Meet Evelyne Nyairo, Founder of Ellie Bianca
2021 WEKH Micro-Business Award Winner
Evelyne Nyairo is the founder of Ellie Bianca, an all natural, environmentally sustainable, and socially conscious skincare line. Named after her daughter, the brand was inspired by Evelyne’s deep desire to bring change to the women of the world. She has over fifteen years experience working globally in Environment and Social Sustainability and Stakeholder Engagement, which has helped her develop authentic relationships that now allow her to source natural, sustainable, and ethical ingredients.
I decided to be an entrepreneur because… I wanted to be creative with solutions without any limitations. I always wanted to provide solutions for Africa in the oil and gas sector. Years ago, I found myself doing fieldwork among the most beautiful wild mango trees in Chad. Not one to waste an opportunity for an incredible fresh fruit, I was introduced to a family where the mother and kids proceeded to expertly climb the trees in the hot sun to harvest mangoes for me to eat. Towards the end I was told to pay the husband when it was the wife that had picked the mangoes. I felt a knot of anger in my heart as I customarily handed the money over to the man, and I was motivated to help improve the lives of the women there. That is when I decided to start Ellie Bianca, a natural skincare line built on the pillars ‘Kind to Your Skin, Kind to the Earth, Kind to Women.’
My proudest accomplishment is… To see my daughter start university. I’ve had a lot of business accomplishments, but the bottom of it all is to see my daughter work being her own person. Holding Ellie 18 years ago ignited my passion to raise her to be a smart, happy and well-adjusted young woman with a successful future. Determined to ensure that gender inequity, bias, or prejudice of any kind would never hold me or my daughter back from reaching our desired vision or happiness, today I am so proud to see Ellie on the path to achieving that dream!
My biggest setback was… I never see setbacks as challenges and believe in living a life of no regrets. I see setbacks as an opportunity to comeback and ask myself how do I make the best out of a challenge.
I overcame it by… I actively shift my mindset when presented with a challenge by looking at it as an opportunity to learn. With every challenge there’s an opportunity of a comeback.
If you Googled me, you still wouldn’t know… I was born in a rural village in Kisii, Kenya and went to an all-girls boarding school. My clan is called the House of Wealth hence I aim to upload my clan’s legacy with my entrepreneurial experience.
My best advice for small business owners is… If your dreams are not scaring you, they’re not big enough. Be scared but do it anyways
The one piece of advice I give that I have trouble following myself is… Taking time for oneself and scheduling time in my calendar for selfcare
When starting my business, I wish I knew… To reach out for help. There’s a lot of help by both the government and various other organizations who are there to support entrepreneurs. I’d been doing it all by myself and I wish I had tapped into the resources out there to grow earlier and not done it the hard way
The future excites me because… Each step in this journey is getting us closer to building a billion dollar business. While the journey is not easy, our resilence is inspiring hope in others along the way.
Success to me means…To me success is not just meeting the financial goal but the ability to give back to others along the way, even if it means having a positive impact on one person to reach their full potential.