Why did you start your own business?
Deep down, I've always known that I've always wanted to start my own business. After leaving college, I got a 9-5 and was working for a few years; after a while, I noticed that working for someone wasn't the best fit for me. The visions and aspirations that I had did not fit working for someone else in a 9-5 job role, and I knew there was more that I could achieve. Jewellery has always had a special place in my heart since I could remember and it just made sense to me to start a business evolving around something that I loved.
What were the biggest obstacles you faced when starting Kionii?
The biggest obstacle I faced when starting Kionii was to be noticed. I knew my items were good and the message I wanted to tell but didn't have the exposure I needed. I was always trying to find out what would be the best way to put my items in front of customers and how to brand and market my products.
How do you think being a black woman in business has shaped Kionii and your work philosophy?
Being a black woman in business is not a barrier once you believe in yourself first, don't get me wrong it has been very challenging and rewarding, but it is exciting to know "after disaster comes opportunity."
Name your leadership inspiration?
I can't give you one name or thing that inspires me as there are a variety of things that inspire me on my journey. For example, I get inspiration from my faith, family and friends, speaking to people who have had similar or different journeys to me and haven't allowed obstacles to stop them. Hearing other people's stories will inspire me to keep going and it also encourages me to insure whatever I'm doing to make sure it is making an impact.
For any young entrepreneurs out there, what piece of advice would you give?
I would literally say START! Write your vision and just do it, you will learn along the way, and God will allow the right people to come and help take you on the next level. It literally doesn't matter if you don't have everything together, just start it and the rest will come.
What is your morning routine?
Every morning after waking up, I will thank God for a new day and sometimes I will say 5 things I am grateful for.
What black-owned business or organisation do you think is killing it right now?
Isabelle owner of Image Gang, love to see her achievements and what she stands for and she's also willing to give advice where needed.
What are your opinions on BAME representation in the business world?
We are out there and killing it just like everybody else.
How do you cope with failure or setbacks?
I try my best to embrace it, and not to stress too much about it, I always look for other options as there is always a way, one thing I always tell myself is that the main thing is you tried its ok to have setbacks as long as you don't allow it to stop you, just try again.
Please recommend a book that has helped you.
I would say a book that has helped me on my business journey would be The Introvert Entrepreneur by Beth Buelow being an introvert myself this book has helped me to amplify my strengths and also how to create success on my own terms and not everybody else's.
Thank you Rochella! 💖
We hope this left you feeling inspired and if you are a passionate creative that would like to work with Kionii please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org