Interview with Founder of Naturally Tribal Skincare, Shalom Lloyd
An award-winning, senior business professional with over 24 years experience in the pharmaceutical industry, Shalom Lloyd, is a British-Nigerian with a BSc and MSc in Pharmacy from the Ukrainian Academy of Pharmacy in former Soviet Union, and an MBA from the University of Liverpool, resulting in a cross-cultural background which has enabled her to push for diversity and cultural awareness in the global business place at every opportunity for herself and others.
Shalom is the Founder of Naturally Tribal Skincare Ltd (as seen in Vogue), a natural chemical-free skincare company built on valuing healthy ethical, and sustainable living whilst empowering African women. Every single product sold helps to keep rural African women in Essan, Nigeria, employed. The company has built a shea processing facility in Essan, currently employing 17 women with a target of 70 women by 2022. These amazing women produce the shea butter used in the products.
Shalom is also the Chief Strategy Officer at Emerging Markets Quality Trials (eMQT), an organisation focused on diversity in clinical trials providing the global pharmaceutical industry access to patients in Africa.
Shalom is also a Department of International Trade Export Champion, a mentor for Women Leaders in Milton Keynes, and a strong believer in the fact that anything is possible!
Describe a typical day for you?
I wake up before anyone else does so I can get a couple of hours work in checking emails and my social media. The quiet time first thing in the morning before the chaos, is bliss. By 7 am, 7-year-old twins descend on David (the husband) and I, and then the day truly begins. Then comes the school-run for the twins and dropping our 16-year-old at college whilst counting my blessings that this is so much better than home-schooling.
People always say, ‘no two days are the same’ and for me, this really is the case. A typical day touches all of my roles from being a delivery woman, attending our warehouse facility to pick up stock/ stock-take, being joined at the hip with my laptop in the office and joining a webinar or podcast to cooking dinner for the family and watching re-runs of Game of Thrones for the hundreth time.
There is no such thing as a typical day for me and I love it!
What do you feel are your greatest achievements?
I was born to be a mother and my biggest achievement to-date remains my family – I am a mother to five amazing children and a wife to my soul mate.
Looking beyond my family, I can’t help but retrace my steps to pat that young sixteen year old me who traveled to the former Soviet Union to study Pharmacy, on the back.
6 years after living and studying in a country I’d arrived to without knowing a single word of Russian, or anyone for that matter, I returned backk home to the UK with a BSc and MSc in Pharmacy. In addition to the language barrier, there were many challenges to being a young black woman in Russia however my experience in the former Soviet Union not only nurtured the scientist in me but gave me the confidence, determination, tenacity and will to adapt and succeed, and the understanding that my success or failure is down to me. A huge achievement!
From successfully building a great career in the pharmaceutical industry, establishing my skincare brand whilst empowering African women, to launching my products in Harrods Beauty Milton Keynes just this week are achievements that even my ‘imposter syndrome’ self-doubt cannot deny.
What’s in your handbag/ satchel?
I don’t normally carry a handbag but when I do, it holds my wallet, keys, lipstick, and compact powder – nothing out of the ordinary.
What are your ambitions in life?
My ambitions are very simple – to be happy, for my children to be proud of what I have achieved in my life and to leave this world a little better than I found it – my legacy.
What do you wish you’d known at the start of your career you now know?
‘Failure’ is an option! Failure is the first step to success; multiple failures are multiple steps towards success.
I wish I had understood that my success or failure was solely down to me.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
In 5 years time, I see myself taking a bit of a back seat and overseeing others running my companies. I hope to be enjoying the fruits of my labour with my family and friends…… but will that be enough???
What advice would you give a budding Entrepreneur?
The journey is tough so do something you feel passionate about. Everything we do in life is about relationships. Your social capital can make or break you. Know that it’s OK for where you end up, to be completely different from where you started.
If you are going to fail, fail fast and move on as there is nothing worse than chasing an unrealistic dream.
Do the right thing and know that how you make people feel is important!
Oh and NEVER let the lack of finance stop you. Align with the right type of people, be genuine and surround yourself with a great team (no one knows it all). Most of all – ENJOY the ride, the bumps and all.
What advice would you give to a new parent?
Trust yourself! Trust your instinct and gut! It’s really all about unadulterated and unconditional love!
Finally, happiness is…
Happiness is the sound of my children laughing, good health, being content and at peace, a good home, a successful career, being comfortable in my own skin – That to me is happiness, and therefore my success!