The Coup in Coup by Kai
COUP /ku/ The English word coup is borrowed from the French word coup meaning to strike. A quick, brilliant and highly successful act. Triumph.
COUP BY KAI /ku/ /bī/ /kī/ A cosmetic brand that defied the odds being founded by a Black female military veteran spreading love, victory, and beauty around the world one face at a time.
It's early morning in rural South Carolina. A young child stirs awake and can hear the water running. Grandma is awake. Even before the child is out of bed, she knows her grandmother is already rinsing her face. Quickly she rushes to her grandmother's side. By now the elder woman is applying her day cream. Quietly, the child watched as the morning routine was carried out. The application of makeup. The precision and careful application of each product. Ending only when her grandmother had transformed into her ready to face the world look. The process was completed and then performed again each evening in reverse ending with the application of night creams.
I loved to watch my grandmother. It was so intriguing. "You're too young for this. Gotta wait 'til you a bit older to put this on," she'd tell me. She'd pass me the Vaseline and sometimes put it on for me. Then she'd get up from her vanity and I'd sit in her place. She would dab me with perfumed powder and proceed to comb my hair. That is truly where my passion for beauty and cosmetics began."
-Nakai Shiver, Founder of Coup by Kai
Cultivating a Brand
The path from dream to goal to success is full of NO, IMPOSSIBLE, EYE ROLLS and countless other hurdles. when that dream is embedded like a seed in the heart of an artisan, they will cultivate that seed and find a way to help it grow.
As a child, the passion for beauty started and was linked to the routines learned at the knee of her elders. Over time, the dream grows into a personal routine of feeling beautiful and making one's self beautiful. The passion eventually transformed into a desire to share these beauty rituals with others. It evolved into a goal to own a cosmetic store. But like the dream that grew into a goal, the cosmetic store grew from a stationary brick and mortar store front into a 21st century online venture that can reach every home, every country, every nationality, culture, and ethnicity with a desire for beauty. The cosmetics were no longer to be limited to the cosmetic brands offered by others, but those that earned Nakai's brand.
The cultivation of this brand has been hard fought. Anyone plowing the ground and expecting pats on the back, acceptance or rainfall when it's most needed is in for a rude awakening. Building a brand, molding a goal, getting it to finally bloom is full of trial and error and a lot of N-O, no's along the way. In the midst of constant rejects it's a test and an opportunity. The test is to find a way to forge ahead and find a ground that will give. Cultivating is the act of finding favor. Favor is not given but earned. When one plan failed, another plan was conceived. She often found the doors not only shut but downright slammed shut and locked. But her success would not be so easily cast away. These detours and rejections only served to fuel her desire to succeed and allowed her to find favor so that at the right time she could market her own beauty products packaged with her brand that was forged in the fire of desire.
At last on September 28, 2020, the dream will see the light of day. Coup by Kai will have an online launch and celebrate the long awaited dream come true. A wide range of products from 24 shades of long-wear foundation to eye products and lip products will be available for purchase online.
Coup by Kai Founder, Nakai is a Black woman and a veteran. Her experiences and life lessons are wide ranging. She brings her company to the market understanding that many people are also faced with similar experiences that are often challenging and undesirable.
Final words from Nakai, "I now have a company that promises inclusivity and love. Every individual is valuable. Coup by Kai strives to ensue we do our part to spread love, while rejecting hate. So in keeping with the meaning of the French word coup, we want to be part of your brilliant move. Strike on!"
Marketing and Advertising
It's been a pleasure photographing Nakai and her family over the years. The opportunity to work with her on her new venture has allowed a dream at Zamora Photography to come full circle. In last week's blog, we were able to share how our own young entrepreneur Capriana has been able to capture great advertising and marketing images for the Coup by Kai campaign. While Nakai is making her dream reality, she was a huge part of helping Capriana begin making her dreams reality. It has also allowed Zamora Photography to help another business set up a campaign with images that will help launch Coup by Kai.