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Cynthia Kankeu
Dr. Kankeu and Her Natural Cosmetics Business

DR. KANKS, Cynthia Kankeu

Title / Role: Owner and Founder
Location: North Chesterfield, Virginia
Formed in: 2016
My successes.

Cynthia Kankeu truly believes that there is no such thing as good or bad hair.  If you are not happy with your hair right now, it is probably because the routine that you have does not work for your hair type, density, or porosity.  You should never blame your hair but always blame the products.  Cynthia started manufacturing her products in her kitchen.  Her products are handmade and mainly made of natural ingredients. Cynthia’s hard work pays off – “After 20 years of being insecure of my thick, coarse, unruly hair, I have finally found a product that makes me feel good. Feels good, smells good, looks good!”, her customers praised.

DR. KANKS recently launched a skincare line of products geared towards people struggling with dry skin. Cynthia won the crowd-funded prize from the Tom Tom Foundation in the 2022 Tom Tom Festival and was invited as a judge of this event in 2023. With love and passion, Cynthia says she will never stop researching the best ingredients and the best formulations that help women with beauty.

What inspired you to start your business?

Cynthia started her natural cosmetics business, DR. KANKS, while she was pursuing her PhD.  Back then, she was obsessed with curly hair and wasn’t satisfied with the cream she was using because it left her hair dry and crunchy.  As a scientist, she started wondering if she could make her own cream with natural and fresh ingredients such as Okra, Aloe Vera, Honey, Hibiscus, and several other herbs.  She succeeded and has since been developing different lines of products that aim to hydrate and soften hair while keeping it healthy.

What is your relationship with SCORE? SCORE client How SCORE helped.

To grow her business, Cynthia found SCORE via Google and was assigned to Tom Davis as her mentor.  Tom has extensive business experience as he has managed manufacturing plants for customer products company Kimberly-Clark during his career.  With the help of Tom, Cynthia has been able to predict her cash flow and design contingency plans.  Tom is also very open-minded and patient, Cynthia said, “He would help me with every aspect of my business, even with topics that are not his specialty such as marketing for instance. He would always come with names of other people who might help in case he could not help.  His specialty is finance but he helped me with so many other things.  Besides business support, Tom also encourages Cynthia a lot. “He helped me to believe in my business and be proud of what I like to call baby steps”, Cynthia said.

My mentors
Headshot of Tom Davis
Tom Davis

Business Plan, Start-Up and Business Journey Guidance, Consumer Products and Services, Broad...

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300 Preston Avenue
Charlottesville, VA 22902
(434) 295-6712

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