Fly Female Entrepreneur: Africa Miranda
When I sat down with Africa Miranda for cocktails in Harlem a couple months back and she shared her plans to launch a beauty collection, I knew that conversation was a Fly Female Entrepreneur interview in the making. I mean, why wouldn’t it be? Seeing someone as sweet, hard working, talented and consistent as Africa work her magic over the years has truly been a sight to behold. It takes guts to go from being someone else’s brand ambassador (Africa has worked with everyone from Creme of Nature to KIA Motors) to launching your own brand, but she did it! Today, she shares the whys and the hows with In Her Shoes. Get all the way into it:
In Her Shoes: Congrats on the official launch of Beauty by Africa Miranda. What inspired you to make this pivot in your career from influencer to creator?
Africa: Thank you! After working with brands over the years first as a model, then brand ambassador, and finally as an influencer, I felt it was time to tell my own story. I was helping others craft their brands and message and I started to question what was my own and what legacy did I want to create for myself.
In Her Shoes: How long has this project been in the works and what is one of the biggest lessons you’ve learned on this journey?
Africa: Beauty by Africa Miranda has been in development for almost two years. The biggest lesson I’ve learned throughout this process is patience. When I first started, I naively thought this would only take a few months! I’m so thankful the process took as long as it did because I can truly say that no stone was left unturned. I had time to really develop a brand identity and what message I wanted to get across with the line.
In Her Shoes: Who are three of your beautypreneur role models or influences?
- Jessica Simpson – we have similar creative backgrounds and to see the empire she’s built with apparel, fragrance, and home goods is amazing. My goal is for Beauty by Africa Miranda to grow into a full beauty and lifestyle experience, offering curated beauty, home, and travel items.
- Diane von Furstenberg – she’s a fellow Capricorn and I’ve always admired her drive, creativity, and ability to stay relevant over the years.
- Oprah – the queen of ultimate branding! You are never confused about her message and she is front and center as the face of it. I’ve always been inspired by the fact that while she is wildly successful, it is always rooted in creating opportunities for others and also spreading the message of authenticity and living your best life.
In Her Shoes: Tell us all about your first offering, the Facial Elixir, and why we need to purchase it immediately:
Africa: Beauty by Africa Miranda is inspired by my travel adventures and the Facial Elixir pays homage to one of my favorite cities Rio de Janeiro. I wanted to recapture the “vacation glow” that we all have when we’re on the beach. The Elixir is a mix of moisture rich ingredients including Brazilian Maracuja Oil and Cupuacu Butter. I consider it the missing piece in your skin care regimen. It can be used morning and at night…one of my favorite times to use it is after a long flight.
In Her Shoes: What is a day like in Africa Miranda’s shoes?
Africa: My days are random at best, but if I’m not on the road, a typical day starts at 6:30am. My morning usually consists of breakfast, emails, and first social media posts of the day. By 10am if I’m on track I’m headed to the gym. The rest of the day is a mash-up of more emails, social media posts, auditions (still a working model/actor), and phone meetings.
In Her Shoes: Being a solopreneur is no small feat. Without a team surrounding us at all times, it can be challenging to remain lifted and motivated when times get tough. What’s your secret sauce? What keeps you going?
Africa: This can definitely be a lonely process and I definitely have had moments along the way where I wondered what in the world I was doing! I’m so thankful for a strong circle of family and friends who have been the ultimate cheerleaders and sounding boards. One thing that has also helped tremendously is changing my morning routine. Instead of reaching for my phone before I can barely open my eyes, I spend my first moments of the day praying and meditating. It has made me SO much more centered and less anxious about my life and career. I love social media and all of the opportunities it has afforded me, but it can wreak havoc on your psyche sometimes. I work hard these days to keep the balance.
In Her Shoes: Speaking of keeping you going, I know you’re also a talented songstress. What music serves as the soundtrack to your busiest work days?
Africa: A Seat at the Table by Solange is on repeat (of course!), I’ve recently been turned on to Snoh Aalegra, and Anderson .Paak is also on repeat.
In Her Shoes: What do you have planned out next for the brand? What can we expect in terms of offerings in the coming months?
Africa: Since the brand is inspired by travel, it will be a curated collection of products based on destinations I’ve loved. My recent trip to the south of France was a game changer for me. I’m working next on a special body focused product based on my time there. Look for that Summer 2017!
Ready to experience Beauty by Africa Miranda for yourself? Click here!