engage magazine issue 002 \\\\\\\'06 - Page 38

38 INTERVIEW New Start–ups New Start–ups The start–up phase of any new business comes with at least some anxiety, stress and challenges. engage talks to three female business owners about their businesses, the challenges they faced in the start up phase of their business and what advice they would give to other budding entrepreneurs The Businesses Perle Noire is a quality hair and body care company, founded by Claudia McKenzie late 2003. Perle Noire also sells home fragrance products and gifts through its online store as well as through an east London based shop. The Perle Noire collection also includes a range of hair and beauty products by US Company, Carol’s Daughter, whose fans include actress Jada Pinkett–Smith and singer Mary J Blige. Target audience “We encourage everyone to relax and pamper themselves at one time or another. Primarily our website is visited by women but men order online too. We have products that appeal to people, regardless of their ethnic or cultural background that appeal to different skin or hair types or even fragrance preferences.” – Claudia Launched in April this year, B. N. Bags hosts handbag parties across the country. According to its founders, Marlene Husbands and Nicola Millington, “The B. N. Bags concept is as sexy as Ann Summers lingerie parties and as fragrant as Avon”. B. N Bags launched in April this year. Target audience “We cater for females aged 15 to 115 who love handbags and the parties are mainly held in homes. However we also host corporate events, for those businesses who wish to offer their staff a perk with a difference. We also have a ‘young ladies’ range’ for our younger clientele aged 5 – 14 years old.” – Marlene and Nicola Jenni Asiama, a former Sunday Times journalist, set up The A.M.A Consultancy, an Event Management and Marketing agency, two years ago. The company organises product launches and weddings to celebrity parties, awards dinners and conferences, and even corporate family fun days. It also produces marketing materials and devises and implements marketing and press campaigns. Target audience “We’ve organised events for corporate companies and a themed birthday party for the TV presenter June Sarpong. We also do a lot of private events. In terms of marketing, we tend to work with new businesses and companies who are seeking to create market and press awareness of their product. Recent clients include the Streatham Festival, a fashion boutique in Portobello Road and the African and Caribbean Business Network.” – Jenni engage ISSUE TWO 2006