Business Spotlight | Isata Kabia of AFRiLOSOPHY

I am boss of AFRiLOSOPHY, We make clothing, shoes, bags, accessories, and cosmetics, enabling talented people to earn a living with their hands.

I have been a boss for 3 years.

My journey to becoming my own boss happened like this: I was a R and D manager for 7 years and a cosmetics chemist for 5 years before that. I studied Biochemistry at Greenwich University. I would formulate my own cosmetics even as I worked for big name companies. The texture of my first lotion-potion was a complete disaster, but it worked wonders on my son’s terribly dry skin. First day home from school after using it, he came running home saying ‘mommy look, no ash’ referring to his ‘ashy’ skin. So then it was a constant reminder when the lotion was almost used up, so there was no turning back.

Biggest difference between working for someone else and being your own boss is creativity. I finally left big companies because the end result of a big name product is more marketing than actual chemistry. As a small cottage industry you want your products to work, to do what you say they will do because that’s how you get repeat customers.

If I could change one thing about my boss life I would… get a few more employees. I can’t afford too many staff right now, as we have to spend more time on training. So for now I am the chemist, the designer, the QC [Quality Control] we have a couple more production staff, thank goodness!

My GoWoman boss tip to others who want to B Y O B is that you love what you do! It has to be so ingrained in you that you will get up at 5 am to pursue it or stay up till 5 am to complete it, because in the beginning you may well have to!

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GoWoman is the reawakening of the 21st Century African Woman - a bi-annual magazine sharing the complete stories of the African Woman who finds a way or makes one. We do this for self-love, for womankind and for the continent.

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