By Nykeba Corinaldi, Community Developer at Bond Collective
Nykeba is a Community Developer at Bond Flatiron, and is passionate about cultivating community, creating from scratch, and bringing positive energy to everything she’s a part of. Her passion led her to Bond Collective in the beginning of 2017 when she joined Bond Flatiron's vibrant community.
Ever since my childhood, I have loved creating and would often make something out of nothing. A few years ago, I moved to Syracuse, New York, and quickly realized how the climate and a new location affected my skin and hair. I experienced difficulty staying moisturized and struggled to find an all natural, all over moisturizer. After some thought and intense will power, I decided to take things into my own hands and crafted my own moisturizer in 2010. Here’s my story.
I created Hydration Butta in 2010 to share moisturizing and healing powers with my friends and family. After receiving a ton of positive feedback, I decided to take matters into my own hands and expand my business to serve a new market.
The start of a new beginning
In 2013, I openly brainstormed and tested products at my uncle’s variety store in Brooklyn. Each day, I met small business owners and thought about the products, stories, and intentions that each brand and their experience exhibited. Since I handcrafted everything, I decided that it was only right that the name be an extension of me and the many women that inspire me.
At that time I remember it being so difficult to create a logo with a limited budget, but looking back, that was only the beginning of an endless road of decisions and adversities. Over the course of four years, I increased my natural skincare collection from solely Hydration Butta to ten versatile formulas for all skin types and lifestyles. I worked to sponsor various events and gift bags, displayed my collection at 30+ markets and vendors, fostered new relationships, encouraged self care, and helped people feel good about their skincare routine and the products their families use. Above all I learned more about our largest organ, the skin, and created my brand, Cori Rene.
Life is a journey
Starting your own business is a JOURNEY. As my journey continued, I experienced an array of new heights and unexplainable challenges. One of the hardest parts of sustaining a business is learning how to build the car, while still driving it.
Flying solo as a Founder and CEO, I manage all things Cori Rene. I’ve maintained a variety of roles whether in sourcing raw materials, handcrafting fresh batches, packaging, fulfillment, marketing, photography, advertising, securing retailers, popping up at markets, etc. In doing this, I’ve learned a lot, and know that in order to scale my business, I need to own my expertise and outsource when necessary and possible. I love to create and finally feel comfortable bringing a team on board that specializes in areas that would fuel the evolution and growth of Cori Rene.
Scaling your business
One of the most important tips I have would be to spend a great amount of time developing your business strategy and a plan of action. While you’re doing this, you can visit a local chapter of SCORE for free business advice and overall support.
Often times I didn’t have people to talk to about the ideas and struggles I encountered. Finding a business mentor was truly helpful and has enhanced my overall vision for what’s to come with Cori Rene. Additionally, setting realistic goals, using a SWOT analysis to help determine what’s best, and marketing for free via multiple social media platforms has been priceless. Here are a few more tips that I would recommend taking into consideration, as you begin to scale your business:
8 tips everyone should know before scaling your business:
1 - Get organized and begin with a detailed plan of action.
2 - Be specific in your business mapping.
3 - Do your research and due diligence before before taking action.
4 - Understand the risks and rewards of each decision you make, both personally and professionally.
5 - Embrace your expertise and delegate whenever possible.
6 - Be consistent and authentic in all that you do.
7 - Build your support network: take advantage of free Expert Consulting at local chapters of SCORE (score.org).
8 - Surround yourself with the right people: The Bond Collective Community is a great example of a group of people who will fuel your creativity and keep you inspired.
About the Author:
Nykeba means Courageous One in Swahili and is best pronounced as Nuh·kee·bah. Originally from Maryland, Nykeba happily calls New York City her home. She still manages to use Old Bay seasoning on everything.
She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology and a minor in Global Enterprise Technology from Syracuse University. When she isn’t collaborating and community building, she enjoys handcrafting luxurious skincare formulas. Nykeba founded Cori Rene to share her natural remedies with the world. She has a passion for digital media, photography, cooking, biking, and bouldering.