Nicola Kiara

Nicola Kiara: Herbusiness entrepreneur of the week

Nicola Kiara is our latest entrepreneur of the week. She is co-director at Alkhemy Brands; the company behind Mikalla cosmetic products. Nicola let us in on her business world.

Tell us a bit about your business

At Alkhemy Brands Limited we design brands, for African hair and skin, that make life more wholesome, people more confident, vibrant, healthier and happier; doing this in ways that are good for mankind.

Currently we have 4 hair products in the market: Mikalla Cleansing and Conditioning Shampoo, Mikalla Honey & Butter Conditioner, Mikalla Total Moisture Boost Leave-in treatment, Mikalla Quadra Oil Protein Treatment which cater to all hair types: whether natural, relaxed, transitioning, colored, texturized.

Our research and development team perform extensive research and testing on the ingredients to ensure that our Mikalla products are very safe, non-carcinogenic and paraben free. We own our R&D processes fully as well as the downstream manufacturing process so we do the work in house to ensure quality control from start to finish! We strive to make all our products based on a principal of quality that is also affordable because we want to make quality accessible to as many consumers as possible.

Mikalla Hair Products

Our high quality product range can be found in renowned cosmetic shops and salons nationwide and have received reviews from some of the best salons; Ashleys, Studio 76, Ralphs Hairworks, and Farouks to name a few. Our Mikalla products have also been featured in the True Love magazine. We will be launching new products into the market and are so excited to do this!

How do  / did you raise funds for your business? We have been heavily funded by owner\s capital, savings and some loans. In one year, we have become more self-sufficient and financially independent as a business, the returns on investment are steadily coming in! Its really energizing to see the growth, in our people, our brand Mikalla and the sales and finances.


What do you think is the most important thing a start-up needs to be a success?

I have to say, two things: First, it takes God so always pray and ask Him for His favor. Secondly, you need the right human capital! It all starts with the right people because your business will achieve a lot through them. Hire the right people with the right skill sets and work ethic and trust them to do the jobs you have engaged them to do. We are blessed to have an exceptional team at Alkhemy Brands Ltd who is passionate about what they do and growing the Mikalla brand.

What do you know now that you wish you knew before you started your business?

It is so exciting to see where we have come from and where we are today. I wish that I knew how fulfilling it is to be an entrepreneur because it makes you think about the big picture. In business, especially at the management level you will find yourself doing sales and marketing, finance, human resources yet you have to be a few steps ahead of your team.

I also did not know how much I would carry the business home with me I find myself constantly talking about the Mikalla products with family and friends. I have to find a better work-life balance and of enjoying life outside of the business.

What advice would you give a woman who wants to venture into business?

  • I believe that the key thing is that you need to have staying power- don’t give up easily because business comes with its challenges yet you grow as your business grows.
  • Have a positive attitude: believe the best for your business, your team and the brand(s) that you are growing!
  • Iron sharpens iron so get a good support team who will mentor, challenge and stretch you. Listen to others and be aware (read extensively) about of what is going on especially in the field that you venture in. In our industry, everything changes so fast so try not to blink, you might miss something.
  • And finally be great at the small things.If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. “Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.” – Colin Powell

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