When people tell you that you cannot make it, look them in the eye and keep on moving forward just like Michelle Ntalami was told by Cosmetic Scientist that the African natural hair wasn’t ready with her innovative idea, when she cooked up the idea of starting an organic product for natural hair for Black woman.
Michelle is the Founder and CEO of Marini Naturals, Kenya’s first organic hair line for Black Women with natural hair which has been fast selling since inception.
Michelle was born in Nairobi in 1984. She graduated with first class honors from the University of Nairobi with a Bachelor Arts in Design and Communication in 2011. She moved to embrace a healthier and more natural hairstyle after her father was diagnosed with cancer. Michelle vowed to get herself rid of toxins as she refrained from chemically altering her hair.
Unfortunately for her, she couldn’t take proper care of her due to lack of organic hair products for Black women with natural hair. She began ordering products abroad which she found very expensive. She started making her own DIY organic products when she had enough of the expensive ones as she experimented on herself and her friends.
Michelle worked with Scan group as an account manager and in 2011, she started a company named Brandwvine Group, a company that provides creative brand design and interior design solutions to companies and individuals. In 2014, Michelle travelled to Italy to study Interior Design at the Florence Design Academy.
She returned to form another company named Marini Naturals, the first hair line for women with natural hair in Kenya in which she conceptualized and designed, right from its name, logo, colours, scents, packaging, label design, brand plan to the marketing strategy.
Marini Naturals has already been featured on CNN as one of Africa’s Most Promising StartUps and by CNBC as the World’s Top 10 Hottest StartUps. Her advice for young entrepreneur is to be confident and bold about their ideas and just go for it.