Interview with Jacqueline Laing aka Lovefro

Jacqueline Laing aka Lovefro

Many people starting natural product companies might be finding a shortage of information about this new exciting market. This week I spoke to Midlands based Jacqueline Laing founder of Lovefro who has recently announced that she will be running a workshop London to help all the new and budding product companies with their businesses.


Running workshops to help natural businesses is a novel idea. How did they come 
about?
“After, going natural last September, and trying a hoard of well-known products, I felt nothing was really working for me or worth the price tag.  So I decided that I would create my own products, and approach the entire process from a serious business perspective. i.e. engaging in proper research. So I created an online survey which saw people contacting me to ask me about the findings. It was because of this interest that I decided  to create the workshop to share some’ of my research with those, who maybe wanted to start their own natural hair care business or those who were already in the early stages of business, but omitted market research from their planning.



What does the workshop cover?
Along with Margot from Adornment365, I will be sharing things about the market like, consumer views on ‘natural’ products, the thinking behind purchasing a product, understanding the opportunity the natural market presents, and how to exploit the market using your own personal strengths and weaknesses.  We will also be looking at the benefit of market research and some pointers as to how to create questions, which allow you to glean as much information about your ideas as possible.



Hmmmm but aren’t you just giving people all the answers? Shouldn’t they be researching it themselves?
[Laughs] I hope I am not putting myself out of business! I just really want to help people. I am passionate about encouraging ‘our’ people to approach whatever they do seriously building on solid foundations, rather than operating on a whim – besides, my product has not launched yet anyway.



Oh so when are you planning to launch?
I am still working on the Lovefro range; constantly researching and considering the route to market I want to take – I want it to be just right.



Apart from working on your Lovefro range and now this workshop what else do you do?
I am actually training to be a minister, I did a BA in Theology, so it’s my life’s calling to be a complete Jesus freak [laughs]; I speak, teach etc…I also have an underlying, life-long health condition, which has hindered my ability to really progress in a profession – hence my desire to start my own business.



How does it affect you?
Well the biggest challenge to running a business with an illness is consistency and working a full working day and week; it takes longer to do everything, For example I might wake up on a Monday and be quite unwell, and need to rest, which would mean that I have to start work on Tuesday, giving me less time to do the same amount of work.  When you are younger you don’t think about the impact of illness on your life, but now I am older I take it more seriously, adjusting my life accordingly.



New natural product companies are springing up all the time and each time one launches others say that it’s not competition, that there is room for everyone. Is there really enough room? Isn’t the market still small?
Indeed, it’s a small market, but it’s also an emerging market, and each day more and more people are going natural.  Of course the market size, might mean our turnover will be less than those of mainstream markets, however, I do believe, that there is still room for ‘everyone’ to make a ‘good’ living.  Consider, even with bigger market segments, there are hundreds of product lines. What about our own ranges for relaxed hair like Dark and Lovely, Motions, Designer Touch, Keracare? There are loads, and even though we are a small segment of the hair care industry, we generate a huge amount of profit, for these companies.  Bottom line, there is room in this market for businesses that get it right by putting the effort and the right research in. I really believe that if ‘we’ put the necessary, building blocks in place, then any one of us can  definitely be the next Kera Care or better. I guess that’s what the workshop is about, encouraging and equipping people to start as they mean to go on – with a successful, profitable end in mind.



I really love the fact that natural hair is growing…
Yes, because I see this movement holistically i.e. spiritually, economically, politically, and humanly.  I don’t believe that after years of searching and wondering about our personhood as Black people in society, that this is a coincidence or that we have accidently stumbled upon this opportunity.  We have constantly, commented on what we don’t have but I believe, God is giving us something back, something for us – something that has in fact always been ours.  This is our time, our hair and our opportunity and we just need to make sure we fine-tune everything, or other ‘races ‘may seize the opportunity  and run with it, leaving us as merely consumers once again.



There you have it people, research, build on a solid foundation, and strive for excellence!

The workshop is on Saturday 14th July
For more info and tickets please visit
Signature

Comments

  1. Ihaveideas says:

    Great article,we need more workshops like this to encourage budding entrepreneurs. 🙂

    More of this and less fluff that divides but things that unite like creative minds and visionaries. 🙂

    We have hair meet ups how about more Business ones?

    Many people have ideas but don’t know where to start, whether it be a hair,app,natural salon,natural websites,you tube etc…. It isn’t JUST limited to creating a hair line.

    That is why i LOVE being natural because it is more than hair though it often starts that way.

    I believe their is room for everybody and competion is good as it means standards go up and products become more accessible to consumers.

    A lot of people i speak to don’t like ordering online even though i really enjoy it so things like that have to be discussed.

  2. Excellent interview Angel. I’d love how Jacqueline talks about supporting and empowering each other; that’s so important. She sounds like a wonderful lady. Do you know how I can get in touch with her? I would love to sponsor & attend the event.

  3. @ Ihaveideas agreed fully

    @ Victoria, just drop me a line and I will reply with her contact details 🙂

  4. Hi Victoria,

    This is Jacqui aka Lovefro. I’m up late and reading Angels blog, so I thought I’d reply. Thanks for your lovely comments, I’m really pleased you enjoyed the post – Angel did a fantastic job – really accomadating.

    Indeed you can contact me through the contact page on the website, http://www.thebusinessofnaturalhair.com (worth a read)

    You can also message me via my fb page: lovefro if its easier.

    Thanks for your support, and look forward to meeting you at the event.

    Blessings

    Jacqui x

  5. Ihaveideas….I love your name!!!

    How powerful. I huess if you chose that name you know there is power in your words….they form your world!

    Anyway, yes….I have a similar perspective to you, but I guess the meet-ups can be fun social events. They like everything have there purpose, but yeah, I hear you….

    And yes, the research did ask about ordering online, so we we will discuss that at the workshop.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment…you made my night or is it morning….:)

    I guess I’ll see you at the workshop as well….cant wait…maybe I should find myself an all empowering name like yours….uhmmm xx

    One love

    Jacqui x

  6. ****oh yeah…Victoria, you can sponsor, but I won’t be having stalls, and please tell your friends or other natural entrepreneurs,

    Thanks.