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Feleciai

Skincare by Feleciai

Oakland, CA

[Image]
2nd loan
Personal Story

I am a San Francisco Bay Area native, born in Fremont and now living in Oakland. I have an excellent work ethic and drive to succeed which was instilled in me by my parents who moved from a very small parish outside of Baton Rouge to California in search of a better life for their children. My mom worked incredibly hard to own rental properties in the area, and being the youngest of four I learned at a very young age about hard work and dedication as all the children were expected to help out. You might say my entrepreneurial spirit is genetic.

Upon graduating college (I attended both Cornell and the University of Pennsylvania) I spent some time in the trenches of Corporate America and as worked as a REALTOR, but I never felt fulfilled in those roles. I always had an interest in the beauty industry and hit a point in my career that I could no longer ignore that, so I decided to follow my passion and pursue a career in that field by creating Skincare by Feleciai in 2008.

As one of the two African American families in my neighborhood growing up, I struggled with "fitting into the mold" of what others considered beautiful. I have now made it my mission to celebrate diversity and the beauty of all women with my handcrafted, all natural beauty line!

Personal Update - Jul 31, 2013

I started Skincare by Feleciai with the mission of celebrating diversity in beauty. I wanted to combine my love of products, my experience in both hairstyling and corporate America with my desire to see a wider “range” of people considered beautiful. What I have experienced over the last year has been much more. As my business has increased and I have had the opportunity to introduce my products to more and more people I have experienced the joy, pleasure and fun my products bring to my customers. I have had the chance to learn more and more about the skin care needs of my customers plus learn about the pleasure they derive from using my products. I have also been part of their celebrations by providing the gifts they give to their family and friends and have provided an “ear” to listen to some of the problems they are experiencing in their lives. I still work very long hours almost every day of the week but every time I make someone smile by using my products makes it all worth it!

Business Description

As I began to conceptualize my business, I knew that I wanted to provide a product and not a service. I envisioned a company dedicated to producing only the finest handmade products that were gentle on the skin and the environment. From that inspiration, Skincare by Felicia was created in 2008 and I went full time into the business in 2010.

Skincare by Feleciai manufactures and sells natural, luxury skin care products including soaps, creams, body butters and sugar scrubs. Our goal is to celebrate diversity in beauty and our target consumer is the professional woman, 30+ who appreciates and needs high quality products for her skin. We use such fabulous ingredients as Nilotica Shea Butter from Uganda, essential oils, raw sugar, and jojoba oil. Each product is handmade in small batches. Currently available in twelve retail locations, online and at local farmers markets, the goal is to expand distribution statewide.

Business Update - Jul 31, 2013

The previous loan of $5,000 was one of the key elements that helped me double my sales over the last year. And I have all of the lenders from my first Kiva Zip loan to thank - their support has been so wonderful!

The funding helped me to increase my online presence by updating and relaunching my website with new photos and text. I was able to attend and was successful at four very large holiday trade shows. The loan also gave me the ability to improve my packaging with professionally printed labels, new jars and soap wrapping paper. Very importantly, I was able to improve the quality of the raw ingredients used in my products by purchasing such items as organic palm oil, organic jojoba oil and organic shea butter.

With the support of Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center and Centro Community Partners, I am now excited to significantly increase my production capacity and continue to grow my business.

I have also included a video of some of the new things we are doing: http://bit.ly/1f36EKo

What did you use your last loan for?

The purpose of the loan was to enhance the company's marketing strategy. Specifically, I was able to achieve the following objectives:
1. Purchase professionally printed labels for soap, creams and body butters
2. Prepaid for the Celebration of Craftswomen Holiday Show, KPFA Holiday Show, Bizarre Bazaar Holiday Show, California Contemporary 2013 Show
3. Purchased raw ingredients to make product
4. Paid for a professional photo shoot of all current products
5. Launched new website

These investments have had a significant impact on the company's growth over the past year.

What is the purpose of this loan?

The primary purpose of this loan is to increase my production capacity, hire a part-time employee and buy additional supplies.

The remainder of the funds will be used to update the company's marketing strategy by having new product photos taken, paying for holiday shows, purchasing banners and additional collateral materials.

To learn more about my business, please watch: http://bit.ly/1f36EKo

Feleciai's loan is endorsed by Centro Community Partners. The information below explains why her trustee thinks Feleciai is a great candidate for a Kiva Zip loan.

Endorsement for this loan

How has the borrower's personal life and business changed since receiving a Kiva Zip loan?

Since receiving her first Kiva Zip loan, we’ve seen Feleciai take her product image to a higher level. We see Feleciai every Friday at our local farmer’s market engaging with her loyal, loving customers. It's moments like these when we are reminded of just how much potential she has, and she does this almost every other day of the year at farmers markets throughout the Bay Area!

Why are you recommending this borrower for another loan?

Centro and Renaissance Center are jointly endorsing this loan since both organizations have worked closely with Feleciai over the years. We just stopped by her tiny studio this week and got a close look at everything Feleciai does to run her business. She’s incredibly dedicated to her business, and she does an amazing job utilizing everything she has. That's why we’d love to see how much more productive she will be once she has new equipment and a larger space that can accommodate new part-time staff.

Original endorsement - Apr 11, 2012

When and how did you meet this borrower?

We met Feleciai at a One PacificCoast Bank social entrepreneurship event where she was recommended to us to join our program. We have been working with Feleciai since June 2010.

Tell us about this borrower's personality and character, and why you are endorsing him or her for a Kiva Zip loan.

We believe in Feleciai and her product. Feleciai is a responsible and dependable person who is consistent in her behaviors and committed to growing her business. Most importantly she takes pride in her product and is passionate about ensuring that her soaps, creams and scrubs are handmade with high quality, all-natural ingredients that are gentle on the environment and luxurious enough for customers.

Please describe how a Kiva Zip loan to this Borrower will have a significant and positive social impact on their life.

This loan will help Feleciai towards her goal financial independence and will allow her to hire her first employee.

Please describe why this Borrower is requesting a loan from Kiva, as opposed to a traditional loan.

It is difficult for entrepreneurs and startups of such a small size to access traditional loans. Requesting a Kiva Zip loan is an incredible opportunity for entrepreneurs, such as Feleciai, to take their small businesses to the next level.

What are the challenges that you expect this borrower to face in repaying their loan?

A main challenge for her will be generating enough monthly sales to cover her costs as this is a manufacturing business so funds are tied up in inventory. If this challenge presents itself, she is open to selling inventory at discounted prices to cover monthly costs.

504 Total , 23 invited by Feleciai
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PAYING BACK

A loan of $15,000 helps me to increase my production capacity and hire a part-time employee and buy additional supplies.

Disbursed Oct 31, 2013
Repayment Term:
36 monthly payments
Grace Period:
N/A
Listed:
Aug 16, 2013
Disbursed:
Oct 31, 2013
Paying Back:
Oct 31, 2013

About Skincare by Feleciai

Industry:
Arts / Crafts
Years in Operation:
3 years - 5 years
Website:
skincarebyfeleciai.com/
Follow:
Facebook Yelp
Badges:
Badge_repayment_gold_smallBadge_connectedness_gold_small

Previous Loans

[Image]
Amount
$5,000
Paid Back
Mar 13, 2013

What are Borrower Badges?

Borrower Badges are a system designed to recognize and reward borrowers’ engagement with the Kiva Zip website.

There are two types of badges that are tiered like medals: Gold, Silver and Bronze.

  1. 'Repayment badges' are awarded for the on-time repayment of loans.
  2. 'Connectedness badges' are awarded for engagement with the Kiva Zip website.

This loan is endorsed by

Trustee Type:
Microenterprise Development Organization
Location:
Oakland, CA
Badges:
Badge_repayment_gold_small Badge_connectedness_gold_small
On Zip Since:
Apr 11, 2012
(24 months)
Loans Endorsed:
7
Total Value:
$70,000
Fundraising/Raised:
0
Paying on Time:
4
Paying Back Late:
0
Repaid in Full:
3
Defaulted:
0
Repayment Rate:
100%
Why are you endorsing Feleciai?

Centro and Renaissance Center are jointly endorsing this loan since both organizations have worked closely with Feleciai over the years. We just stopped by her tiny studio this week and got a close look at everything Feleciai does to run her business. She’s incredibly dedicated to her business, ...

What are Trustee Badges?

Trustee Badges are a system designed to recognize and reward trustees’ engagement with the Kiva Zip website.

There are two types of badges that are tiered like medals: Gold, Silver and Bronze.

  1. 'Repayment badges' are awarded for the on-time repayment of loans.
  2. 'Connectedness badges' are awarded for engagement with the Kiva Zip website.
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