Personal branding is about bridging the gap between who you think you are, and who other people think you are. That’s not to say you should go convincing people to perceive you in a way that YOU know is not true to you. I mean, that’s an option, and the route most people choose to take but I personally don’t advocate for it — for the most part.
I believe that a personal brand is an extension of who you are, and not an image or identity you’re trying to mimic or compete with. Who you think, believe and feel that you are should be the foundation of your personal brand. It’s not about trying to be someone else because if you create a brand that is not in alignment with who you truly believe yourself to be and what you value it will not feel authentic so it won’t last. Do you ever notice people especially on Instagram with this copy pasted look and no essence? (If you know you know).
Experimenting and finding opportunities that align with my interest in the beauty industry was the theme for me from 2017 to 2020. After realizing that makeup wasn’t IT, I quickly hopped onto the next thing for me which was personal branding.
An old friend of mine, Sean, had a company that connected high school students to mentorship, apprenticeship and internship opportunities at the time. He facilitated mindset trainings himself and asked me to come on as a personal branding trainer after securing a partnership with Nova Pioneer, St. Andrew’s Turi, and The African Leadership University which I 100% said yes to. This interestingly came at a time when I was developing a deeper interest in beauty industry enough to want to solve more problems even as I dreamt about what my brand could potentially be.
I knew I needed to be adequately prepared given this was my first time speaking in general, and about personal branding so I took a short personal branding course then consulted a personal branding trainer that also doubled as a therapist. Through this, I understood the importance of authenticity when branding yourself, and its connection to mental health. I also learnt that everyone has a personal brand whether or not they’re intentional and deliberate about it. Food for thought maybe?
By the time I was doing the second personal branding training at St. Andrews in 2019 I already knew that personal branding alone also wasn’t IT. I needed to do more. My passion for the industry was growing and I couldn’t stop dreaming about what the business could become.
2018 and 2019 were crucial because other than experimenting I also slowly created a vision for the business which has grown since but never really changed. My recent blog on ‘The Album Cover Challenge’ and ‘Why I Started Meremeta Africa Beauty’ should give you a pretty good idea of what I spent the bulk of 2020 doing and how that contributed to everything.
2021 found me launching my consultancy for high-end beauty and fashion entrepreneurs in Nairobi at the African Leadership Accelerator to support, encourage, and showcase the true beauty of Africa and it’s people. The concept behind it is to enhance the confidence in our skin, country, confidence, and heritage as Africans.
2022, on the other hand, proved that the consultancy really is IT for me, despite it still being a step. Wins such as landing our first client before even launching (and actually satisfying them) pushed me to take my personal brand seriously. I’ve certainly waited for this moment when I’m in my purpose to put myself out there so I can offer the most value by being true to my essence and vision for the world as it relates to beauty and fashion from Africa.
After my first interview during ‘The Rebirth of My Brand’, I’m convinced that beauty and fashion entrepreneurs need guidance, support and empathy to feel confident about putting their brands out there. I’m looking to do more about that over time. Definitely stay tuned 🙂