Tell us about Epiphannie A.
Before the Covid-19 lockdown, only 17% of UK BAME women bought hair products online.
Epiphanniea.co.uk is the UK 1st black haircare & beauty comparison website. We are a UK based community where price savvy black women can come to compare the best prices for their favourite hair products and discover new products that better suit them.
We also help beauty/haircare brands & retailers who are struggling to reach the UK Black Female audience with a product directory platform that sells their products. We offer brands qualitative/quantitative data insights on BAME shopping behaviours to better serve their KPIs as well as the BAME community.
Why did you join the Barclays Black Founder Accelerator?
I joined the Black Founders program as I wanted support to properly grow and build my business idea with a technology accelerator program who understand the black consumer need that I am trying to fulfil as well as the BAME market barriers to entry.
I personally would like direction from experienced individuals who are able to help me navigate the issues that I will face trying to gain funding and investment for my business due to my gender and the colour of my skin.
What would be your desired outcome from this programme?
Help with our website development plans and investment funding.
Which entrepreneur inspires you the most and why?
At the moment, I am inspired by Wuzzam Supa (Supa Cent) and Georgie Coleridge Cole (Sheerluxe). Both these women have completely revolutionised the way a business can utilised user generated content, social media interactions and reviews to create a business idea that consumers can easily buy into and engage with.
What has been your biggest win in your entrepreneurial journey?
My biggest win to date has been hitting 700 reviews from over 300 registered members onsite. When I consider that my website hit 500 reviews at the beginning of October 2020 – to have hit 700 reviews within 30 days conveys that my community is growing rapidly and is on its way to becoming a heavyweight within the B2C e-commerce space.
And your biggest challenge?
Building customer/member acquisition and unique traffic to the website is the biggest challenge we are facing to date. We have put more effort into driving SEO traffic but we need fresh ideas to inform the Black community about the Epiphannie A website.
Where did you go for business advice and how did it help you?
When it comes to business advice, I am very lucky to have friends who are leading experts in their digital channel fields to turn to for advice. My friends are quick to point any tools, plugins and tricks that I can easily apply to my business to optimise how consumers interact with it.
What drives you to make your business a success?
I am driven to make Epiphannie A a success as there is nothing on the market similar to what I am doing.
While there are subscriptions boxes or content websites that offering similar user experiences, I have not seen a website that effectively offers Black consumer’s demand for product knowledge and product accessibility.
I want to make Epiphannie A a success as I also see thjis platform as a way to influences brands using data and community feedback to effectively improve how they interact with their black customers. I believe that the success of my website can lead to brands bringing out products and beauty ranges that actively include/can be used by their black audience
What advice would you give other founders thinking about starting their own business?
I would ask any new founder to think about what consumer demand or customer problem they are trying to fulfil.
It is always easier to meet your target consumer where they currently are than having to lead them to a point that they fully understand and appreciate the product/service that you are providing.
Why did you want to start your business?
Personally I started playing around with the ide of my business during the first UK Lockdown (March 2020). I wanted to repurchase my usual brand of Castor Oil but I couldn't get to an afro hair shop and it was sold out on the websites I usually shop at. The alternative website I found via Google had massively inflated the prices and I was just not prepared to pay £12+ for a £4 product.
What do you do to relax when not working?
When I'm not working, you would probably find me at the gym. I personally love working out in a group setting (hate home workouts) or taking long walks. I know that physical activity might not be considered 'relaxing' for everyone but I love the endorphins and sense of achievement I get.
How has covid made you pivot your business?
My business actually started because of COVID. When Epiphanniea.co.uk was launched, it was done on the presumption that the BAME market were comfortable shopping online for their haircare and beauty needs, however I identified that the pool of content (reviews, blog posts, pictures etc) created from a UK BAME narrative was lacking. I had to pivot my original price comparison website idea to include a community led approach with the user generated content in the form of product reviews to successfully plug a bigger consumer desire need.