Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Ofunne Amaka: Cocoa Swatches

 Ofunne Amaka Has a Great App Called Cocoa Swatches

Many makeup companies do not use models with dark complexions in their beauty advertisements and campaigns. This can make it very hard for darker-skinned women to know what will look good on their complexion. Most importantly, it can really damage a women’s self-esteem (especially younger women) do not see themselves represented in the beauty industry. However, Ofunne Amaka has changed the game with an amazing beauty app called Cocoa Swatches. Cocoa Swatches’ users can search for various beauty products to see how they look in various shades of brown and deeper skin tones.  The app even rates the products and features a discussion board for women of color to speak openly and honestly about their thoughts on the beauty industry.
KAY KAY: How would you describe your style?
Amaka: I have a minimal style that is sexy but chic.
KAY KAY: How would you describe Cocoa Swatches?
Amaka: Cocoa Swatches is an empowering tool to help makeup lovers with underrepresented complexions find the makeup products that will work for them.
KAY KAY: What was your background before you opened Cocoa Swatches?
Amaka: I was working in the Communications department of a tech start-up in California. Eventually, I left that job to pursue my Masters in Communications at Columbia University in New York City. I was completing a number of fashion and beauty internships during my time at Columbia.
KAY KAY: What was the hardest part about launching Cocoa Swatches?
Amaka: Probably trying to manage everything on my own and entering into the industry with something people are not familiar with. Not many people have their own apps, so it has been an interesting experience trying to introduce the idea.
KAY KAY: Where do you see yourself and Cocoa Swatches the next five years?
Amaka:  I think Cocoa Swatches will continue to grow. I also believe that I will be able to expand the brand and promise and offer other tools to help empower underrepresented makeup lovers.
KAY KAY: What do you love the most about Cocoa Swatches?
Amaka:  I love that it is able to help people and give them joy. Makeup is supposed to be fun but it’s not fun if you can’t get the right tools. So, I love that Cocoa Swatches can give people the tools they need.
KAY KAY: What made you want to launch Cocoa Swatches?
Amaka:   After a number of disappointing makeup purchases, I wanted to create a resource that would help people make informed makeup purchasing decisions.
KAY KAY: How did you get started launching Cocoa Swatches?
Amaka: I started off by trying to bring the idea to life through Instagram.
KAY KAY: What feedback have you gotten from your customers?
Amaka: As I mentioned, many people love Cocoa Swatches because it helps them find what they need and indulge in the fun of makeup. There has been such a positive response.
KAY KAY: What advice would you give to future entrepreneurs?
Amaka: I would tell them to stay focused. Also, make sure you pursue opportunities that make sense for your brand. Finally, try new things so you can iterate, improve, and expand as efficiently as possible.
KAY KAY: How did you come up with the name Cocoa Swatches?
Amaka: I knew I wanted “Swatches” in the name and “Cocoa” is kind of a euphemism for brown, like brown skin.
KAY KAY: Did you ever expect for Cocoa Swatches to become as big as it has?
Amaka: No because it kind of started off as a social experiment for me.  However, it has expanded more than I could ever imagine.
KAY KAY: Why do you think that the beauty industry does not cater to darker skin tones as much as they should?
Amaka: The standard of beauty has been white for so long that many brands do not feel the need to cater to darker skin tones. When our society values darker complexions, the brands will also follow suit.
Photo of Amaka: Property of Ofunne Amaka
Photos of Models: Property of Ofunne Amaka and Cocoa Swatches

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Kay Kay's Two Cents: George Lopez Disrespects a Woman at his Concert




"Trick Daddy’s disrespect for black women is a prime lesson in self-hate"

Monday, February 6, 2017

Kay Kay's Two Cents: Tana Mongeau N-Word Situation

Please excuse my messy ponytail lol !!!! It was a long day and I was under the weather! 

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Africans Unite!!!!!!

I love being African. I love this interview. I really believe that Africans ALL OVER THE WORLD need to unite!!!! Afro-Brazilians, Nigerians, African Americans, Afro-Canadians, Haitians... the list goes on and on !!!!! We need to unite and make sure that we are connected to Africa and each other and do not believe the racist lies about the continent that we are savages when in actuality LIFE STARTED IN AFRICA and we come from KINGS AND QUEENS. We honestly need to shed the colonizers and slavemasters way of thinking. The demons that colonized Africa or had slaves have died. However, they have left an imprint of evil on our continent and in African people from around the world. 

Friday, February 3, 2017


Life Update

Woke up today and I realized that Blavity started following me on Instagram and commented on my picture lol !!!!! Then I saw that Black Lives Matter VT shared my Black in Vermont Post (…/black-in-vermont-my-most-… ). I am so happy that my platform has grown and is growing. It feels great to be recognized by such big "woke" organizations. I will never stop fighting for the rights of my people. And sorry to my "friend" (lol we were never friends but he thought we were) in Vermont (…/kay-kays-two-cents-silenc… ) who tried to silence my posts... but clearly, people love the Black in Vermont Series and there is injustice in Vermont. Just because you privileged behind is blinded to the injustice... it is still there lol.

P.S.: Be on the lookout for more Black in Vermont Posts 
#blackinvermont #Vermont

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Ade Hassan: Nubian Skin

A nude bra is an essential part of any woman’s wardrobe. However, if you are a woman of color then you know the struggle of finding a “nude” bra for your skin tone. Thankfully, Ade Hassan (founder of Nubian Skin) has changed the game. Nubian Skin designs nude undergarments in various shades for women of color! This company has been such a global hit, that even Beyonce is a fan!
KAY KAY: What was your background before you opened Nubian Skin?
Hassan: My background is actually very un-fashiony! I studied English and Economics. My career prior to Nubian Skin has been very finance focused, although I did take a fifteen-month break from work several years ago when I took sewing and pattern cutting classes. I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur and I have always wanted my business to be fashion related, so when I first thought of the concept out of my own frustration of not being able to find my own “nude” – I knew that had to be it!
KAY KAY: How did you come up with the name Nubian Skin?
Hassan: I wanted something which really spoke to the history and significance of dark skin, so I chose Nubian. I had originally thought of Nubian Nude, but that can be very tricky when it comes to internet searches, “Skin” just worked.
KAY KAY: How did you get started opening Nubian Skin?
Hassan: It took me much longer than I had expected! It took two years from the concept to creating the company, and another year and a half till it actually launched. The first two years consisted of brainstorming and planning. In addition, finding the perfect shades was also a lengthy process – that alone took about a year from start to finish! At the start, I visited counters in London and New York that had significant offerings for women of color such as Fashion Fair, MAC, Nars, LancĂ´me and Blackup. I did this in order to find out which of their colors were most popular amongst women with darker skin.
Based on all my findings, I then selected my skin tone Pantone colors, but this was just the first stage.  Matching a skin tone Pantone to a fabric Pantone and making sure to compare the colors under a light box was a very good exercise.  By autumn that year, we had an initial set of color samples, but they weren’t quite right. In addition, there was a significant amount of back and forth with the factory and dyeing houses.  We didn’t actually manage to pin down colors we were satisfied with until May or June 2014.  The task then consisted of matching up samples of each dyed component of a bra (each type of fabric holds dye differently), so they were all uniform.  I finalized the color of the bras by summer, but the tights were a different matter entirely.  You can’t simply replicate the color of a solid fabric to a sheer fabric, so the tights required significantly more time.  Two of the colors we got down pretty quickly, but two have taken a bit more effort. It even involved me boiling some of the colors I wasn’t satisfied within massive pots of tea and coffee at various strengths to get the perfect color. Thankfully, we got there in the end!

KAY KAY: What was the hardest part about opening Nubian Skin?
Hassan: One of the biggest obstacles was finding a good quality manufacturer.  As a new and small business, a lot of manufacturers simply didn’t respond to queries, and others were looking for incredibly high volumes, so it was tricky.  Once you actually secure a manufacturer, it’s always a battle to manage expectations.  When I first decided on a manufacturer, I thought I’d be able to start selling in a few months. However, Nubian Skin actually launched a year later than I had expected.
KAY KAY: Where do you see yourself and Nubian Skin in the next five years?
Hassan: I would absolutely love it if Nubian Skin was a household name and the go-to brand for all women of color. I can’t wait for the day that any woman can walk into her local store and pick up a pair of Nubian Skin tights or that perfect nude bra!
KAY KAY: What do you love the most about Nubian Skin?
Hassan: It truly has been amazing to receive the support we have, we really do have an amazing community surrounding us.
KAY KAY: What made you want to open Nubian Skin?
Hassan: I created Nubian Skin because I couldn’t find what I was looking for in shops! I wanted nude lingerie and hosiery – but it simply wasn’t available. I knew I couldn’t be the only one who felt the same way – so I decided to create Nubian Skin!
KAY KAY: There is so much discussion today about a lack of diversity in practically all segments of the fashion industry. Do you believe that this is a reason why we are just seeing “nude clothing” for women of color?  
Hassan: It’s a fact that minorities are generally under-represented within the fashion industry.  The most visual manifestation of this is the limited number of minority models in magazines or on the catwalk.  The fashion industry has become more diverse, which is a wonderful thing, but there is still some work to be done. Being able to look at a magazine and see an image that you can relate to is an incredibly empowering thing, so being able to find lingerie in your skin-tone is also incredibly powerful.
When Nubian Skin launched, our brand showed such a glaring gap in the market, that I think we had an out-sized impact given our size.  The influence of what we have done has definitely grown. For example, there are a lot more brands are attempting to enter the space or add a token “mocha” to their collection.  It’s a conversation that was a long time coming.
KAY KAY: I love how you are bringing in new band and cup sizes to Nubian Skin. Please tell our readers when they should expect these new sizes. 
Hassan: We are working very hard on getting this ready! We are excited to launch them this spring!
KAY KAY: What advice would you give to future entrepreneurs? 
Hassan: If you have an idea you would like to bring to life, it is really important to research your idea to make sure it is valid. Make sure you really believe in the idea especially if you are working in another job. If you are up at four in the morning or two in the morning working on this, then you want to believe in it. You also need to be willing to work really hard. Everybody who is going to start something anticipates that it is going to be difficult and that it is going to be hard. However, it will be much harder than you ever expected.  Lastly, have faith in yourself!  If you do not believe in yourself, then who will?
KAY KAY: Did you ever imagine that you would become this successful?
Hassan: When we started, we did not have a marketing budget or a marketing plan.  People picked up on our social media and it went viral.  That led to the mainstream media picking it up.  It was a media storm that we could not have imagined or quite frankly have afforded. Therefore, we are so incredibly grateful to everyone who helped spread the word about Nubian Skin.

If you are in the Detroit, please stop by the Busted Bra Shop because they are a stockist for Nubian Skin!
Photo of Hassan: David Cromer Photography
Photos of Models: Julia Underwood Photography
All other photos are the property of Kay Kay's World LLC

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Beyonce Pregnant!!!!!

Black History Month!!!!!

"Religion without humanity is very poor human stuff." - Sojourner Truth
Love this woman! A very timely quote in times of the Muslim Ban! Happy Black History Month. Always remember that Black history ... is American history. The United States of America would not be what it is today without the work of African Americans who made this nation rich. #blackandproud#blackgirlmagic #blackhistorymonth #melaninonfleek