Diary of a Start-up Brand | Natalie Joseph
After bullding a successful career as a hair stylist, Natalie Joseph decided to follow her dream to develop a lingerie brand designed for women with fuller busts. Natalie’s mission is to make women feel confident, sexy, supported and comfortable at all times. Natalie Joseph Lingerie is expected to launch Autumn/Winter 2020. We’re delighted that Natalie will be sharing her start up story with us in regular updates. In the first instalment we get to find out more about the woman behind this start up brand.
As a British born Jamaican child I always knew I was somewhat different. I had big dreams and always imagined being famous and in charge of my own destiny.
I was influenced by the Huxtables – an educated middle class black family from the Cosby Show, and Five Star, a Black British pop group. I was inspired by an uncle who owned Choice FM – Britain’s first licensed black radio station, and also influenced by another uncle who travelled the world with UK reggae artist Maxi Priest.
As an adult I now recognise and accept my quirkiness and unconventional style. I’m progressively and unapologetically embracing my uniqueness, creativity and challenge societal ideology of beauty.
Let me introduce myself…
I’m a hair stylist by trade. I trained at the lengendary Vidal Sassoon and worked at the award-winning Hype Coiffure. I’ve carved out a successful hairdressing career spanning 25 years, I’ve won ‘Colourist of the Year at the Black Beauty/ Sensationnel Hair Awards’ in 2012, 2013 and 2014 and entered the Afro Hair Hall of Fame in 2015. I’ve demonstrated hairdressing techniques at UK hair shows and had my work published in Pride and Black Beauty and Hair magazines.
My quest for learning and evolving led me to graduate in 2005 with a BA/BSc honorary degree in Media Studies and Marketing. I worked in marketing and communications, but returned to hairdressing after the 2008 recession.
For my (recent) 40th birthday I wanted to feel like I was on top of the world so I literally reached for Africa’s highest mountain! I embarked on a self-discovery solo trip to Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and came back with a fresh new perspective. It was one of the most amazing and difficult challenges I’ve experienced, but I learnt I’m a lot stronger than I thought. I’ve also learnt that anything is possible if I put my mind to it. It’s not about the destination; it’s about your journey.
The picture below captured a proud moment of me on top of the Barranco Wall. That white stuff behind me… well that’s the clouds! The proverb ‘the sky’s the limit’ is metaphorical! It was at that moment that I realised my true potential and recognised there’s no limit to what I can achieve.
In 2018, I decided to take the leap and develop a lingerie brand. Having carried out training and research, Natalie Joseph Lingerie was conceived. As a woman with a fuller bust, I have the unfair advantage and ability to connect and engage with other busty women on a personal level. I want to create functional, yet beautiful lingerie that serves women like me so that they feel confident, sexy, supported and comfortable.
My mission is to make a positive impact to women worldwide. This is more than a business – it’s a definition of my life.
Taking that first leap of faith to start a lingerie business is the scariest and most exciting thing I’ve done in years, and to say it’s been eventful is an understatement. To date, I’ve been fortunate to have met lots of entrepreneurial and amazing people who have inspired me to take calculated risks, try new things and be a better version of myself.
The last decade I came into my own. I won four hairdressing awards, climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, raised money for charities, travelled, started my business, grown my skill set, expanded some networks, experienced trauma and lost significant ones. I’ve learnt just how resilient I am, and learnt how to ask for help. I’m grateful to all who have patiently helped me or parted with me along the way. To those who I have yet to meet – I look forward to it. I can’t wait for what this decade has in store.
I hope you’ll follow my journey here through PRECIOUS as I launch my lingerie brand. Please do get in touch if you have any questions or advice!
I am proud of the woman I am today, because I went through one hell of a time becoming her. I welcome a year and decade full of growth, health and laughter. So here’s to a better half of 2020 and to being more intentional!