What do you do when you have an MBA from Stanford with a focus on innovation and entrepreneurship, but you’re also loving your corporate job? That was the conundrum Nicole Malcolm-Manyara faced after spending ten years at P&G.  “I worked in their oral care portfolio for kids...the Gillette business. I worked in their incubator...so it was pretty much like working for a startup but at a big company,” she says. She also worked on their CVS customer team and at Duracell. But Malcolm-Manyara always had “the entrepreneurial bug.”  After Duracell, she took a job working--mostly remotely-- for Organic Girl, the salad company.  “During that translation this whole idea came to me for Rad Royals,” cool satin pillowcases for young Black girls. Her three-year-old daughter was refusing to tie her hair in a satin scarf or bonnet to protect it from getting tangled overnight.  “And so I thought, well, why don’t I get her a satin pillowcase.” But Malcolm-Manyara couldn’t find anything that was made sustainably or whimsically designed to intrigue her daughter. For two years Malcolm-Manyara, who lived on the east coast, worked her day job on California time and used her mornings for motherhood and Rad Royals: “It evolved very quickly into a business, a brand.” She says:  “If you really want to do something, you figure out how to do it...That has driven me to carve out time...and be really really focused….I try to say, ok, if i can spend one hour a day on Royals then, you know I’m good.”  One of the things Malcolm-Manyara learned when working in the incubator was the concept of figuring out your killer issue. “If you have an idea, you sit down and try and figure out what the two or three things that absolutely have to be true in order for [you] to be successful with this idea...and you solve for those things.” 

 

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