Meet British Ghanaian Brand consultant and Writer Lawrencia Nelson. Also, the founder and creative director of brand building agency Lena Media. Lena Media connects brands in the Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion industry to their chosen audience. The aim of the agency is to help niche brands find their creative voice. Her writing work has been featured in a plethora of publications internationally, her interview technique has helped her to interview celebrities such as Tanisha Long from BET show Bigger and a Greenleaf actress from the popular American TV series to be released shortly. We discuss with Lawrencia, why she believes black brands matter in the industry, the inspiration behind the brand and how she balances motherhood with business
Tell us what inspired you to become a Brand consultant?
Back in 2016, I was going through a rather difficult time, feeling lost regarding my career. I wanted a career that I would enjoy and flourish in. I felt unfulfilled and began to question my worth and feeling I was not good enough. It was an incredibly low moment for me. Feelings of unworthiness started to creep in. I began to think, there must be more to life. One day, I thought about my legacy and what I wanted to leave behind for my future children and that literally pushed me to start brainstorming at the things I was good at and what I really enjoyed. After a birthday trip to Barcelona that same year, I promised myself I would start writing again (as I have always loved to write) once I got back home. A month later, I created my first blog post on WordPress and the rest is history. I sent off my work to relevant publications and my first article was published in a UK publication and the rest is history
Can you tell us about your career background?
Well, where do I start (laughs) I graduated with a BA Hons in Media, after I graduated I was not exactly sure what I wanted to do however I fell into the world of sales by accident in 2012 and I have never looked back. I was always told I had a natural gift for selling and had a tone that people felt comfortable with. I started off in Recruitment as a consultant then worked my way up to a Business Development Executive. I did not see myself as selling a product, my approach was very much as if I was talking to a friend and telling them about this new amazing product that I had come across and persuading them to try for themselves. I guess I was a natural. Till this day, I am still selling as I speak to prospective clients telling them about Lena Media! The world of sales opened doors for me as it gave me a diverse range of transferable skill sets.
What inspired you to create Lena Media?
Lena Media was conceptualized back in 2018, I was still writing and interviewing entrepreneurs from different industries but mostly lifestyle entrepreneurs. I loved that there was a plethora of entrepreneurs from ethnic minority background but needed their voices to be heard. I was inspired by the moves they were making from all over the world. Some of my favourite interview articles to date were Ghanaian powerhouses Valerie Obaze and Menaye Donkor who I interviewed for a publication in the UK called ‘Black Hair & Beauty’. I wanted to tell the world their story, as these entrepreneurs had great energy and most importantly great brands. I got my first client which was a massive sunscreen brand for Black women in the US in 2018. I rebranded Lena late last year.
Why does black owned brands matter?
We are living in a time where there are so many black entrepreneurs doing amazing things and most importantly creating iconic brands. Growing up I suffered from acne and was constantly recommended Clearasil, which may not have even been catered for a young black girl. Now fast forward twenty years later we have individuals creating vegan and organic skin brands catered for people who look like me. They care about what we put on our skin. I love this term which I heard recently from a client ’catered for us by us’. My daughter is growing up in a world where her favourite hair products are catered by people that look exactly like her. Representation is key, and it matters to the highest level
Who inspires you?
It sounds cliché but life inspires me to be better and do better. One of my biggest inspirations is my dear father who I lost a few months ago very suddenly. My dad was an individual that never gave up on his dreams. He was extremely resilient, and he instilled the spirit of tenacity and perseverance in me from an early age. He always used to tell me there was so much power in the tongue, so be careful what you say. Your words can either make or break you. Even though his premature passing is still a shock, I will take on the pearls of wisdom he instilled in me and use that to be better. My faith also inspires me, I believe the best way to succeed in life is to read the bible! There are many gems in there more than we know. The greatest book in the world
What are some of the hurdles you have overcome in business?
Again, another cliché, starting from nothing. I was constantly told ‘a lot of businesses fail in their first year’. I had no experience of running a business so whatever. I pretty much learnt how to run a business by watching my managers and directors at my 9 to 5. I used to watch how they would deal with certain situations, how they would speak to clients and overcome difficult scenarios. I would then put my own personal spin on it. Initially I was a one-man band, doing everything by myself from prospecting new clients, account management and admin. As we are growing, I needed a team
What was it like interviewing a celebrity?
Extremely surreal, I did the interview over the phone and I had never interviewed someone from TV. I was very nervous, but I had to sound confident and like a pro (laughs). The interview was published which was amazing. It was even better as I was asked to interview her. It taught me to never give up on your dreams no matter how long it takes. Perseverance pays off. For my next interview I would love to interview Lyn Whitfield (just putting it out their God).
How do you balance motherhood with business?
I have always wanted to be a mother and I have always wanted to have my own business; I am not going to pretend and say it is easy because it certainly is not. I am sure if it were, we would all be doing it! I make it work for e.g. scheduling meetings around her, as much as I love my business, but my child is my priority and I do it for her to have a better future. At times I do have ‘mum guilt’ where you think am I focusing enough time on her, but I try my best to balance my time. My child will always be my priority
What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
Believe in yourself, believe in your brand. You are your brand so own it. Have faith and do not be disheartened if you face rejection initially, keep going. I would also say make sure you have a good accountant from the set go, it makes a world of a difference. Invest in an accountability partner, another individual who helps you to keep to your goals and business commitments. Writing your goals down is very important as you can see what you have achieved, it is a real motivation factor.
You can find out more about the agency here: https://www.lenamediaconsultancy.com/