What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
– Langston Hughes
Rewind four years, and I’m sitting at a desk in a random town in England working on a project I’m not particularly interested in with a manager who for some unknown reason has taken a deep dislike to me. I should be focusing on work, but an idea has popped into my head, and I can’t shake it. Of all the business ideas I’ve come up with, this could be one that really works…it’s also one that I need personally. The biggest issue, I think, is money. I’m not making enough of it at this job, and I’ll need to save A LOT. I’d given up working in finance a few years prior, but all of a sudden it’s starting to look appealing again. Plus, I’ve decided I don’t want to work for a large corporation anymore, so I need to make some changes.
A few months later, I get an email from an old director at my previous employer, she’s now at a boutique firm, would I like to come and interview. It’s a pretty obvious choice, make more money, do more interesting work and leave a job I don’t like. So back to finance I go, but this time knowing that it’s potentially going to help me realise a dream that keeps growing in my mind.
The thing about getting a nice, new, well-paid job is that it makes you comfortable, and it means you can buy nice designer dresses…so, I know I want to start this company, but I’m having a pretty good time where I am, and I think I need to save a few more bonuses, so I push my dream to the back burner for a little while.
It’s the summer of 2012, and I’m in New York for a month for work. I’m with an old friend from university and I start telling her about this idea. She thinks it’s a wonderful idea. We bounce ideas back and forth and I get really excited again. The idea starts to take shape, and I’ve got a skeleton of a business plan, things are going to be great! The idea has a name, Nubian Skin. I love it. It embodies everything I want for this brand. Summer ends, I go back to London, and get stuck into to my job. The rest of the year is insanely busy, so Nubian Skin takes a long nap. My mother keeps asking “What about this business you’re doing?” I reply, “I can’t do everything at once, I’ve got a lot going on”.
It’s now Spring 2013, and Nubian Skin is more in a coma than napping, and then I get a birthday card. It’s from my friend in New York. The front says, “It’s time to start living the life you’ve always imagined.” It’s a wakeup call. I realise it’s now or never. The next day I register the company, buy the domain names and dust off the old business plans. It’s time to spring into action. The Nubian Skin journey has begun.