We asked our Create Jobs Alumna, Naomi from Future Startup Now Bootcamp what it's been like starting up her own business
Tell us about you
My name is Naomi Grant; I’m 22 years old from South-London. I would say one of the most pivotal moments in my life is my decision to take a gap year at 18. I was going through secondary school and college with good grades, but never with the feeling of a satisfied heart. I knew there was something more to attain, and I wasn’t content with living a life that was already laid out for me. At 18 I started my career in digital marketing, and also made my first documentary, 50 Shades of Melanin.
The documentary went on to play at festivals, was featured on online publications, and was played on TV. The process of having a dream and seeing it actualise seemed magical, and I believe I found my purpose. I’ve since worked in TV, and now I’m working in advertising whilst running my company.
Tell us about your business
LAMBB is a production company that seeks to redefine images of black and brown people in the media. We create internal and external productions; our internal productions focus on social issues whilst our external productions range from campaign films to music videos.
Our work has been featured on Essence, The Metro, Afropunk and more, subsequently we’ve managed to grow a small community online. Despite this, our offline action is just as important, and last year October we held our very first event to celebrate female founders of colour. Our offline action also extends to facilitating workshops to schools and universities, teaching young people how to use their art as a form of activism.
In the long term, I have plans to turn LAMBB into a media company, in order to directly impact the media and advertising space.
What's been your journey with your business so far?
LAMBB started out as a hair blog by my sister and myself; at the time there wasn’t a lot of representation of kinky or curly hair in the UK. So we decided to create a platform where we share our own hair journey’s and hair care tips. In 2018 LAMBB evolved into a production company, this was after the success of Future First, and 50 Shades of Melanin. I realised that the platform we had built had immense power, and to be able to share stories about us, by us, meant we could have a positive impact on black and brown lives in the UK.
I’ve come a long way since I first had thoughts of what LAMBB could be; I’ve joined a business programme, pitched and won for my business, and gained commissions for my films. I know that there is still a long way to go, and that is why I want to continue moving forward with the company, equipping myself with enough skills to lead it into success.
What made you apply for Future Start-up Now Founders?
I completed the Future Start-up Now programme back in January this year. At the time I was looking for the next step in my career after working briefly in TV. I really enjoyed the course; I met some great people and also learnt a lot from the different speakers. I applied for Future Start-up Now Founders because I want to take my business to the next level. Having been on the Future Start-up Now programme, I know the importance of having a programme where you can sharpen your skills and build a network of likeminded individuals.
Prior to the pandemic, I had many expansion plans for my company this year, as I’d like to build the team and double our productions. At the moment we are bootstrapping all operations; this includes filming internal productions and holding events. So I’m hoping I’ll be able to alleviate the financial pressure to create a sustainable business.
What three things about this programme do you think will benefit you most?
The main three things that I think will benefit myself and my company will be the mentoring aspect. I’d also benefit from the opportunity to pitch for funding and the inspirational lessons from entrepreneurs.
What would you say to anyone looking to apply for Future Start-up Now Founders?
I would definitely say apply; the world needs your ideas! The time we are living in now proves to us that inequalities still exist, and we need to take large steps away from a patriarchal and racist society that has been ruling for so long. That can only happen with new, innovative ideas runs by young leaders.
FR JOEY // DOWN THE WAY - OUT NOW