In Conversation with Muhga Eltigani of NaturAll

Muhga_Blog Header

Describe your business in a few words? 

NaturAll is a clean hair care product line with freshly made formulas on the mission to develop products with integrity while uplifting the Black & POC community. 

What made you take the leap to start your own business? 

There was a Mintel report that stated that one of 12 products marketed to Black women had toxic ingredients which could lead to health defects. I was determined to change that with NaturAll. I started making products from scratch in my dorm room back in college when I noticed that there was a void in the market for freshly made products. There weren’t any products that I felt were performing in the way that I needed for my curls to thrive. So I decided to make products out of fresh fruit. So fresh that you would need to keep them frozen to preserve its freshness. 

What was your background prior to starting your own business?

I am a University of Pennsylvania graduate where I triple majored in African Studies, International Relations, and Religious Studies. I briefly worked as the Director of Marketing for a startup, decided to forego law school, and eventually began working full-time for NaturAll. 

Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur? 

I didn’t always want to be an entrepreneur, as my family had very different plans for me becoming a lawyer someday. It wasn’t until I traveled to Ghana and Sudan to visit family and I saw how lustrous their hair was from using natural products; so I “big chop” and cut my damaged and thin waist length hair; leaving only five inches left. From there I started using regimens I learned from the women in Africa, launched my YouTube to document the process, and stumbled across an audience of women that were willing to pay for all-natural products. I was able to convince my very traditional-African parents to let me try entrepreneurship for two years before I was supposed to attend law school, and five years later I’m still giving this a shot. 

Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned? 

I would constantly re-work my business model to make sure that we were succeeding in e-commerce, raised funding via Indiegogo, and created a subscription model that our customers love. I mostly used my Youtube channel and Facebook ads in the beginning to get the word out, which really helped to expand my reach. 

We always learn the most from our mistakes, share a time with us that you made a mistake or had a challenging time in business and what you learned from it?

The pandemic has affected our supply chain as we had delays in some of the ingredients we source as well as one of our manufacturers had to shut down. Therefore, we had so many items out of stock which worried our consumers. We shifted gears and offered our customers a free hand sanitizer with each purchase so that they know we are thinking about them. The biggest lesson we learned is how to help our community during this time.

What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date? 

I am really proud to have made it 5 years with NaturAll. Since its inception, NaturAll has grown from a series of deep conditioner experiments in my Philadelphia kitchen to a rapidly growing 30 member team that is taking the beauty industry by storm. Also, making Forbes 30 under 30. 

When hiring for your team, what is your go-to interview question? Please share any hiring tips you can share from your experience? 

I don’t have any go – to interview questions, but I like to look for like-minded people that have the same passion for innovation and being behind a groundbreaking concept that is NaturAll Club. When hiring your team for a startup especially, they must be self starters, solution-oriented, and flexible. I am proud to have such a young, talented, and diverse group of individuals to call the NaturAll team. 

What is the biggest lesson you have learned in 2020? 

One of the biggest lessons that I learned in 2020 was to be grateful for the small things. I am grateful to still have my health, my family, and such an outstanding team at NaturAll that always helps me keep a smile on my face. 

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting your business? 

It is critical to know that everyone is still figuring it out. I have met some of the most seasoned entrepreneurs out there and they never cease learning, trying out new solutions to complex problems, improving efficiency, and employing new strategies for growth. Consumer markets are always changing, providing new entrepreneurs with opportunities to grow, adapt, and increase revenue. 

How have you managed to stay grounded this year? 

I’ve been cooking a lot lately and notice that I cook more when I’m stressed or anxious. Cooking helps me take my mind off of whatever is stressing me by making me excited for what I am about to eat. I cooked food from Nigeria, Thailand, India, Poland and Mexico. It’s also helping me travel the world through my ingredients. 

Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips? 

I do! I think the best way to handle work/life balance is to prioritize by creating to-do lists for your day. Be cognizant of when your energy is low and extend yourself grace for when you feel you’ve reached your limit.

What does being an Entreprenista mean to you? 

Being an Entreprenista means creating something from nothing and having grit and determination to see it through. Immigrants have to create a new life for themselves in a new land, much like the entrepreneur who quits his or her day job for his or her passion. For my family, we went from sharing space in a family member’s home to owning our own house. Entrepreneurs know hard work is needed to provide themselves the best opportunity.

Collectively, we challenge these uncertainties for the hopes of a greater reward for ourselves and others: our families or customers. The payoff, whether financial or social capital, ultimately creates a sense of self that affirms your role in society. The calculated risks immigrants have taken and continue to take are done in a style unique to their circumstances. They leave sizable impacts on the American Dream. It’s a dream so revered, it is fiercely sought by the people who understand the freedoms and virtue of America. As I continue working on my hair care company, NaturAll, I hope I can take from the lessons passed to me by my hard-working parents, in order to improve on my venture.

Share it!

Posted in

Leave a Comment

8 Inspiring Latinx Entreprenistas that have launched groundbreaking companies

In celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, we’ve put together a list of 8 incredible Latinx women founders that have launched groundbreaking companies. Check it out: Jessica Alba: The Honest Company Founded in 2011, The Honest Company makes sustainable, well-designed products that work – built on transparency, trust, and a deep sense of purpose. In…

Susan Sarit of Operations-Made Easy on achieving your goals by getting organized

Describe your business in a few words: I am a mom, daughter, sister, business owner, and more! I started my business for both financial freedom and to be a work-at-home mom. I created Operations-Made Easy to help diverse women with the Operations of their business. Deliberative, disciplined, and detail-oriented are just a few words we…

Lisa Nutt of Make Every Minute Count on personal and professional growth

Describe your business in a few words? The Make Every Minute Count ecosystem encourages us to go (do that thing), grow (personally and professionally) and give (through a membership based family to family giving circle). What made you take the leap to start your own business? I’m a serial entrepreneur. This is the third time…

Connection Coach Kristjana Hillberg on trusting your intuition and having an open mind

Describe your business in a few words: I’m a Connection Coach who helps women unearth their deepest desires, move from auto pilot to intentional action and prioritize their wellbeing. What was your background prior to starting your own business? I’m a multipotentialite – meaning, I have tried multiple things and tested multiple careers ranging from…

Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon: Finally Back to Delicious Meals For Everyone

Cuisine varies by culture, but no matter how societies segment and define themselves, certain foods show up in households across the globe — only differing in their forms. Some of a culture’s time-honored meals are created by its culinary icons.  Among America’s culinary icons, Martha Stewart is, without question, its most trusted. In 2014, Martha…

7 Entreprenista League Members share the biggest business challenge they overcame and what it taught them

Brand Photographer Brittney Guy-Atakpo of Brittney Jean Photography The biggest business challenge I have faced is sticking to a schedule that made me feel productive and good about my work ethic. What I have learned is that there is no right or wrong schedule or routine that produces success. I have been more grateful for…

Courtney Spritzer of WorkRobe on her “secret sauce” for a successful product launch

Describe WorkRobe in a few words? WorkRobes are designed to have you looking your best during any video meeting, so you can go from bedroom to boardroom in seconds and in comfort. My mission is to reimagine what you wear to work (from home).  Can you pinpoint the moment you knew you wanted to create…

Brand Photographer Brittney Jean Guy-Atakpo on helping women show up confidently on camera

Describe your business in a few words? I’m Brittney with Brittney Jean Photography & Company. I help women show up confidently in photos and on social media to grow their brand and business. I’m a Brand Photographer and Strategist. I have over 5 years working for Fortune 100 companies in sales and marketing and over…

Lorena Tapiero of Conscious Consulting on the power of networking

Describe your business in a few words? Conscious Consulting is a Latina-owned, bilingual marketing and public relations agency with 20 years of experience in the hospitality, sports and wellness sectors. Our thoughtful, comprehensive approach helps brands establish clear communication priorities and a long-range vision for meaningful press coverage, value-added partnerships and sustainable influencer relationships. As…

Lindsay Applebaum Stuart of Mamalux on the beginning stage of business

Describe your business in a few words? Mamalux is a first-of-its-kind leakproof sleep solution for breastfeeding moms. Our Kickstarter launches on 10/19! What was your background prior to starting your own business? I spent the first 10 years of my career as a sports journalist for the Washington Post and Sports Illustrated! So this has…

Jessica Bargenquast of Lady ChangeMakers on organic marketing strategies that work

Describe your business in a few words? Lady ChangeMakers is an exclusive e-commerce platform for women-owned businesses to gain valuable exposure and sales. Most of my life I’ve been encouraged to be seen and not heard. Growing up extremely introverted and shy I felt invisible. I wanted to create a platform so women-owned businesses could…

Jennifer Gligoric of EntrePods on the importance of mindset

Describe EntrePods in a few words? Cutting-edge entrepreneur and investor network answering the question “So Now What?” for business owners powered by fractional consultants and coaches with decades worth of experience. What made you take the leap to start your own business? I had no choice.  My mother owned a staffing company for 54 years…

Certified Financial Planner Maggie Gomez on investing and building wealth

Describe your business in a few words? An accessible place where anyone can learn to invest and build wealth, regardless of their net worth. What made you take the leap to start your own business? I realized that it was only those who were already wealthy that had access to quality financial guidance. I got…

Claire Jones of Cushy Couture on shifting paradigms in the fashion industry

Describe your business in a few words? Cushy Couture is a customer-driven clothing brand that creates high quality sweatpants in a wide range of colors and patterns that come in three different inseam lengths because we believe that you don’t have to settle for less. We create functional sweatpants that will last you for multiple…

Writer, Speaker, Podcaster, and Life Coach Chelsea Austin on taking care of yourself first

Describe your business in a few words? I advocate for others to find their own self-worth and acceptance through self-care, love, respect, and storytelling. What made you take the leap to start your own business? When I started writing my book and my blog, I don’t think I ever realized it would become a business.…