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Milton Keynes skincare brand launches in Nigeria 

A Milton Keynes skincare brand that uses natural ingredients of African origin to develop its products, is set to double its turnover after launching in Nigeria with support from the Department for International Trade (DIT).

Naturally Tribal Skincare is an award-winning, vegan and cruelty-free skincare brand that specialises in body care products for sensitive skin. The brand recently secured its first contract with one of the largest beauty distributors in Nigeria, Perfect Trust Cosmetics.

International Trade Advisers (ITAs) at DIT encouraged the business to explore export opportunities in Nigeria. It provided funding to enable Naturally Tribal Skincare to attend the Beauty West Africa Exhibition in Lagos in 2018 where it met Perfect Trust Cosmetics, which this year became the brand’s first Nigerian distributor. 

The skincare brand has supplied an initial order of its body scrubs, polishes, and moisturisers to be sold at six Perfect Trust Cosmetic Stores across Nigeria.

Naturally Tribal Skincare hosted a launch event in March at the Residence of the British Deputy High Commissioner in Lagos to which it invited a number of potential customers including spas, hotels and retailers.

The DIT team in Nigeria helped the business secure the British Deputy High Commissioner’s residence as a venue and supported with preparing agendas and inviting guests. 

With the support of the DIT Team in Nigeria and other local strategic partners such as Compass Global, the skincare brand has since received enquiries from four high-end spas that attended, this, coupled with the existing contract, is predicted to double annual turnover.

Shalom Lloyd, founder of Naturally Tribal Skincare, said: “Naturally Tribal Skincare was born in my kitchen. I wanted to soothe my son’s eczema without using steroid creams or chemicals. Inspired by my African roots, I imported raw shea butter from Nigeria and used this to create the magic formula.

“Before speaking with advisers at DIT I had no idea that there would be this level of demand for British-branded skincare products in Nigeria – consumers there saw the British branding as a mark of quality.

“It can be difficult for start-up businesses like ours to begin exporting because of a lack of funds and connections. DIT has the tools to help with this, and as a result, there is now such a buzz around our products in Nigeria. There is so much support out there for businesses like mine that are thinking about selling overseas, from locally held networking events to funding for attending trade shows abroad. If we can do it, so can you.”

Shalom Lloyd has received a number of awards for her export activity including Commonwealth First Export Champion; Winner 'Female Entrepreneur' Women Leaders UK Awards 2018; Women4Africa 2018, UK Woman in Tech (STEM) Award Winner; The Precious Awards 2017 Outstanding Woman in STEM 2017; and Finalist 'Female Entrepreneur' Women Leaders MK Awards 2017.

Ben Raby, Head of the South East, DIT, said: “We’ve been working closely with Shalom and her team at Naturally Tribal Skincare over the past few months to enhance the company’s export strategy. First, we considered where the product would be best received and identified Nigeria as an ideal target market for the brand. The country is Africa’s biggest economy and 70% of skincare and cosmetics are imported.

“The new contract with Perfect Trust Cosmetics marks the start of a new and successful chapter for Naturally Tribal Skincare, with the business now on the cusp of working with high-end spas in Nigeria following the launch event. We expect big things for this brand internationally in the months and years ahead.

“For any South East business thinking about exporting, we have a team of International Trade Advisers based on the ground in the region that can offer a range of support including introductions to valuable business contracts, export training sessions and workshops, and tailored advice.”

Ashleigh Smith
Article by Ashleigh Smith
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