We are inspired everyday by the women that surround us. March is Women’s History Month and gives us an extra opportunity to feature those special women. We are highlighting a few AMAZING female founders and today we are lucky to be talking with Aishetu Fatima Dozie, founder of Bossy Cosmetics - a beauty brand that is all about empowering and inspiring women’s confidence.
Q: Hi Aishetu! We’re so excited to be chatting with you. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
A: I’m super excited to be chatting with you too! My full name is Aishetu Fatima Dozie but everyone calls me Aisha. I am married and together my husband and I have three sons ages 11, 8, and 6. As you can imagine, it’s an active and busy household! I am a first generation American, born to Nigerian parents. I lived a good chunk of my life in Lagos, Nigeria but now live in Palo Alto, California where I led my beauty company, Bossy Cosmetics.
Q: Did you always know you wanted to be a business owner? Share a little how your business came to be.
A: I think I definitely always saw myself as a boss but as a kid, that doesn’t mean anything substantive! I think I thought it meant that I was in charge without really understanding that leadership and management are actually about service to other people. Prior to founding Bossy Cosmetics, I worked in finance for a long time. There are so many things that I love about having been a global financier and I am really grateful for the experiences of having worked or lived in South America, the United States, UK, Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa. I truly believe I am a citizen of the world. After having my 3 boys and grinding away as a banker, I got severely burned out. Physically and mentally. I wanted to change everything about my life and I knew that getting yet another banking job was not the right answer. After some soul-searching, I decided to start a cosmetics company that specifically nurtured the needs and whims of ambitious women. That’s how Bossy Cosmetics came to be!
Q: March is women’s history month and our team is constantly inspired by all the boss women around us - like you! What does it mean to you to be a woman founder?
A: Thank you! That’s so nice of you to say. I am inspired by women everywhere, every single day. I feel like being a woman requires a special form of grace and tenacity. I feel incredibly fortunate to be able to build a business that I love and create products, content, and services that women love. Being a woman founder can sometimes feel exhausting because you know that if you were a man, you’d probably be further along especially when you think about raising capital. But I am a woman and I am determined to be a successful one so I soldier on. One of the things that I have loved about my journey as a female founder is that there is such a deep and loving community of women who are willing to provide support and love. You don’t have to do it alone. I’ve dug deep into my networks and formed new ones just so that I remember that I am working as a critical part of a larger organism. Women need to support one another and I am so determined to be that support for others as well. As a mom to sons, it’s so important that my boys see that women can do everything and still be moms, wives, daughters, and business owners. I don’t let them think that everything is easy but I do want to do my part in raising men who will have empathy for women and learn how to support and amplify our efforts better.
Q: We love that Bossy Cosmetics is built around empowering and inspiring women’s confidence. Tell us about your journey with self-confidence/assurance and what starting this company has looked like/meant to you.
A: Everyday is different when you think about confidence. I’ve been open about suffering from imposter syndrome. I don’t always feel like I am enough. Some days, I wake up and feel like I can conquer anything that gets in my way. Other days, not so much! It has always been important to me to share the realities of attaining success as I am still on that journey but there are people behind me who are watching. I want them to know that every day presents a unique opportunity to be yourself and live to your full potential. You may not do it so brilliantly on some days and other days you’ll knock the ball out of the park! I was scared when I started this business and to be quite frank, I am still scared. I’m not a celebrity or a major influencer! I’m not even a micro minor influencer at that!!! I had no idea if we would resonate in the saturated beauty space and I am still learning how to show up in a way that is both authentic but additive to the lives of ambitious women in the world. Ultimately, I want to be of service. I want this brand to be about elevation, empowerment, and inspiration for women of all ages, ethnicities, religions and and and. I don’t let fear get in the way of my dreams. I am not fearless but I am courageous. I see challenges and I run toward them. I have a deep belief in myself and sometimes that scares me. I do believe that I have a purpose on this earth and I want to ensure that everything I do is in pursuit of that purpose. Bossy Cosmetics is reimagining the way beauty companies attract and delight working women. We care about you before we care about your looks. We don’t even mind if you don’t wear makeup at all. We just want you to look, feel, and do good in the world.
Q: Strong community is something that we feel your brand really emulates well. What kind of community do you hope to build/sustain through Bossy Beauty?
A: Emancipated, energized, supportive, amazing women! Community is something that I think about often. Do we have one? Do we care for them well enough? Do they know they are part of something bigger than makeup? It’s so important to me as we build that we think about the Bossy woman and who she is. As we’ve defined her, everything that we do is for her. From our product packaging materials, to what we write on them, to what we put inside them, to our social media and website - everything is to elevate, amplify, empower, and inspire ambitious women. I think that if we stay truly focused on her then we will go from good to great.
Q: You have three sons, what are some things you hope they learn from watching their mother start/run her own business?
A: That being a woman is truly beautiful. That there is nothing to fear in an ambitious woman. There is nothing to want to muzzle or “contain.” I want them to know that their mommy loves them beyond reason and that I do this so that they can be a part of a legacy that is born of a strong woman. I want them to see that they can achieve anything they set their minds to and that life may not always be fair but hard work perseveres. I really want them to be proud of me. Their opinion matters immensely. I want them to not only see the business part of me but the loving mommy side too. I want them to see that family is the most important thing in life. As much as I am passionate about my business, they will always come first.
Q: You’re coming up on two years as a business. Congratulations!! Is there anything in particular that has surprised you either positively or negatively within these past two years about running your own business?
A: I can’t believe it’s been two years. Some days it feels like we have been at least for a decade and other days it feels like we just got started! I didn’t expect to cry as often as I have! I’ve had some really rough moments especially last year when our supply chain was messed up and almost everything went wrong. I am so happy that we made it through. Our customers kept us going. I am just grateful to still be learning from our community and creating products that they love.
Q: Thank you so much for sharing a little bit of your story with us! One last thing - if you could give any advice to an aspiring entrepreneur, what would it be?
A: Don’t quit! Fight for every single thing that you want. Don’t give up!!
Follow along with Aishetu and Bossy Cosmetics: