A talk with Ade Hassan: the brain behind Nubian Skin

Ade HassanNubian skin is the perfect invention for every black woman who has been searching for the perfect bra that matches her skin tone. This makes us excited to discover Ade Hassan, a UK-born Nigerian entrepreneur who is the founder of Nubian Skin. This London based entrepreneur previously worked in the Finance industry and grew up in various places, like UK, Nigeria and the US. While she enjoys travelling, shopping, reading and spending time with her loved ones in her free time, we are inspired by her hard work. There are women who intend on starting a business like Ade has been doing. We had a chat with Ade about Nubian Skin, future business ventures, her Nigerian culture and more.

ABINA: Tell us about your educational background.

Ade: “I studied English and Economics at Duke University in the US and then I came back to the UK to do my master’s degree at SOAS (The School of Oriental and African Studies).”

ABINA: How was life in college like?

Ade: “University was so much fun.  You meet amazing new people and you get to take classes in subjects that are incredibly interesting.  I had a great time.”

ABINA: From all the places you have travelled to and lived at, which place(s) did you enjoy the most and why?

Ade: “I can’t choose just one. I love London with a passion, and whenever I’m in Lagos, it has such an energy about it. The heat and the scent take me back to my childhood.Nubian Skin

About Nubian Skin

ABINA: How did you expect the public to receive Nubian Skin?

Ade: “I thought people would be interested, but I never expected the amount of support or the amount of press attention we received.  It’s been a real blessing for which I’m truly grateful.”

ABINA: The pictures for Nubian Skin look great, how did the concept come about?

Ade: “I had been to the venue and thought it looked amazing, then I found out that they hired the space out for photo shoots, so it was perfect. As soon as I saw the space, I knew exactly how I wanted to use it. The images just sort of popped into my head. I had such a great team I worked with. The models were fantastic, with such great personalities. The hairstylist (Kelly Murdock), Make-up Artist (Buster Knight), Photographer (Julia Underwood) and Videographer (Nathaniel Lendor) were an amazing team.”

ABINA: What were your challenges while starting Nubian Skin?

Ade: “The biggest hurdle to overcome at the start was finding a good quality manufacturer. As a new and small business, a lot of manufacturers simply didn’t respond to queries, and others were looking for incredibly high volumes, so it was tricky. Once you actually secure a manufacturer, it’s always a battle to manage expectations. When I first decided on a manufacturer in July 2013, I thought I’d be able to start selling in September 2013, one year later than I expected, we finally launched?!”

About Nigeria

ABINA: What African languages do you speak?

Yoruba

ABINA: Can you tell us your favourite African dish?

Ade: “I love Nigerian food! There are too many for me to choose! I love Ogbono soup with Semovita, Egusi stew and pounded yam and aldo fried rice and plantain.  I love it all!  I also really like Ethiopian food.”

The future 

ABINA: How does a day with Ade look like? 

Ade: “I don’t have a typical day, but generally it begins with me going through emails and checking on our social media pages.  Then, I head into the office and it’s dealing with the different teams we work with, such as manufacturers or logistics, going through emails, checking on different projects, meetings, organising events. They’re all so much. Every day is different.”

ABINA: Which other ventures can we expect from Ade?

Ade: “Well, let’s see how I get on with this one! But we have a few things up our sleeves, so keep posted and make sure to subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on social media for the latest news!”

ABINA: What piece of advice would you give your fellow Africans who want to start a business?

Ade: “Make sure you truly believe in your idea and that it is something that people will want! Secondly, put your money where your mouth is. You will have to put a lot of your own money to work to get it off the ground, and you must be prepared for the amount of work it will take to make your dream happen. You will always be working hard, so get used to it!”

ABINA: Thanks!

Nubian Skin is available at www.nubianskin.com and products are shipped globally to Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, France, US, Australia (everywhere!). If your size is not available, visit moresizes.nubianskin.com,  because they’re working on it and they’re collecting more data.

Follow Nubian Skin on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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