Entrepreneur Profile: Qbeauté Beauty Marketplace

Staples is proud to support Canadian entrepreneurs with tools and resources to help them build their businesses and turn their dreams into reality. That’s why, together with Ownr (by RBC Ventures), Shopify and Moneris, we joined the Canada Starts initiative to support Canadian entrepreneurs by awarding grants to help them get their big idea off the ground. We caught up with Titilayo Akinbode and the team behind Qbeauté Beauty Marketplace to find out how their business venture is going since being awarded a Canada Starts grant.

Tell us a bit about your business.

Qbeauté is an online beauty marketplace aimed at providing people with quality and inexpensive beauty products. Owned by three Black women, we are on a mission to change the Canadian beauty industry by creating an e-store that not only celebrates beauty in all its unique shades and sizes, but also supports small and medium-sized Black beauty businesses by giving them the opportunity to sell on our platform. Our vendors are an integral part of our business.  

How did COVID-19 shape your business idea?

Covid-19 motivated us to pursue our idea of starting a Black beauty marketplace. We realized there wasn’t a better time to start a business that gives hope to people, especially small and medium-sized beauty businesses that were especially affected by the pandemic.

Why did you decide to start a business during the pandemic?

We knew that there would be a need for black beauty and grooming products especially since everything moved to online platforms due to the lockdowns. We also know that our target consumers face challenges in finding businesses that cater to their beauty and grooming needs. We recognize that the pandemic has been troubling to endure for many people and we know that some people use beauty and hair products as a form of self-care which helps maintain their mental health. 

What’s your greatest struggle as a business owner right now?

Our greatest challenge has been marketing effectively and getting our brand in front of the right customers.

Where do you think entrepreneurs should invest their time and money?

We think that entrepreneurs should invest in marketing their product and locating their target customers. Marketing your product and building your brand and business can be very costly, but also very rewarding if done correctly. 

What keeps you inspired and working every day?

Knowing that we’re making a long-term difference, and that we are supporting our community. 

What tips do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs in 2021?

Be confident and truly believe in your brand and product/service. Your customers are out there, so seek them diligently. Most importantly, never give up!

How does Staples Canada help your business?

We use Staples for stationery, printing, and office supplies – we’re frequent users of Solutionshop! 

Learn more about Qbeauté at https://qbeaute.ca

Instagram: @qbeautecanada

Check out Small Business & Entrepreneurship on our Working and Learning Blog to learn more about how Staples Canada is supporting Canadian entrepreneurs.

By Staples Canada

September 28, 2021

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