So often, we’re afraid to go after the things we want because we fear that our lack of previous experience in the area will be a barrier to our success. This stops us from potentially realizing our truest potential and achieving the happiness and success we’re capable of and deserve in our lives. This post is part of a series of stories about women who have made a success of themselves and built successful businesses in industries that they previously knew nothing about.

For many of us, the thought of starting a business is daunting enough, let alone the thought of starting a business in the competitive fashion industry, with zero or little experience to boot.

While working in consulting, Ade Hassan was feeling frustrated about the lack of suitable nude hosiery that matched her skin tone. After a light bulb moment struck one day at the office, Ade decided that she would be the woman to solve the problem, and she began a journey which would lead her to create Nubian Skin, a lingerie brand which redefines the term “nude”. 

But the journey started slowly after the initial light bulb hit. Ade quit her job in consulting and went to work in finance.  Then one day, a close friend sent her a birthday card, with a note inside. The note that would be the catalyst for major change in her life and the start of her business. 

With a background in finance, Ade was venturing into a new industry and this proved to be particularly challenging. She had no contacts and no way in, but this didn’t stop her from pressing ahead with her business plan, instead, the tenacious founder took stock and found someone who she knew would be able to help. 

“I realized pretty quickly that because my background wasn’t in fashion and definitely not in the lingerie industry, I was going to have to get some expert help and that’s what I did. And to this day I always tell people that that’s probably the best money I could have spent at that time. Getting a consultant who was an expert in the industry to give me some advice on how someone actually goes about finding a manufacturer and breaking into the industry.”

Explained Ade, on overcoming the early stage challenges. 

After a bold start, the brand now boasts a celebrity clientele. Not to mention, Ade has also since been placed on the Queens birthday honours list ( 2017)  and the brand is going from strength to strength. 

Key Take-Aways from Ade Hassan’s story

While venturing into an unknown industry might be challenging, and there will always be setbacks, the important thing is to realize that there are people who can help. Whether it’s others who have gone before you or specialists and experts with the knowledge you need. 

Never be afraid to ask for help. What’s more, if you’ve been wanting to start your own business but can’t think of an idea, why not look to solve the problems and frustrations in your own life. Who knows where it could take you. 

As for Ade Hassan and Nubian Skin, there’s no shortage of praise for the brand and we’re keeping a look out for that Forbes overshoot since it’s only a matter of time.