Laure Bella Ange Izere, 21, was inspired to start a natural hair business because of the gap in natural hair products on the market, and also due to the fact that people, especially Africans believe that natural hair is unmanageable. She wanted to create natural hair confidence for people that wish to go natural and also to make it easier to take care of their hair with her products. Izere got the inspiration to start manufacturing hair during the pandemic when she couldn’t access the salon. Her hair was very hard to manage due to its texture, she then had the idea of making products that were purely natural and can ease the care of her hair. Her knowledge of chemistry gave her the ability to know what good ingredients to mix for hair and what can cause damage. “I have always used hair straightening products because my hair was coarse and very hard to manage, but during the pandemic, because I couldn’t get to the salon to use the products or I couldn’t even get the products from the market, my hair was growing and becoming unmanageable,” she says. Izere continues, “It was frustrating, but then I was determined to find a way to live with my natural hair in an easy way, I first started buying products for natural hair and would use them on my hair, I would analyse what works and what doesn’t work then I would keep on with what worked and then I would sell the products. Later on, I started to make my own products, especially hair butter,” she explains. Izere had never been a hair specialist, she was rather an artist who knew nothing about hair, but she educated herself on various media platforms about natural hair. “I specifically chose this business because we black people tend to think that our hair is unmanageable and hard, but in reality, it’s not as hard as it seems to manage natural hair, it is because the products we are using may not be the right ones for our hair. I was moved by the history behind why us black people hate our natural hair and how most hair businesses for the black community are for relaxed hair only, and I felt the need to change that,” she states. Izere then started her business called ILBA products in December 2020, which sells organic products for natural hair. She has a team that helps her run the business now involved in marketing and sales, labeling, and production. Throughout the journey, Izere met a lot of challenges and is still meeting them to this day. “I met a lot of challenges, especially when starting out it was very hard to get to know the ground of the business, because I was an artist the transition was challenging,” she says. Izere adds, “Another obstacle that I faced and that I am still facing is to get people to buy my products because a lot of people have used so many products and have been disappointed for them to end up not working, so they would think that my products were not going to solve anything, they fear to try out new products to avoid disappointment.” Izere clarifies that she is not looking to make people who use hair straightening products hate them or even abolish the products, she wants to inspire natural hair confidence so that if one would want to relax their hair it would be by choice and not because it is unmanageable. In her business, she also sells materials for natural hair like silk hair bonnets, combs, de-tangling hair brushes, shampoos, and spray bottles.