We were excited to meet Nnenna, the founder behind LBB Skin, and invite her to feature her products at Seekology. Nnenna's enthusiasm and motivation behind her brand shine through and it was great hearing about her thoughts on skincare routines for busy women, multitasking products and her advice for other entrepreneurs.
Nnenna, what was the inspiration behind LBB?
The mission is in our name – LBB, Life is Beautiful in Balance. To help busy people to prioritise balance, with Essential Luxuries every busy person needs to look great, feel confident, calm and in control. I spent 15 years in the City juggling that busy work/life. It’s why I believe it is more important to find that elusive balance wherever you can, even if it’s just 5 minutes. Also that when life is busy – it’s life’s simple little pleasures that can be the most extraordinary.
Whether you are a City woman or a busy mum just trying to keep up with juggling the hectic pace of modern life - it can take its toll! Especially when time and headspace become precious commodities, most busy lifestyles don’t leave much room for a laborious beauty regime.
My skincare routine was sacred because it was one of the few times in my day that was just mine – me doing something good for me. No one should compromise on that! I set about experimenting, working with some of the best and smartest, creating products that were essential, really worked hard to treat skin, could shift energy all the while fitting conveniently into a busy life.
Coming from a different industry, how did you get started?
I am going to answer the question of why I left first… When stress becomes a way of life it wreaks the most havoc on our health and wellbeing and I was certainly there! My wake-up call came in 2016, when my father who was only 68 suddenly passed away. Up until then, I had modelled my life and values on his – a strong work ethic, providing and giving to others and we were very much of the mindset balance will happen someday! His passing gave me the courage to pursue what had until then been a hobby and hunch more purposefully. I did the research and it showed that I wasn’t alone and it was time for skincare to accommodate the way some of us actually lived.
I started attending industry conferences to build a network to find out the best people to work with. As I mentioned, I had also spent many years as a banker experimenting with potions and ingredients and have travelled the world extensively discovering wonderful and rare natural ingredients – some of which feature in our products. From when I left banking it took over 2 years working with industry stalwarts, experimenting, focus groups, developing and re-developing fabulous formulas, using state-of-the-art technology, to launch LBB online in September 2019.
What have been the biggest changes in going from a City career to becoming a beauty entrepreneur?
Ooh, that’s a long list! The main ones have been firstly the challenges of breaking into a new industry as an outsider – building that trust, and a network of allies. The beauty industry hasn’t always been welcoming, lots of people make quick assumptions and it takes confidence, time, energy and persistence to undo some of those biases. Luckily I am very motivated and mature enough to understand it’s a journey, and all I need are the right few people to understand – and I’m making progress with that!
Secondly, the challenges of being a start-up, and having to work with a much smaller infrastructure (people, expertise & economic resources) and initially almost no brand equity. It’s been a labour of love, and fortunately I love what I am doing and thrive on new experiences! I’ve grown in ways I could never have done in my previous career.
Why is LBB different to other brands out there?
The combination of Effective + Essential + Rejuvenating + Convenient + Hygienic + Luxurious barely exists. Trying to maintain a skincare routine when you have a busy life ( when your to do list even has its own to do list!) can be a challenge. When you really look, you will see that products that are effective, convenient (i.e. can be used everywhere, including on-the-go) and work hard to rejuvenate and shift energy are either hard to find or come with a long list of compromises. We are trying to bridge the gap between balance restoring rituals, performance & convenience.
Your products are perfect for people who are on-the-go - how has Covid-19 changed your strategy?
The LBB premise has always been about solutions that fit easily into a busy life to restore balance and that has to include being able to be used anywhere. When I found myself getting ready on the tube or in a taxi for meetings – I knew my products had to cover that aspect of our lives as well. It’s the bonus not the essence! COVID has however forced me to look at the language in how we describe the brand to make sure our products are understood.
Look at A-Game, our hydration balm - that was our best seller, and we had our best month in lockdown. I believe it’s because lockdown forced us to focus on the essentials. Firstly, dehydrated skin is the root cause of most skin issues and in A-Game, you get a super product – I bet you haven’t seen many products with hyaluronic acid in an oil base? You get a hydrating moisturiser, serum and facial in one product. A lip balm, an eye cream, hand cream and more. It’s so versatile and because it’s undiluted, a little goes a long way – with regular use as your am + pm moisturiser, you get at least 3 months. Furthermore, the smell and luxurious texture mean A-Game is so soothing and can be used to perform a 3 min face massage that turns that routine into a satisfying and beneficial selfcare ritual. Again you see, that it’s a bonus that you can easily pop it in your bag as you leave the house – and continue to use it for those necessary moisture tops ups throughout the day. How many products truly work that hard and are of the quality we are at?
That’s the way to understand LBB. We only have three products now, but soon with our new product development, I know people will better understand our mission.
What's your top tip for other aspiring beauty entrepreneurs?
Do the ground work, understand your purpose and values. As a new business owner, it’s easy to get distracted by the different ideas and suggestions that you’ll get. Knowing what’s non-negotiable will keep you focused and help you know what advice you take on or dismiss.
What's next for LBB?
Everything, we only just started – so the immediate focus is getting the word out there and new products in the works.
Thank you so much for chatting to us, Nnnenna! We are honoured that you have chosen to partner with Seekology, and we are huge fans of your multi-tasking products (which smell amazing).
Shop LBB Skin here.