Our CEO Djimbi truly has a deep love for everything makeup, creating beautiful products that perform perfectly and make you feel excited every time you open your parcel is one of her great joys in life.
However, this was not always the case, her love of makeup blossomed from what was one of the lowest moments in her life.
She met her lovely husband while she was in University and after 3 years in 2011, he finally made an honest woman out of her. They had a truly lovely wedding and a wonderful honeymoon. All was right with their world. Her career path was set as she was also in her final year of a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) for Foreign Languages: French and Spanish. She had every intention of becoming a teacher and nurturing the minds of children.
However, faith had a very different path for her and just two short weeks after coming back from her honeymoon she started experiencing excruciating pain all over her entire body. The pain was so severe that it became impossible for her to even walk. Her husband and family had to care for her because she didn't have the strength to even stand up.
Suddenly her life now revolved around daily trips to the hospital, endless tests and having to give up on continuing her PGCE with only 4 weeks left to graduate.
To add monumental frustration to the chronic pain, none of the doctors could give an answer to what was wrong with her.
After months and months of test and false diagnosis's
The doctors finally diagnosed her with fibromyalgia.
What is fibromyalgia you ask?
Fibromyalgia also called fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), is a long-term condition that causes pain all over the body.
As well as widespread pain, people with fibromyalgia may also have:
increased sensitivity to pain
fatigue (extreme tiredness)
problems with mental processes (known as "fibro-fog") – such as problems with memory and concentration
With the onset of her chronic pain and being unable to envision her future as a teacher, as she was unable to complete her course, she could have easily fallen into depression.
However true to her nature and determination she refused to fall into depression.
It was whilst she was in Hurstwood Park hospital, and seeking ways to distract herself from the pain, she started watching youtube makeup tutorials.
Once she got home, she started practising and applying makeup on herself endless to say, it quickly became a passion. What made it into addiction was its added benefit of it being something she could do sitting down.
Her first obsession was with brushes as any beauty lover knows they are essential to any great makeup application. Whilst trying to build her kit, she discovered that all of the good quality brushes including MAC were simply too expensive when you have no source of income.
After some extensive research, she realised there was a real niche for affordable high-quality brushes.
So that’s how it all started. She invested only £1000 in her initial purchase of our original bamboo brushes then contacted some beauty bloggers such as @lora_arellano, @viva_glam_kay @mac_daddy just to name a few and they were happy to try it and were in love with the quality of the brushes, so by the time we launched, we were sold out. And with that income, she was able to reinvest it back into the company and to this day she has organically grown the business to what it is today. She has never had any loans, overdrafts or investments.
In the early stages of our growth, her determination was such that she spent countless hours on her phone researching and connecting with bloggers and it, unfortunately, led her to develop De Quervain’s on my left wrist which ended up needing surgery.
What on earth is De Quervain’s you ask?
Its proper name is de Quervain's tenosynovitis, but you could also hear it called de Quervain’s disease or de Quervain’s syndrome.
It’s a painful inflammation of tendons in your wrist and lower thumb. When the swollen tendons rub against the narrow tunnel they pass through, it causes pain at the base of your thumb and into the lower arm.
However, that did not stop her as after having it rectified with surgery as the multiple steroid injections were no longer an option, she carried on with her determination and now we have a cult following of over 1.2 million followers and have a network of over 500 influencers.
She and her husband have 2 beautiful girls of 3 and 21 months. She has created a full range of products from highly pigmented eyeshadow palettes, highlighters, liquid lipsticks, pigments etc. We are currently in over 27 countries and 40 retailers worldwide.
Her motto has always been to create inclusive high-quality products to the makeup enthusiast that are perfect for the woman who wants to experiment without the high-end price tag.
Being a black woman in a mixed relationship has been a great advantage as she creates all the products ensuring they show up on her skin tone, and also on her husband’s paler skin. He is her reluctant guinea pig.
She is focusing now on showing the love and hard work behind the brand hence why she wants to share her story in the hopes that it will inspire other young men and women to work towards their goals and that despite what life situation you might be in one can create anything they are truly passionate about.