Beauty Idol: Sharon Richards from Shea Decadence London
Sharon Richards is the founder of Shea Decadence London, a beauty brand that specialises in delicious treats for your hair, bath and body. All of the products are personally handmade by her brand using natures finest organic natural or natural derived raw ingredients from around the world. Some of the delights include Body Brulee, Hair Latte - Conditioning Hair Milk, Cocoa Frappuccino - Moisture Plus Leave-in Conditioner and Creamy Nilotica Whip - Butter Cream, all of which have created a huge loyal following. Sharon took time out to tell me about Shea Decadence. What made you decide to set up your own beauty business? It wasn't a conscious decision as such. I had started making cold processed soap and then body balms and whipped butters which I use to give to my friends and family. It was only when a friend commissioned me to make her a large bar of Shea Butter soap, like she had been buying from l'Occitane that the idea of a 'business' came into it.
What is the concept behind Shea Decadence London? When I started wearing my natural hair back in 2009, I found it nigh impossible to find good natural products in the UK so I used to purchase products from the US. But even then, I still couldn't achieve the 'look' for my hair that I wanted. After making bath and body products, formulating hair care products was the next logical step, and that's how Kinks was born. I set out to formulate a range of products that would allow the user to bring out their best kink, curls & coils. Everything in the Kinks Range will define your natural curl whilst offering moisturise which is very important in natural hair.
What sort of research did you do to find out what sort of products your customers wanted to buy? I produce products that myself as a consumer require so sulfate free Shampoo, Treatment Masque, Leave in Conditioners, Styling Balms etc. These products cater to anyone with hair basically as we all more or less follow the same routine - wash, condition and some kind of styling aid, regardless of hair texture or nationality.
How did you decide on the look and feel of the brand? I'm actually going through a rebrand at the moment so both Shea Decadence London and Kinks London are constantly evolving.
What are your future plans for Shea Decadence London? My plan for the company is to ensure the range is available to as many people/countries as possible.
What are your favourite beauty products? As I basically make every product I use from head to toe, I no longer buy commercial products. I used to use MAC Foundation which I really like but I tend to use mineral makeup now which I whisk up.
What advice do you have for anyone who wants to set up their own beauty business? Research your market and try to have a USP. There will be many companies selling the same products as you but yours needs to stand out. At the end of the day, if you have a good product, people will buy it and continue to buy it. You can't just rely on great packaging, the product has to be good!
You can follow Sharon on Twitter.