Naturals in Business : Lucy Kingori of Bu.ke products
TN: Tell us about your business:
The idea was born out of a need; the need to heal my son’s eczema. I started by packaging Shea butter from South Sudan after it sorted out his skin. I then did research and training on soap formulations using Shea and other oils such as avocado. I realised there was so much that could be done in terms of formulating ‘value for money products” for Kenyans. Most of the good products available in Kenya were quite pricey. From then on I was able to come up with products like Kenya’s first shampoo bar, our hair oils etc.
TN: Tell us about your natural hair journey
I’ve had natural hair all my life. My mum has never been a fan of relaxed hair. She drilled it into our heads that natural hair was fine as it was and there was no need to try and alter it. The most I ever did was colour my hair, about 3 years ago but then I ended up cutting it.
TN: Describe your current hair regimen?
As a business woman, time is usually not on my side so I like simple regimens. On Thursdays I shampoo (with our bu.ke shampoo bar) and follow up with a deep condition session. I alternate bentonite clay, Neutrogena triple moisture and Harvest of Sunshine 3 in 1 conditioner.
I’ll wrap my hair in cling film and a head wrap, go about my errands, then after I get back I rinse. Thereafter I use a leave in conditioner (currently alternating Saru organics leave in with Beautiful Textures Tangle Taming leave in).
For my daily routine, I have in a spray bottle, a mix of leave in with some water and glycerine and a bit of our growth stimulating oil that I spray on to freshen my fro on the go. The same growth oil goes on my scalp say twice a week.
TN: What is one product you cannot live without?
My shampoo bar (it saves me money)
TN: How do you simplify your wash days?
If in a rush I just shampoo and apply a leave in.
TN: What doesn’t your hair like?
Colour, heat and combs.
TN: What has your natural hair journey taught you?
That I am indeed my hair
TN: How has this spilled into the other aspects of your life?
As an owner of a brand, my clients make hair contact with my hair before eye contact, lol! Most always want to know all about my hair care regimen and how I maintain my curls.
TN: How has your brand helped people?
Our brand has helped many gain access to affordable hair care products. We have also helped many people suffering from eczema to find a way to manage their conditions.
TN: What would you advise new naturals ?
Always keep it simple and understand your hair and skin type before you purchase products.
TN: What has being in business taught you?
Consistency is key and its important to be passionate about the business you decide to venture into. Also trials and tribulations make us stronger.
TN: Name three women who inspire you:
- My mum – Grace Kingóri, the hardest working woman I know. She believes nothing is impossible and God already has a plan for all of us, a plan that works at his pace.
- Maureen Murunga – Amadiva (she has an interesting view on business in general)
- Sheila Ndinda – Passion driven
TN: Favourite quote?
Two things stop us from being happy – living in the past and observing others.