We were happy to introduce Nikki, owner of Divine Luxury Bath & Body through our my B.O.B. campaign on Instagram! This campaign brings awareness to Black businesses from the owner's perspective. At blackbox we believe it's important to know the vision and purpose behind a business. Through our blog, we can dig deeper into their stories and provide a fuller perspective with you!
After registering her business in February 2014, it wasn't until her daughter asked "Mom, when are you going to start your business? You have all these supplies just sitting here wasting away; JUST DO IT!", that kicked Nikki into gear to just do it, and launch her natural bath & body company, Divine Luxury.
What was it about bath & body products that made you want to start your own collection and launch Divine Luxury?
I'm a nurturer by heart and I love helping others without expecting anything in return. I've been that way since childhood. There are two things I truly enjoy doing for others, that's preparing a meal for them or making them feel beautiful. I started Divine Luxury Bath and Body because I felt the process would be a lot easier to start and it was my way of giving back to others, especially women. There's something about bath and body products that can change to your mood and put a smile on your face at the same time.
You mentioned your daughter asked you when you would to start your business after a period of stagnation, what was your response to her?
After registering my business in February of 2014, I stopped. I didn't start creating products or anything. I was still doing some research, but hadn't created anything. One day my daughter came up to me and said, "Mom, you have all these supplies you order for your business just sitting around collecting dust, what are you waiting on...just do it!". At that moment, I said your absolutely right, and I immediately starting working on my bath salt collection. She was the push that got me out of my own way. I was so afraid to actually "start" because I had no clue on how to actually run a "successful" business. But, I moved my feet and I have been going strong ever since she made that statement to me. I'm learning as I go, taking the good with the bad. I'm just glad I STARTED. There's no failure in starting.
How awesome that your husband was your first sale to get the ball rolling. How has your business grown since that first sale?
Yes, having the support from my husband is amazing. To know he has my back while I'm on my entrepreneurial journey gives me a piece of mind because I know he will always keep it 100 with me. Since he made the first purchase in 2014, business has had a steady increase, and honestly, I'm glad it has been growing at a gradual pace. I'm not going to lie, in the beginning sales were very slow and most of my customers were friends. I was afraid that sales would never pick up. However, once I started doing more conferences and events, I was able to introduce my brand to the masses. By doing more shows, it has helped increase sales and brand recognition, which creates lots of return customers. I appreciate everyone who supports Divine Luxury, but the return customers make a huge difference in a brand's success.
What did you learn from your great grandparents and great aunt as entrepreneurs that has helped you with your business?
Growing up I had relatives who owned sucessful businesses, however, being so young I never asked them questions on how they got started or what things to avoid while owning a business. I just knew I wanted to have something of my own when I got older. Hopefully they are looking down on me and are proud that I'm following my dreams.
What advice would you give to someone like yourself, who has an idea, but is scared to take that first step to launch?
My advice to someone who wants to start their own business, is to make sure you research your market and identify what you can offer that no one else is offering. If you can find a mentor in your desired field, that's great. Even if they are not, a business mentor will guide you on not making the same mistakes they did or at least be a great resource for you to share your ideas. Also, start saving money to fund your business. In the beginning you want to establish your business name, website, photos for your site, supplies, etc. Those things cost money, so make sure you save for them, because I would avoid getting a loan for the longest time. Remember, banks want their money regardless of you selling your product or service. Work on your on personal credit to improve it, if it's not so great, just in case you do want to get a loan. Also, use your free resources like the SBA. They offer tons of free classes and other service to help you grow your business. The last thing I will say is invest in your own personal growth as a brand owner. That means taking a class or attending a paid conference. Once you stop learning, your business will stop growing. Oh, one more thing, surround yourself with people who are moving in the direction you want to go and learn from them. That's it and have fun while you live your dream!!!
It was such a pleasure learning more about Nikki's journey to launch with her business, Divine Luxury Bath & Body. It goes to show that supportive people and belief in yourself is key when taking a step into the unknown with entrepreneurship. We wish Nikki continued growth and success!