The 3 companies selected in L’Oreal x She Leads Africa’s latest cohort are some of the most brilliant companies operating out of the continent today. With a chance for mentorship, knowledge and networking opportunities for these start-ups, we can’t wait to see how far they go. BN Style had a quick chat with all three winners. Read our interview with Hilary Rodriguez-Taiwo. She is the Cosmetic Scientist and entrepreneur behind website Hilary Says.
Tell us about your brand
Hilary Says is a beauty company that retails professional-strength cosmetic products for targeted skin issues and educates by providing research-backed beauty advice and product reviews.
What’s your best selling product?
Paula’s Choice Skin Revealing Body Lotion 10% AHA
What’s your educational background?
I have a BSc in Cosmetic Science
What’s been your biggest challenge so far?
Moving back to Nigeria after 11 years in the UK and trying to get job in research & development in the cosmetic industry…..total nightmare! It pushed me to start Hilary Says, so i can say it worked out for good.
What has been the biggest highlight of your career?
Pitching my business to L’Oreal and hearing words like “we really believe in this” was a huge highlight for me. Best feeling ever!
Any plans to diversify into other categories or other regions on the continent?
Oh definitely! We plan to diversify product categories and conquer other parts of Africa.
What’s the earliest accomplishment you had in business that inspired you to keep going?
The positive feedback i was getting from clients and messages from followers saying how much they were learning from me kept me motivated.
Who is your favourite African style icon?
What advice would you give a new business owner/entrepreneur?
I will say make sure you do a lot of research before you start, get your numbers in order from the beginning (get an accountant) and do something to differentiate your business from your competitors (don’t act like you don’t have competition). I can’t leave this one out – Be prepared for a very bumpy ride!!! (hahahaha)