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Hidden Gems: Meet Kamika King of Makeba

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kamika King.

Hi Kamika, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
Back in the early 2000s, I was dealing with terrible bald spots and alopecia. My hair was broken off and discolored from frequent relaxer mishaps. I was ignorant about my hair and began researching and blending ingredients that ultimately led to the creation of my first ayurvedic hair oil. From there, I created the line InspiredBeauty which was rebranded in 2018 as Makeba to reflect our growth and knowledge in the industry. Makeba was the Queen of Sheba’s personal name and her story is legendary around the world. I wanted to honor her pilgrimage in my brand as I and my customers, affectionately called Makebas, are also on a journey of self-improvement and gaining knowledge. At the same time I was refining Makeba, I wanted to create a space for men with our men’s line, I AM Grooming Co. I AM Grooming Co. provides premium quality skincare and fragrance products for the urban sophisticated male and is the perfect complement to Makeba.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Nope. As with any small business, there have been a lot of ups and downs, learning curves, closed doors, and self-doubt. I have on many occasions thought I should just quietly allow the business to die and go back to a corporate job. But each time I tried, I’d begin to see traction in sales; or get a call or email from a customer telling me how our products have changed their lives. Bootstrapping a small business is not for the faint of heart. It’s more than just investing a small amount, getting sales, and living happily ever after. I’ve had to learn how to market and how to tell the story of my products and brands. Having a great product or website is not enough. Being authentic is not enough. Having a social media presence is not enough. But altogether those elements are fire!

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Makeba?
With my products, I wanted to create a space for healing. Our Makeba brand is about healing how we view hair loss and empowering individuals to master their hair and their skin. We make products that are effective, organic, enjoyable to use, but most importantly our products do what they say they’ll do and make customers feel good about the choices that they’ve made to use them. As someone who suffered in silence with recurring alopecia and dry brittle hair, I needed help. I was tired of buying products that were full of fillers and only included small amounts of certain ingredients for label appeal. The worst part is that they didn’t even work! I needed a solution for my thinning dry hair and needed it to not smell like a medicine cabinet. Hair loss is already very scary as it is. When you suffer from it, you will go to the extremes with medical treatments, wigs/weaves, or other measures just to hide it. The problem with hiding it is that time can make the condition worse. At Makeba, I wanted to remove the shame of hair loss and give our customers the choice to be proactive about it – to begin to heal.

What makes Makeba different are the three things we focus on:

1. Natural and organic ingredients properly formulated to provide holistic results. We don’t believe in improving your hair but causing problems in other areas. We take a Spirit, Mind, and Body approach to our brand – holistic.

2. Makeba is a “foundational” brand – meaning our products are the ones you use to set the tone (healthy foundation) for your hair. Once the foundation is set then you can incorporate any of your favorite stylers. Say you have an itchy scalp or your hair just doesn’t feel clean, then you reach for our Love Intense Ayurvedic shampoo and conditioner. If your hair is showing signs of thinning, then you reach for Hope Renewed and Heal & Grow. Maybe you put too many other products or heat on your hair, then you remedy that with Jamaica Rhassoul to restore your curls and elasticity. I am adamant about everything in our line having a healing quality to them.

3. Education is a must. At Makeba, we regularly provide hair education using knowledge from industry leaders, dermatologists, and other hair care professionals. These resources keep our customers a step ahead when it comes to hair care knowledge.

I’m proud that Makeba now offers a complete line of healthy hair care products. We are steadily building a large tribe of Makebas with beautiful healthy hair and skin.

Where we are in life is often partly because of others. Who/what else deserves credit for how your story turned out?
I am forever grateful to the wonderful men and women who have supported us over the years. Especially to those customers who stuck with us through the growing pains, bad packaging, and website failures. Thank you for your patience and continued love of Makeba. Our tribe rolls deep!

Contact Info:

Image Credits

Kamika J. King

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