What’s the story behind Juvia’s Place? Chichi Eburu turned her frustration with the neglect perpetuated by the beauty industry into something extraordinary.
Necessity Sparks Inspiration
Chichi Eburu faced what many who have a deep skin color do. She searched high and low but couldn’t find makeup that complemented her skin tone, rather than trying to change it, muting and graying it out as if she didn’t want her true skin color to shine through.
She saw a beauty industry that was supported by a diverse group of people, but only catered to a narrow few.
Rather than fuming about what’s wrong with the beauty industry, she decided to be a solution.
Chichi Eburu Says “No More” to Industry Standards
Little Chichi had grown up in Nigeria, where the narrow view of beauty was no better. She never saw black women on billboards or in commercials. The Western idea of beauty prevailed. As a result, when the young girl looked in a mirror, she didn’t see beauty because beauty had different skin.
But her mother and aunts had a strong influence on her development of self-esteem as she grew. She began to realize that there was nothing wrong with her. She was a part of a rich community and culture.
If anything, there was something flawed with a beauty industry that had a very narrow view of what beauty looked like, and couldn’t see past it. They had failed to live up to their promises of inclusion. And Chichi Eburu felt compelled to take action.
Chichi Finds Her Niche
The beauty industry is a notoriously brutal market to break into. A few big beauty brands dominate the industry and those Caucasian-run mega-companies define beauty for the whole world.
Chichi didn’t have massive amounts of money to take on the industry. She just had a dream and drive to do something about it.
She needed a strategy to gain a foothold, so that people could see what they were missing.
You’ve Got to Start Somewhere
With no money to get started, Chichi Eburu didn’t wait for some Angel Investor to find her. She began small with a $2000 investment, making makeup tools to gain a name for herself and earn money she could invest in her business.
She kept a vision board with the likenesses and photos of great African leaders to keep her motivated. Images of Queens Nefertiti and Cleopatra inspired her to pursue her dream.
She saved up everything she could and worked out of her 2-bedroom apartment she shared with her son and daughter.
Juvia’s Place Becomes a Reality
In 2016, Chichi Eburu launched her first product inspired by Nefertiti. She called it The Nubian as it proudly displayed the likeness of the queen on its packaging. The product went viral, and she was able to make the most of this momentum by launching more products for diverse skin tones from light to dark.
Eburu didn’t want to repeat the mistakes she saw the industry making, so she worked to create a truly inclusive brand for all. And soon Juvia’s Place had taken the world by storm and become a beloved Black-owned brand.