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Meet Kameese Davis – Founder and CEO of Nylah’s Naturals
Entrepreneurship

Meet Kameese Davis – Founder and CEO of Nylah’s Naturals

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SPECIAL FEATURE FOR THE ‘MIDLANDS ENTREPRENEURS SHAPING THE FUTURE’ CAMPAIGN IN PARTNERSHIP WITH LLOYDS BANK

The world of entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart, requiring a unique blend of passion, resilience, and a touch of boldness. Few understand this better than Kameese Davis, the CEO and founder of Nylah’s Naturals, whose journey to success took a remarkable turn when she stepped onto the fiery stage of Dragons’ Den in 2021.

As an avid advocate for natural haircare, Kameese was no stranger to the challenges individuals face seeking clean, plant-based alternatives to mainstream products. Armed with her vision and a deep-rooted determination, she decided to pitch for investment on Dragons’ Den, a platform known for its tough panel of seasoned entrepreneurs ready to invest in promising ventures.

Stepping onto the Den’s stage, Davis captivated the Dragons and the public with her unwavering belief in Nylah’s Naturals and its potential to revolutionise the hair industry. She presented her haircare product line with impeccable poise and infectious enthusiasm, emphasising the brand’s commitment to natural ingredients, sustainability, and inclusivity. Facing a panel renowned for razor-sharp scrutiny, Davis skillfully navigated the challenging questions, showcasing her industry knowledge, meticulous research, and unwavering passion.

Despite securing and then walking away from the £50,000 investment, Kameese’s unwavering commitment to crafting high-quality, plant-based solutions for haircare has led toher emerging as a leading force in the industry.

With her daughter as the source of inspiration behind the brand, Kameese wanted to ensurethat she had access to solution-focused, non-toxic, high-performance products that would not aggravate her skin and scalp, but were also tailored specifically to the distinctive needs of black women with textured hair. Possessing the passion and dedication that drives her to create exceptional hair products, the remarkable CEO and founder is just getting started withher plans to build a global business.

Nylah’s Naturals, which launched in 2018, has won several notable business and industry-specific awards, the most notable being Best Afro Shampoo in the 2021 Women’s Health Awards Haircare category and in 2022, Kameese became the recipient of the Most Influential Business Person of the Year Award at the Multicultural Business & Community Champions (MBCC) Awards.

As part of their ambitious growth strategy, Nylah’s Naturals have set their sights on expanding into the vast market of the United States. Entering into the US market holds tremendous potential for the business, offering a multitude of opportunities for increased visibility, customer reach, and market penetration. With careful planning and strategic execution, Nylah’s Naturals seeks to establish a strong foothold in the US within the next five years

Tell us about your childhood/ teenage years and any experiences shaping your entrepreneurial journey.

During my formative years, I encountered numerous challenges that demanded my unwavering determination and resilience. Growing up in a single-parent household, I witnessed the harrowing realities of domestic violence, which my mother bravely endured. Compounded by the economic disadvantages prevalent in my community, statistical probabilities seemed to conspire against my prospects for success. Within this environment, I perpetually found myself viewed as an outlier – a distinct individual who deviated from the norm. I faced criticism for my manner of speech, as my mother consistently stressed the importance of articulate communication. Additionally, my unconventional interests in philosophy and astrology further set me apart from my peers in the local area, exacerbating the sense of not truly belonging.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced running your own business?

The most significant hurdle I have encountered in my business journey is the lack of access to adequate working capital necessary to execute the growth strategy required to establish a substantial foothold in the market. Consequently, I have explored multiple income streams to support and propel the brand’s expansion. While this approach has yielded some success, it has also presented its fair share of challenges. Balancing and managing these diverse revenue streams has demanded considerable effort, time, and resources, often stretching my capabilities to their limits. However, despite the inherent difficulties, I remain resolute in my commitment to navigating these obstacles and persevering in pursuing my vision for sustainable and robust growth.

What have been the highlights of your entrepreneurial journey so far?

The pinnacle of my personal journey thus far has been the remarkable growth and development I have experienced in my professional pursuits. Through dedicated effort and a commitment to continuous improvement, I have honed diverse skills that have elevated my performance as an individual. My journey has significantly enhanced my communication abilities, enabling me to articulate ideas with clarity, persuasion, and precision. Furthermore, my strategic management skills have flourished, allowing me to analyse complex situations, devise innovative solutions, and make informed decisions that drive success. As a result, I have cultivated a strong presence in public speaking, confidently engaging audiences and effectively conveying messages. These achievements reflect my unwavering dedication to personal growth and my unwavering belief in the power of professional development to unlock new opportunities and propel me towards continued success in my chosen field.

If you could start all over again, what would you do differently?

Reflecting on my business journey, it would be to apply for working capital much earlier in the trajectory of my enterprise. Recognising the pivotal role that adequate financial resources play in fuelling growth and seizing opportunities, I now understand the significance of securing working capital at the outset. With the benefit of hindsight, I realise that earlier access to funding would have facilitated the implementation of key strategies, propelling the business forward and allowing me to capture a more substantial market share. This realisation has reinforced the importance of proactively seeking financial support and leveraging available resources to catalyse growth and maximise the potential of my business endeavours.

The Importance of Mentoring

While I have not had the opportunity to work closely with a dedicated business mentor, I have forged invaluable relationships with numerous individuals who are genuinely invested in the success of our business. These connections have served as a rich source of guidance, advice, and support, providing diverse perspectives and expertise. Recognising the need for structured guidance and strategic input, I have taken the initiative to assemble a strategic board comprising professionals from various spheres of business growth. This carefully selected team offers a wealth of knowledge and experience, contributing valuable insights and helping steer our brand’s development in the right direction. Leveraging their collective wisdom, we have been able to navigate challenges, seize opportunities, and unlock new levels of growth for our business.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to scale their business beyond six figures, what would it be?

I’m still trying to figure that out myself!

Advice to Start-Ups

If I were to offer advice to someone embarking on their own business journey, it would be to strike a balance between strategic thinking and avoiding overthinking. Begin by focusing on creating a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) that addresses a specific need or problem in the market. Rather than striving for perfection from the start, prioritise launching and gathering feedback from early customers. Simultaneously, place great emphasis on fostering growth and cultivating a tribe—a loyal community of customers who passionately advocate for your brand. Nurture these relationships, engage with your audience, and build a strong sense of community around your business. By embracing this approach, you can iterate and improve based on customer feedback while building a dedicated following that will champion your brand’s success.

My favourite holiday destination

I visited Mexico in 2022, one word, unforgettable!!

Black-Owned Business I Love

Inspire a doll

Favourite Thing to Do for Self-Care

Read

What are you currently reading/listening to or watching?

I’m currently reading The Big Leap by Guy Hendricks.

You can find more about Nylah’s Naturals at www.nylahsnaturals.com

 

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