Wednesday, February 3, 2010

FEBRUARY HEROINE ENTREPRENEUR - SHELLEY CHAPMAN



Heroine -1 a: a mythological or legendary woman having the qualities of a hero b: a woman admired and emulated for her achievements and qualities

Introducing February's Heroine Entrepreneur - Shelley Chapman of Naturi Beauty Concepts.


1. Tell us about your business, products, services and what makes it special or unique.
Naturi Beauty Concepts is a brand. We promote radiance by enhancing your core and your crown. For the crown we offer natural hair care products. That started as a result of me not being able to find quality products that “delivered”. And so, I would find myself mixing three and four products in order to get a desired result. The other half of it was learning that the ingredients in them were carcinogenic, they were drying my hair, or they were linked to other diseases. I not only wanted a product that delivered results but a way to promote beauty naturally.
The other part about “nurturing and nourishing your core” is that I’m a personal chef. I provided culinary services for individuals and families. That started out as a passion for cooking. I started cooking and realized that I had a gift for it. I didn’t go to school for culinary arts so I struggled against that for awhile thinking that maybe that didn’t qualify me. But the proof is in the pudding. Anyone who tastes my food doesn’t ask where I went to school or where did I study. Their response is, “Oh, you can cook. Would you mind doing this event for me?”
The entire brand came together as nurturing and nourishing from your crown to your core.

2. How did you begin/start your business?
After I graduated from Harvard (where I pursued my Masters in Psychology), I was on my way to NYU to get a Doctorate because my plan was to become a Psychologist. And while I was at Harvard, a lot of things changed. Nothing bad happened, I just found myself forcing myself to go to class. I was forcing myself to be motivated about the subject. So I realized that I was doing it because I was good at it but not because I loved it. I’ve always done hair and I’ve been a foodie since I came out of the womb. If you read my first blog post at my Naturi Beauty blog, you’ll see that I talk about my passion for food as a child but I never paid attention to those because to me they weren’t real careers. I thought, “I’m not gonna work in a restaurant. I’m not gonna be doing anyone’s hair. I’m not gonna be a beauty stylist”. Those were just my own “isms” growing up. So I was like, “I wanna have something professional. I want to be a psychologist.” I still did hair all the time. And anywhere I traveled, food was a major part of it. I realized that those were my passions and I started pursuing them more. When I moved to New York, I met quite a few women who were entrepreneurs who owned their own natural hair product stores. This one sister I met, Karen of Karen’s Body Beautiful, was instrumental in this. She mentored me for a while. I watched her make products. She had a kitchen set up in her store so you could see her make the products as she sold them. And I realized that it was the same process as cooking. It’s the same art that goes into both of them. It’s the art of taking ingredients that are beneficial and making them into something more. I just took that, started researching and Naturi Beauty was born.

3. How much support did you receive when you first started?
I received a ton of support. I told my mom what I was feeling. She has always been encouraging. She’s always encouraged me to follow my passion. My friends were also very supportive, super excited and eager. They helped me to understand how my brand fit in. They would even speak higher dreams than what I was thinking. When you start something that a lot of other people are doing, then you wonder what sets you apart. Why would people support me over Miss Jessie’s or Karen’s Body Beautiful or Carol’s Daughter and all the other people that are out there.
Then in terms of the food or cooking, I’ve never had anyone meet a plate of mine that they didn’t like. I heard that! (laughs) So that’s always been affirmative.

4. Is there anything you wish you had done or handled differently?
No. Absolutely not. This process has been a journey. Where there are things that we may perceive as a setback, something negative or a hard time, it’s just a blissful opportunity to grow. I think I’m on the perfect divine path and I’m excited about it.

5. Was there anything that you may have considered a hurdle in developing your brand?
Yes. A huge hurdle was battling myself and the brand. Because when you create something people automatically associate it with the creator. And they don’t necessarily let it become its on entity. The other thing is that when we created something it is part of us. So for the longest, Naturi Beauty was like the divine, ultimate version of what I would love to be; which is the nourish, the nurture, you grow. Its’ nourishing yourself and not just through food; through your thoughts, your actions, your words and your environment. And then nourishing yourself with all that. Like being gentle with yourself. Not being too harsh with yourself when you make a mistake. And allowing those elements that help you grow into a better being. I had a hard time because I didn’t know if I was that woman. I thought, “How can I be the CEO of Naturi Beauty Concepts when I’m not necessarily that woman all the time?” It was difficult. And it wasn’t until this year when I started to reconcile that and realize that I am my brand and my brand is me. And the best thing I can do for my clients, customer and devotees is to be honest about that.

6. How long have you been cooking and making hair products?
I’ve been cooking since I was 15. I’ve been cooking for real since I was 18. From the age of 15 to 18, my mother forced me to get in the kitchen with her every weekend. I was like her prep chef and I hated, hated, hated it. Saturday would come and I couldn’t stand it. She would make me get into the kitchen. I felt like I was in “Hell’s Kitchen” (Gordon Ramsay show) because I wanted to be elsewhere watching BET or something. But I give thanks to her because through that I learned a lot. At 19, I went to the Dominican Republic on an exchange program and the food was awesome. I actually went there to learn Spanish, not to eat, but it worked out perfectly. So I realized as my trip was ending, that I wouldn’t be able to find the same dishes in Atlanta. So I began buying cookbooks and collecting recipes because I knew I’d have to prepare myself. And that’s when I started cooking for real. So when I got into the kitchen, it was all second nature. I started making hair products in 2004. Growing up, I was always mixing things, even as a teenager. But as far as hardcore getting into the kitchen, melting and mixing things up- 2004 was the year.

7. How did you stay motivated whenever you hit a bump in the road?
I would say, “My child”. I know this might sound interesting but I don’t have any children yet. I’ve always thought that whatever I do is going to affect my children. I believe that my children will be daughters. Whenever I feel myself slipping, I feel that they are around reminding me of the path I’m supposed to be on. It’s a very spiritual feeling.

8. What advice would you give to women who are seeking to do what you do?
Don’t do it because you feel as if it’s lucrative. Don’t do it because you feel as if it’s going to make you popular. Don’t do it if you feel as if you’re competing with what’s already out there. Do it because, internally, you feel connected to it. Do it because you feel that, divinely, it is your purpose. And when you do bring it you’re spreading more than a product or service. You’re spreading life.

9. Is there anything new and exciting that we can expect from Naturi Beauty in the future?
Yes. Naturi Beauty is revamping for 2010. While the overall brand will stay close to its original roots, it is getting a makeover. My brand manager and I have been working very closely so I’m very excited.
Naturi Beauty is also working very diligently with my producer to hook up with a major network and have a culinary show on air. Also, a culinary book is in the works. And more work and collaborations with other organizations that are promoting beauty. I’m really excited about everything that’s on the horizon for Naturi Beauty.

**A Note for Shelley**
I'm certainly excited for you and Naturi Beauty Concepts. I want to personally thank you for agreeing to this. It was a total pleasure interviewing you. Your spirit is a joy to be around. Thanks for sharing your light with everyone. I wish all the best for you and Naturi Beauty. {{Hugs}}


You can check out Naturi Beauty Concepts services and products here. While Naturi Beauty Concepts culinary services specializes in Vegan and Vegetarian cuisine with a global influence, they also use high quality, free range, organic meat, poultry and seafood. The Naturi Beauty Concepts offers an extraordinary hair product line, Naturi Tress, created by me, Shelley! Using only the most exceptional of ingredients, Naturi Tress caters to those who desire healthy, long, lustrous, defined hair.

You can connect with Naturi Beauty Concepts on twitter here.


The heroine illustration used above is the X-Men character, Jean Grey, of Marvel comics.

3 comments:

  1. I love all your Heroine Entrepreneur posts; they are very inspirational. Keep it up :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. So happy to hear that this series is being enjoyed. I get so much out of doing these interviews. I don't think these ladies realize how much wisdom they are putting out there.

    {{Hugs}},
    CO

    ReplyDelete

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