S2 Episode 5: Florence Adepoju, founder of MDM Flow, discusses building a beauty business, retail vs ecommerce and resilience.


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By Janet Oganah, Founder - Janet's List & Adonica Simmons, Co-host., Janet Oganah, Founder - Janet's List, and Adonica Simmons. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Making Money Moves is a podcast brought to you by Janet’s List, hosted by Janet Oganah and Adonica Simmons. The aim of our podcast is to open up conversations about money, mind-set, and the moves people have made to build successful businesses. If you are a female entrepreneur, a high impact woman or are simply looking for inspiration, this podcast is for you. We interview inspiring guests, mostly women of colour, who are building incredible businesses. Our guests will also share tips and strategies, which you can apply at any stage of your entrepreneurial journey.

We loved our chat with Florence Adepoju, founder of beauty brand MDM Flow. A lover of hip-hop culture and audacious expression, Florence wanted to create a beauty brand that wasn’t afraid to be bold, while representing and serving women of colour. In our chat, she discussed how a controversial change of degree course led to a placement in Antwerp, Belgium and how this experience opened her eyes to start-up culture. She spoke to us about taking production into her own hands (literally!) resulting in building a beauty lab in her back garden shed. Florence shares how she has leveraged her online community and how this can give you the upper hand in negotiating retail deals. She also discussed her New York Times feature, how that came about and how she prepared for that.

Here’s what you’ll learn this episode:

  • 3.01 – beauty brand faux pas in creating formulas that work on black skin, and how to correct them
  • 5.05 – turning a final year degree project into a business and the importance of work experience in figuring out what you want from a career
  • 13.30 – researching a journalist before interviewing with them to figure out how to wow them, as well as what you want to reveal
  • 14.35 – producing in-house when manufacturing quotes are steep; sourcing equipment and subsidising your income during the growth period
  • 17.25 – pricing a product using your favourites currently on the market
  • 18.10 – making the most out of ecommerce and Google analytics to create a customer profile, and the power of retargeting
  • 19.10 – email lists and giveaways for bringing in new business
  • 19.30 – a Facebook group to consolidate individual conversations and further build an online community
  • 20.32 – Fenty: friend or foe?
  • 22.20 – deciding if you’re ready to take on staff and choosing a team structure that works for you
  • 24.50 – the pros and cons of in-store retail, and leveraging your online community when negotiating terms
  • 27.30 – counting the revenue streams 🙂
  • 29.17 – tapping into new audiences and knowing when you’ve exhausted your existing outreach strategies
  • 32.00 – taking a start-up business loan with flexible terms and repayment options that suit you
  • 33.03 – how investing in Instagram and establishing an influencer circle can lead to impressive pre-order figures
  • 35.30 – selecting the right crowd-funding target to engage support

If you would like to connect with us on social media, you can find us all here:

MDM Flow @MDMflow Twitter – MDM Flow Beauty Talk Facebook Group

Janet’s List – @JanetsList (Instagram) and @JanetsList (Twitter)

Janet Oganah: @Janet_Oganah (Twitter)

Adonica Simmons: Global Style Services (Instagram)

The overall mission of Janet’s List is to connect consumers with women of colour in business. We want to close the gap between consumers and women of colour in business and to improve diversity in the business landscape. We also have a curated edit on Janet’s List where you can buy directly from fantastic brands by women of colour.

Podcast listeners! You can get a special discount of 10% off Janet’s List using the code: JANETSLIST10

Stay tuned and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and your favourite podcast apps

31 episodes