Chichi Eburu redirected her frustration with the beauty industry into a solution cherished by many and brought us Juvia’s Place.
Necessity Spawns Inspiration
The beauty industry, undoubtedly supported by a diverse set of customers, wasn’t living up to it’s claims of inclusion.
Pride Out of Inadequacy
Chichi grew up in Nigeria. But even there, the beauty messages all around her did not reflect deep skintones.
As a child, she believed she couldn’t be beautiful because when she looked in the mirror her skin tone didn’t match what she saw in beauty industry advertising.
But as she grew into a woman, she began to take to heart the teachings of her mother and aunts. She was a part of a great community and nation. She had a rich heritage.
Upon self-reflection, she began to rethink her feelings of inadequacy and asked herself, “How can I feel beautiful when the beauty industry tells me ‘this isn’t beauty’. They don’t design products to enhance my kind of beauty”.
Rather than focus on the problem, she saw an opportunity for a solution — an inclusive beauty brand.
Chichi Eburu Finds Her Niche
Chichi Eburu knew she had a mountain to climb. The mostly Caucasian-run beauty industry is notoriously monolithic, making it nearly impossible for an outsider to gain a foothold. But Chichi knew that if people could just see that they had a better choice, they would feel drawn to her brand and mission.
She had a dream. But what she didn’t have much of was money. So she needed to think strategically rather than try to take on Big beauty head on. She had the passion and knew she would find a way.
You’ve Got to Start Somewhere
With just $2000, she began making and selling cosmetic applicators to raise money for her future cosmetic line.
With a vision board containing images of great African leaders like Queens Nefertiti and Cleopatra, she stayed focused on her goal as she began working out of her 2-bedroom apartment as her children slept in the next room.
The Birth of Juvia’s Place
She saved up and was ready to launch her first product, an eyeshadow she called “The Nubian”. It was inspired by Nefertiti who graced the packaging.
It was an instant hit, and she used its success to expand her line, creating products for all skin tones from light to dark. She didn’t want to repeat the exclusiveness in the industry that had pushed her to create this line.
“Juvia” is a combination of her children’s names, Juwa and Olivia.
And soon Chichi Eburu’s Juvia’s Place would become a beloved, globally-known Black-owned beauty brand.