Michelle Ntalami

11 October 2016

“Three years ago, I decided to cut my hair and wear it natural. They say when a woman cuts her hair it means that there is something big going on in her life;  At the time, my Dad was diagnosed with cancer and he was going through treatment. In a bid to walk the journey with him, I cut my hair. I also re-evaluated a lot of my life choices in terms of keeping healthy, my diet and exercise.. However, at the time there were no locally available products to cater for the African woman’s natural hair. So I began mixing different home-made remedies in my bathroom, and the results were great! I shared my concoctions with family, friends and several hair stylists, and they loved it. I thought to myself that I could do this as a viable business.

The hardest part was getting the start-up capital for this, but I knew the most important “capital” I needed was the passion and fire in my belly. I believed in myself, and the doors slowly opened after several “No’s” from lots of lending institutions and banks. With a few savings and my mother’s help, we found a way. I did the research extensively; I got qualified formulators, laboratories and scientists on board to help me realize the dream. Three years later, here we are as Marini Naturals, Kenya’s First Quality Haircare line for all women of Natural Hair. We’ve grown to be a full-time team of 8, selling our products in leading Health and Beauty Stores across Kenya, East Africa and soon Continental-wide.

Believe in yourself my friends, for you are your own biggest cheerleader. What you’re mind can conceive, your body can achieve.”

Is there anything that surprised you about being an entrepreneur?

Yes. My wit and ability to relate to suppliers and customers of almost all temperament; I didn’t know I had it in me! I have learned to pick my battles. Also my patience has been tested many times. I’ve also learnt how to be humble no matter the successes, and appreciate my challenges. I’ve grown a lot as a person through Marini Naturals.

Who’s is an entrepreneur today that you admire?

Richard Branson – I love how he looks like he’s having fun while making money! He makes it seem so easy.

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