Meet Bukky Fatusin, the founder of Curlvolution, the UK's largest and longest running natural hair and beauty show. Bukky got the idea for Curlvolution while on maternity leave, learning how to care for her natural hair and realizing nothing really existed in the UK market to connect women like her together or connect them with natural beauty and hair care vendors. She's driven by her pure passion and has grown her brand to being more than just about hair and beauty; Curvolution is also a highly successful lifestyle, career and health brand. Bukky is sharing the details of her success over the last 5 years in this interview - and she's just getting started. Enjoy!
Please introduce yourself and tell us about your business. What is it called and what services / products do you offer?
My name is Bukky Fatusin and I'm the founder of Curlvolution.
Curlvolution provides a lifestyle platform for the celebration and education of natural hair, beauty and the modern woman of color.
Can you share a bit about how you choose this line of business? What transition did you make to owning your own business?
I started Curlvolution whilst on maternity leave as It became obvious that there were a lot of women who not only wanted to learn about healthy hair care but also to meet with other women with natural hair. In addition there were small natural hair and beauty business owners who had very few means to tapping into their core audience/customer base.
5 years on and we are now much more than just a hair show – We have found that women of color meet, mingle and network to talk about all things hair and beauty, lifestyle, career, health and everything in between. At our events guests leave feeling empowered and charged to do more and be more. So what started off as a hair care events brand had now morphed into somewhat of a lifestyle brand for women of color. In addition we are increasingly working with major international brands who want to meet with our audience and develop their product and service offering in Europe.
Do you have any special training?
I also work as a business development manager for the Africa practice of a city law firm- so a number of the skills necessary in this job has helped me to build Curlvolution into the brand it is today. Besides that I’ve had no formal training- just pure passion. And its passion that helps me focus on delivering service excellence for people who attend our events and brand we deal with.
What are some of your biggest accomplishments as a business owner?
The fact that I didn’t talk myself out of starting Curlvolution and I just ran with it – is an achievement. Managing to host our annual events whilst juggling a day job, being mommy and wife is in and of itself an achievement. When someone comes to our event, feel uplifted and go away with so much more than just hair products – that feels like a major accomplishment!!!
What mistakes have you made with your business? What did you learn from the experience and how did you bounce back?
Fundamentally it takes funds to pull a show together - passion alone does not do it! Therefore, juggling the needs of our sponsors/brands with the desires of our audience is an ongoing battle that we continue to learn from. When situations occur that we find ourselves conflicted we always resolve it by going back to square one - ‘the reason we startedin the first place’. That always gets us centered and brings back focus and enables us to bounce back confidently.
What do you consider the most important elements of running a successful small business?Relations with people, mutual respect and service excellence in all you do!
Do you have any start-up advice you can share with women reading this who would like to launch their own businesses?
If you have a passion for something, run with it, keep running. Regardless of whatever tries to talk you out of your goal (including your own thoughts) keep going. If you cant stop thinking about it then you need to do something about it. In all you do deliver excellence at all times!
Do you have any advice on managing your small business finances?
Still learning.com – I may need 1-2-1 coaching from Clever Girl Finance :). One thing I know is you cannot manage what you do not monitor, so we keep a very close eye on finances.
How do you balance work and life owning a small business?
I have a fantastic support system, from my hubby to my family. Everyone has taken Curlvolution as their baby and nurtured its growth to where we are now - 5 years deep!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Continuing to deliver service excellence, improving on the Curlvolution experience and empowering a generation of young women who (for whatever reason) are struggling to realize their ambitions.
Please share a fun fact about yourself!
Spreadsheets, making lists and ticking things off, organizing my kids clothes into size, season and color order, meal planning, any kind of planning… these are all thinks that get me really really excited!!