Lovebrown.com is a new website designed to celebrate black beauty and style.
Covering black beauty, hair, fashion and style, Lovebrown is not just about celebrities, the site showcases real men and women with real style.
Headquartered in central London, Lovebrown was founded by entrepreneur Fatima Wesson.
Fatima has been exclusively interviewed by year 6 St Matthew Academy students Kia-Miami, India-Rose, Jennifer, Kyra-Jade, Candice and Zoe, as part of the Twenty Ten Club Interview an Entrepreneur school programme.
When did you start your business?
I started working on Lovebrown three years ago. Lovebrown started off as a directory where people could search for a black business within hair and beauty, music, fashion and food. But I was working full time then, heading up the online department for a major international fashion retailer, so I didn’t have much quality time to put into Lovebrown.
However last year I had a baby and, as I was not going back to work, I decided to take that opportunity to really devote time to Lovebrown. It’s actually a really good thing that I’ve had three years to reflect on the business, because the model has now changed. Where it was once just a directory, Lovebrown has now evolved into being a magazine website with really great rich content.
Can you tell us more about Lovebrown?
At Lovebrown.com you can use the Lovebrown Directory to find a black business near you specialising in hair, beauty, music, fashion or food.
The website features a Tried & Tested section, where you can check out reviews and find out the truth about black hair and beauty products and add your own reviews. Additional features include black hair and beauty video tutorials; Style Watch, uncovering everyday fashionistas that rock their own unique style and Celeb Watch, sharing the style and beauty secrets of your favourite celebrities and how to get their look for less.
What was your inspiration for starting your business?
I started Lovebrown to fulfill a practical need that I had when I moved from South London to North London and I needed to find a hairdresser. Back then very few hairdressers had a good website, so unless you knew someone in your area and could get a recommendation, it was quite tricky to find a local hairdresser.
I was working in online marketing and I thought that there must be an easy way to create a directory that had all of this info.
So, I did lots of research, looked at the resources that were available at the time, and improved on what I found. And, hopefully that’s what I’ve done.
The strap line for our new website is “celebrating black beauty and style” because we believe that there is so much to celebrate. In mainstream fashion magazines, black faces are often underrepresented and we want to try and redress that balance by showcasing black men and women, both celebrities and everyday people, who have a unique and beautiful style.
On Lovebrown, we’ve also got a Tried & Tested section where we review hair and beauty products targeted at black women. This is something that I’m really excited about because there are so many new products coming out to market with all of these amazing claims, and I think it’s important that products actually deliver what they promise to deliver.
Where were you born?
I was born in London and went to university in East Anglia. I then lived in New York for a couple of years, and then in Sweden for a year, and have now been settled back in London for a while, and I love it!
Where did you go to school and did you like school?
I went to Craven Park primary school in Stamford Hill and then I went to City of London School for Girls for secondary school. I absolutely loved school, and again that’s something that I need to thank my mother for.
Even though my mother was a single mum, she worked hard to send my two brothers and I to private secondary schools so that we could have a great educational springboard. Going to City was amazing because I was one of only two black girls in my year, but I became the first black Head Girl that City had ever had. That was a major achievement for me, and I put it all down to God, and my mother’s unfailing belief in my brothers and I that we could do anything we put our minds to.
How did you build up your business?
Very slowly, and to be honest, we’re still building. For one thing, my younger brother Barri is now involved as our Creative Director. Barri is ridiculously stylish, and knows so much about music, fashion, style and quirky little brands that I’ve never heard of. So he brings a completely new outlook to the business.
We’ve just re-launched the website and we’ve had a really positive response to it. We have a fairly organic marketing plan which involves building relationships with key brands and businesses in the industry, and working with them to get publicity for Lovebrown.
Who has supported your career?
I am very blessed to have the most amazing family. I have a beautiful husband, who is a trained accountant, and he constantly pushes me to think commercially, rather than just airy-fairy marketing!
My mother has supported me more than I can ever describe, and I am eternally grateful to her. She is the wisest woman I know, and if I can be half of the mother she is, I’ll be doing just fine.
My two brothers and a couple of close girlfriends have also been fantastic sounding boards.
Who has inspired you in your career?
I once read a quote that said “The glory of God is man fully alive” and it has stuck with me. As a Christian, I believe we all have a purpose in life – something that makes us feel “fully alive”. I am inspired by that.
Tomorrow is not promised to any of us, and I want to make sure that I use every single day of my life wisely… full of joy, love and kindness for those around me. That goes for my career and for my personal life.
What are your goals and ambitions for the future?
My number one goal is to be the best wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend that I can be. My number two goal is to build a successful, socially-responsible business that makes a positive difference to people’s lives.
My aim is for Lovebrown to become a brand that is widely known for quality of work, integrity and offering something useful to people’s lives, whilst making a positive impact on the black community.
* * * *
* * * *
Fatima Wesson was interviewed by year 6 St Matthew Academy students Kia-Miami, India-Rose, Jennifer, Kyra-Jade, Candice and Zoe, as part of the Twenty Ten Club Interview an Entrepreneur school programme.
The programme provides the opportunity for pupils of all ages to interview Black female business role models they admire.
For more information on the Interview an Entrepreneur school programme please contact the Twenty Ten Club office on 0207 193 4615 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
St Matthew Academy in Lewisham, London, is the country’s leading school for teaching enterprise skills. For more information visit www.stmatthewacademy.co.uk