicle to help both lesser-known and readily recognisable businesses gain greater brand awareness within Black and Multiracial client groups. In so doing, a more mutually beneficial exchange emerges, wherein BMR people, with a predicted £100 million 2016 hair and beauty spend, shall notice better representation in mainstream channels. This leads to greater opportunities in employment. Brand loyalty, improved market segmentation and CSR fulfillment are just some of the elements available to participating businesses at the other end of the exchange.
Yes, indeed they should be. So many elements of our culture are used and adopted in the mainstream, from our hairstyles and fashion to music and dance. I believe our ingenuity, success, creativity and innovation need to be acknowledged mainstream also. It’s a known fact that we tend to be products of our environment, witnessing achievements mainstream provides aspiration for peers and following generations.
To some extent yes. I believe that these organisations have missed a trick when it comes to black beauty and fashion. For decades black and multiracial individuals have engaged these brands frequently only to feel a sense of exclusion and being overlooked. Perhaps their lack of offering comes from a lack of understanding of our hair and authentic beauty.
The inaugural Black Beauty and Fashion Awards is a Red carpet affair. it will be a stupendous night of beauty and style on Friday 3rd November 2017. The venue of choice is the beautiful Porchester Hall; I adore its classic art deco design. Amongst others, in attendance will be manufacturers, retailers, entrepreneurs and industry professionals. The evening will include a fashion show, 3-course elegant dining experience, live entertainment, award ceremony, charity auction for Lupus and Alopecia UK and much more.
There will be various voting categories, such as Best shampoo, Best hair treatment, Best Foundation etc and we have a number of special awards including Beauty entrepreneur of the year, Fashion entrepreneur of the year, Best new business venture, Best new beauty tool/appliance as well as honour an amazing individual with a Lifetime Achievement award for their Contribution to the Beauty and Fashion industry.
Voting is easy. Simply visit www.bbfawards.com/voting-online. All voters are automatically entered into the BBFA cash prize draw and the opportunity to win some amazing goodies. Prize winners will be selected randomly and announced via our social media platforms later in the year.
[BMR* – Cherry’s own acronym , Black Multi-Racial]
At a recent event when the winner of ‘New African Woman On The Rise’ was announced,
journalist and presenter Emeline Nsingi Nkosi was taken aback and very intrigued to see a confident girl take to the stage. Zuriel Oduwole, a 13-year old Nigerian, female education activist best known for her work on the advocacy for the education of girls in Africa left her in awe. Zuriel’s Wikipedia page says “Her advocacy has led her to be the youngest person to be profiled by Forbes. In 2014, at age 12, Oduwole was the world’s youngest filmmaker to have a self-produced work screened commercially, after her film showed in two movie chains.”
As a young filmmaker, P&G hired her in June last year to create a documentary on Girls Confidence.
Zuriel was recently referred to as “The Most Powerful Girl in The World” .
We asked Emeline to interview her.
A presenter and creative with a background in Fashion Textiles, she founded M about Town (a London-based show) and is currently working on season 2.
Passionate about working with charities and social initiatives, Emeline is the presenter for Esimbi, a social enterprise working to bring work experience to the Afro-Caribbean community and recently embarked on a journey to India in November 2015 to film a documentary on the volunteering charity named Indigo Volunteers. Here is her inspiring interview to fuel you through the week
I would probably have two. One is a person, and the second is a group of people. So, for the person, it would be President Nelson Mandela, because after 27 years in prison, he forgave all those that put him there when he became President and encouraged the country to do the same. That is very, very cool, beyond inspirational. It taught me about life. The other is a group, and it is the many Girls across Africa who do not have water, or electricity, or are in difficult places yet have to fight to go to school, or have to walk to school. That inspires me to do more, because I have all what they do not have. So I have to do something. Right. I have to. I just can’t watch. I have to do something, I think.
When we travel to African countries like to Ethiopia and Nigeria and Ghana, I always see a lot of young children, especially girls, selling things on the streets, sometimes chasing cars just to sell something small for their families. Sometimes, they get hurt. Sometimes, their shoes fly off when they chase the cars. It is not nice to see. Sometimes, the girls cry because what they were selling would get knocked down-all so sad to see.
So I thought if they were in school, they would be safe.
Also it means that when they get older, they’ll have more options.
So I started to talk to Presidents of African countries about making policies that would allow all children- but especially girls- to go to school until at least around 18. I also began to read and learn more about why Africa has so many children out of school, especially Nigeria with more than 10 million out of school. Do you know that’s more than the population of Switzerland, or the Population of Norway? So I get excited trying to do something to change all of this and some of the Presidents I talk to like what I’m doing, and they encourage me to continue.
I found out why girls don’t get sent to school in Africa, where the resources are usually very little. The boys get to go to school first, and the girls stay at home. Also in some cultures like in South Sudan, the girls are not even supposed to go to school, but instead, get married when they are 12. So I went to talk to talk to President Salva Kiir (below) about this. He was surprised I wanted to talk about this because I was only 10 years old then, but he listened to me. I also spoke to other Presidents, now 18 in total, and I talk about many things on Education, and how we can send the children to school so they have more options in life when they get older.
So I think the easiest way is show and tell. I talk to many mothers in many countries, and sometimes in the rural areas like in Namibia, Ghana and Nigeria. I show them me as an example of what a Girl can do, and I tell them their daughters can do the same too, and maybe even more than me. They always smile when I say that. Sometimes, I show them ‘me’ in Newspapers…Three weeks ago, I was in The Namibian Newspaper in Namibia. Two weeks ago I was in The Voice Newspaper in London. Last week, I was in The Guardian Newspaper in Nigeria…. and then they have many questions.
Us Girls can do what Boys do, and if we are given a chance to show ourselves, we can even do more than boys.
So I am going to give you some examples.
Did you know that the youngest person in the world to be featured in Forbes Magazine was 10 years Old – and a girl?
Do you know that the youngest person in the world to show their work in a Cinema Chain was 12 years old – and a girl?
Did you know that the youngest person in the world to meet and interview 15 incumbent Heads of Government was 12 years old- and a girl?
We just have to tell young people what girls can do, so they know anything is possible. We have to show them that girls can do what boys may be able to do. I know boys don’t want to hear that 🙂 That is why I started my Dream Up, Speak Up, Stand Up project, talking to children about the importance of education and I have now spoken to more than 24,600 children in 11 countries about this.
Education is very important, as my good friend President Jakaya Kikwete told me (when he was still President of Tanzania and invited me to visit in 2013 for International Day of The Girl Child) that he too believes Education is key to success in life.
If we continue to do as written above, it would start to happen. All children [boys and girls] must go to school too. And we must get more people involved also. Like Teachers, moms, dads, grocery store managers, police officers, everyone, because they too have daughters, or their friends have daughters, and nieces too.
Knowing what you know now from the documentaries and interviews with head of states.
The first thing would be to believe in themselves and not listen to anyone who says they can’t do anything they want to. Also they should start early and start young if they can. Also don’t be intimidated at all about meeting or interviewing Heads of State of Presidents or Prime Ministers, because first and foremost, they are people. Maybe also to share their success stories and those of other Women of Color. That way, they would all see everything is possible, because people have done it, or they are doing it.
Very, very, very bright 🙂
Programming Robots, playing with my siblings, riding my bike with my family on Venice Beach, and playing board games and trivia. I also play in a Soccer and Basketball league, so I enjoy that too. I like winning
I don’t think I have one. I’m only 13! 🙂
Posted by Kay
I came across the daring designs of Marcin Giebultowski via Congolese designer Tina Lobondi (she is using his necklaces in one of her shows).
Born in Poland, Marcin specializes in unforgettable handcrafted jewellery formed from a pick n’ mix of crystal, glass, and precious stones.
There are necklaces, bracelets, and earrings in his collection and all are designed with parts that constantly shift and catch the light as they move.
Marcin has gone global, he’s presented in Paris, showcased in Brazil, Russia, Poland and London.
Also, since 2004, Giebultowski has worked with Swarovski to create collections that have been exhibited in the form of numerous collaborations with the brand.