Rochelle Love, Founder of Melanin Mothers
As part of our series on Black Women in business, we sat down with one of our female founders taking part at UK Black Business Show 2023 in London to find out the secret behind her success and how we can learn from her.
Hi Rochelle, firstly – great to meet you! I wanted to kick off our chat to find out, did you always know you wanted to own your own business?
I would say I always knew I wanted to be a leader and through that entrepreneurship quickly followed. People often gravitate towards me because of my leadership skills. My ability to work effectively and efficiently as a part of any team and my ability to advocate and be the voice of others. I decided that by creating ‘Melanin Mothers’ I could build a small community and have the opportunity to regularly support birthing people worldwide.
And how did you start your business? What gave you the idea?
As a senior Midwife with international working knowledge, I now have the experience and confidence to deliver outstanding, personalised care to anyone I care for. Throughout the years, I have witnessed and seen the unchanging statistics Black and Brown birthing people face within the maternity field. As a Black woman myself, this scares me. I desperately want to see these statistics and inequalities change. In turn achieving better outcomes for birthing people, empowering, guiding and supporting them through their pregnancies and beyond.
What would you say, thus far, has been your boldest business move?
I think my boldest move was setting up ‘Melanin Mothers’ as a business and enterprise. Investing in myself and my business, as it is something I wholeheartedly believe is very much required within the community. I need other businesses and allies to realise the inequalities being faced in maternity care and not just ignore it, but instead make it their mission to also be inclusive and bring about positive change.
What has been your biggest financial turning point for your company? Your ‘I made it’ moment?
If I’m brutally honest, I do not believe I have yet got to an ‘I’ve made it’ moment. Business can be very challenging at times, in any industry but also in healthcare. I am constantly working hard behind the scenes daily to ensure this is not just a successful business but a life changing experience, for many birthing people out there. Consequently, I do believe I will one day experience that moment.
How do you think the lens of being a Black woman in your industry has helped you?
I would say it most definitely has. Many people sometimes don’t feel as though they can be an ally for Black maternal health because they are not of colour themselves. I do not personally believe this to be true, as we all have amazing talents and things we can add to the community and space. I am however convinced that my passion and drive for this business comes from within. It comes from a place of being a Black woman myself, knowing how long and hard it has taken me to even get to the point I am at in my career. It also comes from a place of fear of knowing that, one day I too could be a victim of the ‘system.’ I could also be a statistic. I don’t believe Black birthing people should still be dying in childbirth or the postnatal period. There is a desperate need for positive change.
What has been one of your business’ biggest challenges?
I would say self-marketisation. I believe I have a great vision, business concept and I believe in myself as a successful entrepreneur. Nevertheless, it can be hard finding innovative ways to market your brand alongside others. Showcasing yourself and therefore getting consumers and other businesses to trust you and believe in your vision as much as you do.
How or do you find a balance between your personal and your professional life?
This I would say is extremely hard and something I have not yet perfected. I currently work full time, whilst also running my private business. So, it can be very difficult to juggle the two. I do try my best to find balance and have the weekends to myself to rest and relax or do something I enjoy. Finding balance between all aspects of life is something I continue to try and perfect.
What is the best advice you could give other Black women looking to start their own businesses?
‘Just go for it! Do it!’ Even the biggest most successful businesses today, started from just an idea in a person’s mind. If you don’t try, you will never know the outcome. Finally, believe in yourself because if you don’t no-one else will!