Welcome to our first #Printfluencer feature of 2020. We’ve had a bit of a gap since our last one but I’m so thrilled to get these back up and running. I love reading the stories of other founders, understanding more about their journey and past experience and what led them to starting their own business. Our Printfluencer series is also a fab way to showcase our proposition of visually telling stories through icons. With over 2000 icons to choose from, there really is a My Icon Story in us all.
It’s an honour to welcome Ricki Lawal as My Icon Story’s first #printfluencer of the year. Ricki and I met each other last year at a start-up competition called The Pitch. We practised our business pitch presentations in front of each other and instantly clicked. Ricki’s positivity, encouragement and beaming smile is infectious and I genuinely love the purpose and story behind her own business Club Melanin (which by the way is incredible!!).
We’ve since become Founder friends and Ricki even invited My Icon Story to be part of her first panel event The Good Hair Experience which you can read all about here. But to tell you all about Club Melanin and share her journey to starting up, here is Ricki’s Printfluencer feature:
RICKI LAWAL, CLUB MELANIN
In a tweet (280 characters) what do you/your business do?
Club Melanin is the Afrocentric Hair and Beauty Booking Platform. We match women with textured hair with reputable stylists near them.
Did you have a job/career before starting your business?
I’ve had an eclectic career history to date. From running regional marketing at a tech software / services company to working as a Management Consultant in a Big 4. That said my most fun and arguably toughest job was running Shops onboard a Cruise Ship. With 3000 passengers and a global cruise for 7 months, that was an experience I’ll never forget!
Why did you decide to start your own business?
A few years ago I was lucky enough to travel the world on a cruise ship. I got to go to 32 ports in the space of 7 months and it was phenomenal. But what wasn’t phenomenal was that outside of London, I really struggled to find a hairdresser for my hair. Fast forward to now and this is still the case. I’m a huge believer in being the change I want to see in the world so I decided to start my business to fix this problem. Not just for myself but for others who face this issue too.
Tell us a bit more about Club Melanin.
Club Melanin is a marketplace that matches people looking for specific styles like Braids, Lace Frontals, Faux Locs and more, with great stylists for them. Although Club Melanin is a marketplace solution, I actually started building it through Instagram. Manually matching women with stylists in their new home cities via instagram DMs and the location highlight stories. Now we’re launching our self service website at the end of March 2020.
If you were a recent customer of your business, what would you write in the review?
“My braids are fire! Thanks for hooking me up with this awesome stylist Club Melanin!”
FINISH THESE SENTENCES…
My business is amazing because…it’s providing the much needed platform for black women everywhere to find and book a great hairdresser or beautician for them.
This time next year…I will be rocking a brand new style, courtesy of Club Melanin 😉
RICKI’S MY ICON STORY
Small & Mighty My Icon Story (fits 4-6 icons), white background with black icons and solid black wooden frame
Tell us the story behind your My Icon Story print?
- Being born in Ibadan, Nigeria
- Moving with my family to a town called Penge, London Borough of Bromley
- My first international internship in Shanghai
- Travelling around the world on the Queen Victoria
- Buying my first home in Elephant and Castle
What a journey! Especially as this isn’t the end!
JUST A BIT OF FUN…
You’re in a cocktail bar. What do you order?
2 mojitos! That way I don’t have to queue at the bar again for quite some time.
What’s your favourite type of shoe?
I literally live in a pair of White Puma trainers.
If you could have any other job in the world, what would you be?
Professional airbnb homes tester? Is that a job? I’d be fantastic at that.
Thank you Ricki for sharing your story with us and for creating your very own My Icon Story. We can’t wait to support you further in your development and eagerly await all the success that will undoubtedly come your way.
To find out more about Club Melanin check out their website clubmelanin.com and follow Club Melanin on social:
If you’d like to nominate a founder to be featured in our Printfluencer Series, please email email@example.com
To create your own My Icon Story visit our design-your-own here. We also offer a free icon request service so any icon you can’t find, simply drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or use the Submit Request form on our homepage.