Black Beauty Matters: Meet Nomshado Baca, the Entrepreneur Championing Women of Colour

Black Beauty Matters: Meet Nomshado Baca, the Entrepreneur Championing Women of Colour

A Complexion Company is an eco-luxe African wellness and clean-beauty brand for women of colour. We chat with founder Nomshado Baca about empowering Black women, driving change in the beauty industry and her secrets behind building an inclusive, sustainable business and becoming a successful entrepreneur.

2016, South African-born and London-based
Nomshado Baca saw a gap in the market for high-quality beauty and
wellness solutions targeted exclusively at meeting the needs of
women of colour.

Driven by a desire to build a company that championed
sustainability and celebrated her African heritage, Nomshado
created A Complexion Company, a bespoke collection of
thoughtfully designed skincare essentials that function with people
and the planet in mind. Though it only officially launched only two
weeks after lockdown, A Complexion Company has quickly caught the
attention of leaders in the beauty world.

Here Nomshado unveils the vision behind her brand and gives us
an insight into her desire to drive change in beauty and wellness
from the inside out.

Tell us a bit about your background and what you did before
starting your business.

I spent many years in luxury fashion. When I got the opportunity
to work at Ralph Lauren, that was a really big break for my career
– and it was everything you could imagine. After two years, I
started working with high-net-worth private clients to give myself
a broader view of the industry as a whole.

When I decided that I wanted to start my own company, I spent a
few years on the ground, working part-time in stores to get to
grips with how the retail world works. As an entrepreneur, you have
to lead from the top; it’s important to understand all the
different functions of your business.

How have these experiences shaped you as an entrepreneur?

I have a good knowledge across the supply chain, from the
consumer to sourcing materials and the sustainable practices that
are involved in that. This has given me the ability to build a
company in a holistic way. If I had only focused on marketing, we
would have had excellent marketing, but we would have also had
weaknesses in other areas. Exposing myself to different aspects of
the business means that every detail of my company is considered
and I have been able to integrate the company values across every
element of the business.

Why was it important for you to integrate sustainable practices
into your business from the beginning?

Unfortunately, beauty is one of the most wasteful industries.
While I was aware of that from the consumer perspective,
understanding it from the business side allowed me to understand
the challenges in more detail. I’m also a big reader on consumer
behaviour and I wanted to maintain the buying experience without
compromising it for the sake of sustainability.

My upbringing also gave me a different perspective on the
industry’s response to sustainability.
practices are implemented in everyday life across
Africa – the lifecycle of one item goes as far as your imagination
can extend. In the formative years of my life, I would see
something as seemingly as insignificant as a bottlecap repurposed
to decorate the wire cars that young boys in my community would
play with. When I noticed that sustainability was something that
the UK consumer was interested in, I knew it could be done because
I had seen it achieved in Africa with fewer resources.

What is the biggest barrier to living sustainably?

Time. When I think about the lifestyle in the UK, everybody is
always so busy and in such a rush. The process of thinking and
developing these habits is really difficult, which is why the
companies who have been able to encourage sustainability from the
consumer side are the ones who have made it easy for them. The
consumer is just so time-starved that the impact one person can
make is often minimal in comparison to the impact one company can

Your brand focuses on the skincare needs of women of colour.

We have never been served exclusively, especially at the level
at which I want to position my products. I felt that we needed to
be recognised as influential buyers because we spend more in this
category than any other demographic, and developing my brand was a
way I could provide women with a safe solution.

They don’t have to pick my products, but they should at least
have the choice. I’m big on female empowerment. At the moment our
choices are very limited and we have to work harder to make our
products work. The thing that made it a turning point for me was
realising that Black women carry the burden of beauty-related
toxins, and that’s when I knew it was a systematic thing that not
only affects me, but all Black women and the generations to

How would you define clean beauty?

I would define it as simple. Not simple in terms of isolated
ingredients, but simplicity that doesn’t need anything to be
removed. When there is nothing else to remove, then you have
created an effective product that is safe for the person using it,
the plant used and the environment as a whole.

How does travel inspire your creativity?

I’m the first in my entire bloodline to travel as much as I
have, and I haven’t travelled that much. I’ve lived in
, Switzerland
and the
, and it has given me an insight that no one in my family has
ever had. It has allowed me to be reflective and have a duality
where I carry my heritage with me everywhere I go, and I’m able to
see its influence in those spaces and how I’m influenced by those
spaces as well. Travel is where I get an understanding of how the
global African nation is going to develop and grow, and it’s where
I get the source of my creativity.

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