[Startup Interview] Chika Uzor, Founder, GlamAfric, Nigeria
Chika Uzor is the brains behind a Nigeria based entity keen on addressing the problems faced by women of colour face in makeup, beauty and wellness. Guided by the mantra ‘Celebrate & Support African Beauty & Wellness across the globe’ Chika has already created an insatiable appetite for his products in service beyond Nigeria. He talked to African Business Communities about conceptualizing the idea and what it has taken him to build the business.
What does your company do?
GlamAfric is a Nigerian owned technology start up focused on resolving some of the problems and anxieties that African Make Up, Beauty & Wellness consumers / professionals face today.
Our mission is to “Celebrate & Support African Beauty & Wellness across the globe” and to achieve this, we are using technology to re-think traditional models by launching a marketplace focused on making the process of finding professionals, and booking Beauty & Wellness appointments simple, transparent and available 24/7 to consumers in Africa and beyond.
Our GlamHouse tool empowers beauty & wellness professionals with tools required to market themselves better online, manage their bookings & schedule, customer email / sms communication, invoicing and basic reports. This will help grow their business and improve efficiency.
The GlamHub present curated content from a global community of bloggers, vloggers and brands who provide inspiration and useful tips on beauty & wellness for our readers.
Where is your company located?
Lagos, Nigeria and Bedfordshire, UK
When was it founded and by who?
The company was founded by me. The parent company Glam Inc was established in January 2017.
How is the company funded?
The company has very painfully been self funded / completely bootstrapped but with plans to raise funding once we've identified product market fit and gained some demonstrable traction. I’ll see how we get with this plan.
What are your company’s Unique Selling Points?
Whether one is running a salon or beauty studio with 10 employees or are an independent mobile professional, GlamAfric has a great set of tools to help the our clients market their businesses, engage with current and new clients, grow their sales, and manage their bookings and appointments online. These tools are available both via our Website and Mobile Apps. Clients across the world can access our platform from day one with no restrictions.
How has the market responded to your products?
Having introduced the Website in March 2017, we’ve been working with a small group of professionals through our beta phase and can see genuine excitement and immediate value added to their operations. In some cases, we experience skepticism when we disclose how much they actually get for free, but for us, that’s a good sign. We’ve just launched the Android App to the market and can see levels of adoption quickly start to grow.
Our Mobile Apps are at the core of our offering and we’ll be releasing the IOS Apps soon. A few brands interested in reaching these audiences have also started to book advert slots on our platforms, which is great.
Who are your clients?
African, Black Women of Colour between the ages of 18 - 50 seeking inspiration and Make Up / Beauty / Wellness Professionals. We also target professionals who offer these services including make Up, hair, nails, beauty salons, barbers, Spa and Body treatments, bridal, and Models.
We also work with beauty and wellness brands creating products for people of colour.
What are the ambitions of the company?
Immediately grow user base in Lagos and other key cities in Nigeria, with plans to test the London market later this year. Future aspiration is to target markets with the right user / talent density & access to cheap mobile data access across Africa.
Continually improve on our MVP. We have an 18 Month Roadmap today, some of which looks at leveraging exciting technologies such as machine learning, virtual reality and artificial intelligence.
What does your company need to grow and prosper?
Like most Start Ups, it’s funding, attracting right quality of talent to match our roadmap /ambitions, and finally mentorship to enable us fully deliver on our current proposition, and also scale, once we fully hit market fit.
What are the new developments from your company?
Both our Android and IOS App (Both in public & private beta now) will be launched soon with our current website undergoing a refresh to reflect feedback and our continuous desire to get it right for our customers. So please, download the App, check out the website, www.glamafric.com and let us know what you think. We are available on social media (#glamafric) Whatsapp and email.
Also, if you are a beauty or wellness blogger, vlogger or content provider interested in having your content published to Africans / People of colour, get in touch with the team on firstname.lastname@example.org or #glamafric on social media.
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