Nyakio Grieco is probably the bold, determined women who are actually shaking up the wonder world. As a modern-day creative, she’s a drive to become reckoned with, who checks all of the boxes of a super-hyphenated mover-and-shaker: girlfriend-sister-for-lifestyle; do-gooder and queen-matriarch.

And, with every wonder entrepreneur, there exists a lot of grit under the luster. She opens up to us at Makeup Madeover about her unique way to achievement, from re-defining the wonder market to changing how exactly we knowledge African prestige skincare.

1. Be You

Born in Buffalo, New York to Kenyan immigrants, Nyakio grew up in Norman, Oklahoma, where her daddy was the Professor of African Studies at a local university (her mother after became a good dean at Harper College).

She was a kid of academics - which meant curiosity and discovery were in her DNA. But, beautification rituals captured her creativeness.

Nyakio had two charm whisperers who set the wonder buzz in her ear. At a tender age, she was introduced to grooming procedures by her mother who treated Nyakio’s skin and wild hair with shea butter and grapeseed oil.

And then, on a summer visit to Kenya, her grandmother taught her how to create an exfoliation cream by boiling down coffees, adding oil, and blending in glucose from the sugarcane grown on her behalf farm.

Mesmerized by the simpleness and power of indigenous elements, both of these whispers would in the future inspire her to start her skincare goods and reveal her family’s charm wisdom, employing clean and green substances from around the world.

2. Create a Community and Support System

Upon graduation from the University of Oklahoma, she collection her sights on Los Angeles to pursue a job in the entertainment industry. Of these formative years, she fulfilled lifelong besties, including budding Hollywood starlets who would become her ride-or-dies.

An Aries, she’s inherently a nurturer and connector to everyone she meets. On the other hand, her closest girlfriends keep a special place in her orbit because these romantic relationships had been cultivated during her formative years in Tinseltown when she didn’t know a soul.

It had been with her girlfriends that she commenced to apply “circling,” where individuals sit down in a circle and show their genuine selves. This strong and intimate exercise permits others a entrance row seat to bear witness to your intentions.

Even in moments of despair and discouragement, she internalized: “If I own the power of ‘what I deserve’ - saying it aloud and having the confidence to trust it, there’s an excellent chance those thoughts become reality.”

3. Work Hard (Excuses Are Simply That)

Nyakio landed coveted careers as being the assistant to power agents.

The Hollywood grind included 12 hours at the office followed by reading scripts in to the wee hours and even feeding a snake (owned by her boss, completed while he was on holiday).

If feeding deadly reptiles was unsavory, sexism at work was worse.

Despite her apparent competence and function ethic, Nyakio sensed she was approved up for campaigns over male colleagues despite the fact that she worked doubly hard, which prompted emotions of self-doubt. But because of her girlfriends, she run through these trying occasions and designed the tenacity to forge a profession for herself.

4. New Beginnings Will be Beautiful

In 2000, realizing her accurate passion was to talk about her family’s beauty traditions, she launched her eponymous skincare line, as well named after her African grandmother.

Nyakio means “girl who works hard in the sunshine.”

“I felt many cultures had been under-represented in the wonderful world of prestige beauty, so I lay out on a path to share wonder secrets with all.”

Nyakio commenced developing products in her apartment with the aid of her girlfriends. She started to be the manufacturer, shipping/receiving division, and customer service supervisor of her burgeoning business.

She was fifteen years early to the #She-E-O movement.

Dusting off an old business plan from university, Nyakio revised it for her fresh venture. It helped her to safeguarded seed capital. She encourages any aspiring business owner to accomplish the same.

“Write a business approach or a pitch deck; it offers you a reference that you may always refer back to as your business grows, to stay traditional to the DNA of your brand and focus on your economical goals,” she says.

5. Know Your Limits

The skincare line was found by Jeffrey NY and Ron Robinson almost immediately and, within 3 years, Nyakio had secured distribution in 80 upscale boutiques across the country.

The brand’s visibility was heightened by Hollywood’s elite and press hotlists, triggering her skincare products to fly off the shelves.

The brand was so popular, Nyakio became struggling to meet up with the demands of retailers. Fine problem to have right?


Capital raising was completely unthinkable in the FINANCIAL MELTDOWN of 2008, as a result Nyakio made a decision to secure partners to help with distribution, making and the sourcing of ethical materials.

“Because you are business owner doesn’t mean you need to be good at everything.” she says, explaining why she teamed up for a good licensing deal.

Ultimately, this is not the right fit, but this partnership proved to be a lesson in honing her vision while simultaneously weathering the turbulent economy.

As the economy commenced to recover and skincare revenue became glowier, Nyakio sought a true business partnership.

After almost two decades of effort, her line was acquired by Sundial Brands. Its founder, Richelieu Dennis (of Liberian heritage), produced the business to fill the necessities of consumers who felt overlooked by mass-market companies.

Sundial’s refreshing and almost-too-good-to-be-accurate manifesto is rooted found in family group, love and culturally real practices. (Um, did you ever hear of a for-profit firm that values, take pleasure in? Amazing and WTF?!) Different members of the Sundial fam consist of: Shea Moisture, Nubian Heritage and Madam C.J. Walker.

Needless to say, this is a partnership of true alignment and shared values.

In 2017, Unilever took notice of the company’s ethos and its commitment to multicultural and millennial consumers and acquired Sundial Makes.

6. Lift Up Others

Sundial is also involved with Girls Inc., a nonprofit that inspires young girls between your ages of 5-18 to achieve their highest potential.

Nyakio serves just as hands-along mentor through their Procedure SMART system, which encourages young girls to explore another in STEM (Research/Tech/Engineering/Math) careers.

“Girls are excellent at math and technology” says Nyakio. “Having that know-how from an early on age can be so empowering.”

With her Operation SMART girls, Nyakio qualified prospects vision table exercises, mixes up body scrub formulations and helps create beauty lotions - which is always followed by discussions about science and chemistry.

The Sundial administration team ( which includes representation, accounting, R&D, and marketing ) all take a seat on a panel while the giddy girls to inquire further questions about careers and adulting. ( Enables you to want to join up for anything science-related, right? )

Regarding to ProjectDiane, which gives a snapshot of the state of Black ladies in entrepreneurship, the common seed round for most startups in 2016 improved by 500% by $50 million to $250 million within twelve months.

Sounds promising, right?

Not so fast. The median funding brought up by Dark colored female founders is $0 and also have secured only .0006% of most venture funding since 2009. (Yes, you reading that ideal and re-read in the event that you must.)

In 2018, Unilever and Sundial created the brand new Voices Fund, a $100 million dollar fund that will spend money on businesses owned or managed by women of color.

Entrepreneurship has risen among Black females by 322%, and the target is to create access, capital and expertise.

“When I look again, I’m grateful for all those ‘not-coming-easy moments’ since it gives me personally the get and appreciation that I’ve for my profession today,” she says, pausing while remembering some of these moments.

“That hard work gave me the confidence to learn that I could 1 day start my own organization and create a thing that I truly love to do everyday.”

She is a company believer that “there is area for everyone - adhere to your values, understand that beauty will be defined by who you are inside.

“ You define your very own magnificence. Be you and only you. ”

Having traveled her have one of a kind path, Nyakio knows something or two in what present day women are striving designed for: connection, impact and achievement.

While success differs for all those, we imagine Nyakio’s achievement must tastes and feel just like coffee: bright, complex, warm and bold.