September 23, 2023


Youth trendy style

Aisha Fatima Dozie is Igniting Assurance as the Founder of Bossy Cosmetics – MBA

From financial commitment banking, to the federal govt, to a beauty startup.

From North The us, to Africa, to Europe, to South The us.

Aisha Fatima Dozie (MBA 2002), founder of Bossy Cosmetics, has a vibrant, vibrant, and inspiring lifetime tale accentuated by the swipes of lipstick and dashes of blush that have ignited her self esteem more than the many years. Now she is sharing that self confidence boost with others by applying 20 several years of encounter, a ton of grit, and a heart comprehensive of passion to construct a company and daily life that she enjoys.

Embracing a Life span of Understanding

Dozie’s story commences in Boston, properly right before earning her MBA at Harvard Small business Faculty. In actuality, she expended the to start with decade of her lifetime residing down the road from Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts, still the halls of Harvard Business enterprise Faculty could not have been more from her sense of belonging. “As a tiny Black initial-era woman raised by a one mother dwelling in the projects in Cambridge, Harvard appeared untouchable,” she defined.

Even so, years afterwards, Dozie shocked herself by walking into an Aldrich Corridor classroom and into a daily life-changing practical experience. She experienced earned a degree in economics from Cornell, spent a few decades in investment banking at Goldman Sachs, and she needed to go on creating her profession in business. She also experienced a craving to uncover her passion, and so exposure to various industries and company worries by the situation analyze strategy produced HBS the excellent upcoming step. Moreover, Dozie had her mother’s voice in her ear.

“On graduation day from Cornell, my Nigerian mom seemed at me and reported ‘You’re not accomplished with university. You will need to get your Master’s,” Dozie laughed. “As a 1st-era American, you obey.”

At HBS, Dozie bought a glimpse into what her life could glance like outside of banking. “It was just about like someone took a adhere and cracked open my head,” she mentioned. “It really built me understand that mastering is continuous, mastering is lifelong, and you have to have to generally be curious due to the fact the minute you imagine you know everything, which is the minute that complacency sets in and you get into problems.”

A Swift Rise, and a Unexpected Transform of Course

With that mindset, Dozie ventured exterior of banking for her initially function post HBS and joined the Nigerian federal authorities. “My upcoming manager was attending a method at HBS. In 1 of our Africa chats, I defined that I preferred to be making an impression in the environment and did not want to be a cog in a wheel. He reported, ‘Instead of sitting in this article in the US chatting about this, why really do not you arrive to Nigeria and put into practice some of these ideas?’”

Dozie recognized the supply and moved to northern Nigeria functioning carefully with cabinet-amount ministers and other senior officials, like the Nigerian President, about the class of two many years. From there, she joined the Entire world Lender as component of the Young Experts System and traveled the globe, thoroughly embracing the option to go on studying and developing. Two many years later on, Dozie uncovered herself drawn back again to Wall Road, this time doing the job in corporate advisory and M&A where she rose into government amount positions and managed large strategic customers across West Africa.

With a vastly effective occupation and a rising family at dwelling, it appeared like Dozie had it all. Then in 2017, she got “the most effective poor news of her existence,” and every thing transformed.

From Burning Out to Currently being the Boss

“By 2017, I was burnt out. I had all of these factors that I’d worked really tough for, but I was not joyful,” Dozie defined. “I didn’t like what I was accomplishing and I was not expending the high quality time I needed to with the folks closest to me.” The inner thoughts of anxiety exhibited them selves in a very bodily way as they generally can, and Dozie’s medical doctor discussed to her that she had serious hypertension. Until she identified methods to de-anxiety and deliver her blood pressure down, she was heading to have a stroke.

“I call this the greatest undesirable information due to the fact it promptly produced me transform my everyday living. There was nothing about what I was undertaking or how significantly income I was earning that was well worth dying for,” she claimed. “I recognized I had moved absent from the transformational influence I mentioned I wished to make though at HBS and didn’t prevent to remember that we’re actually even larger than all of this. We all have a objective, and there is a little something so significant about that privilege that finding on a treadmill is just about a squander.”

The modify was swift and sizeable. Dozie quit her career and moved her relatives across the earth from Nigeria to California exactly where she attended Stanford College as element of the Distinguished Professions Institute Fellowship. “Through my 12 months at the design and style college, I was able to get back to that transformational viewpoint on my lifetime with hopes and goals crafted on actuality,” she recalled.

For the duration of this period of reflection and finding out, Dozie uncovered that her purpose was igniting assurance in women of all ages. She wanted to assistance women of all ages struggle impostor syndrome and self-doubt and she wanted to do that by tapping into her lifelong appreciate for beauty solutions.

“You will not see me in a specialist context with out lipstick on, it’s like my superhero cape,” Dozie shared. “And this started out way right before Bossy Cosmetics. As a woman in banking, I recognized the relationship amongst how I felt and how I executed. I realized the planet did not need just a different pink or red lipstick although. We essential a very clear place of differentiation and that was going to be igniting and inspiring confidence.”

Crafting a Life You Adore

Beside her enjoy for a bold lip as section of her expert persona, Dozie did not have any work experience in the beauty industry, but that did not end her generate. “I commenced by developing Google surveys and sending them out to gals I realized,” she said. “I read study, I conducted concentrate teams, and I arrived at out to individuals from HBS, Stanford, and Cornell in the natural beauty industry.”

With each and every new link Dozie charged further down the route to building Bossy Cosmetics, a “women’s empowerment and mission-pushed enterprise that masquerades as a beauty business.” Experienced founders shared their expertise on starting up a organization, natural beauty marketplace professionals gave assistance about which trade organizations to sign up for, and fellow HBS alumni served her come to feel safe following her enthusiasm.

“I came from humble beginnings as a to start with-era American elevated by a solitary mother. Speaking about doing the job in an place that you are passionate about was found as silly, extravagant, and wasteful when I was escalating up,” Dozie reported. “In talking with other HBS alumnae who understood where I was coming from, I was ready to liberate my intellect and appear to the realization that you will need to craft a lifestyle you love. No one can notify you how to do that, and no a person can style that for you.”

“Hard Matters are Hard”

These days, Bossy Cosmetics is a flourishing and developing corporation built on the plan that currently being termed “bossy” is a excellent point, reclaiming a word made use of to put down very little women who are assertive and sturdy. On the lookout ahead, there are extra excellent points on the horizon as Dozie options to increase her crew, elevate institutional cash, grow into nationwide stores, and leverage technology to make a Bossy community for shoppers.

None of this has been straightforward, and as Dozie shares with pupils and alumni, “Hard things are Tough. Cash H A R D.”

“You have to be dogged, you will need to be resilient, you will need to go by a million tough troubles, and you want to feel in your self. I never know how you build a company if you aren’t your very own most significant cheerleader.”

This story was at first revealed on the HBS Alumni Professions site.