Michelle Ntalami is one lady who has beaten all odds to set up a natural beauty brand in Kenya. Michelle, a strategic brand and marketing expert, is the Founder of Marini Naturals, Kenya’s first 100% organic, natural hair care line. With her wealth of branding and design knowledge, she has conceptualised and designed the Marini Naturals brand, from its name to its logo, colours, scents, packaging, label design, brand plan and marketing strategy.
Marini is a Swahili word for ‘beautiful’ or ‘attractive’. Right from when she conceived the idea, Michelle wanted the name of her brand to mean “gorgeous” or “naturally beautiful,” just like women are intended to be. She also wanted something very African-sounding and easy on the tongue and mind. After using Google to find the many ways to say “beautiful” or “charming” in any African language, she found the name “Marini” which is Swahili. She instantly fell in love with it.
Michelle is a perfect example of why you should never give up on your dreams. Here’s why. After she approached a few cosmetic scientists, she was mostly told that the natural hair and skin market is not quite ready in Africa. These scientists advised her to go for generic, synthetic products which “sell more and have higher margins.” Michelle refused to be deterred. Soon after her first batch hit the markets and flew off the shelves, most of the scientists who had previously told her otherwise expressed interest in working with her.
Today,the Marini Naturals is going stronger and the future looks very bright. With solid plans to slowly expand to the rest of Africa, Michelle Ntalami hopes for this brand to slowly and steadily be one of Africa’s premier beauty products for natural hair and skin.
According to her, “Entrepreneurs have a fire and a passion like no one else does because they have their entire future ahead of them and the determination to make it is ten-fold.”