Florence Adepoju or Flow as she prefers, has built up her own beauty empire from scratch and her lipsticks – specially formulated for black women – are loved worldwide, particularly in Los Angeles, France, Spain, Holland and Australia.
Flow got into the beauty industry through science, having taken A Levels in Biology, Chemistry and Fine Art while at Havering Sixth Form from 2007 to 2009.
When she left College at 18, she made the decision to swap an offer to study Pharmacy for a place to study Cosmetic Science at the London College of Fashion. It was a decision which has shaped her life.
During the four-year course, with a year’s placement in Belgium, she learned all the aspects of putting together a cosmetic product, from the chemical mixes and packaging to business planning and marketing.
She began formulating foundations, eyeshadows, lipsticks and blushers in her parents’ garden shed in Rainham during the days and working at luxury beauty retailers in the evenings. But her real ambition was to develop her own beauty brand for black women.
Her dream came true when she launched MDMflow, a lipstick line of bold, bright, highly pigmented colours designed to suit black women, when she was 22. She describes MDMflow as an accumulation of all her obsessions; bold colours, hip hop, beauty, fashion and science.
Five years on and the brand is critically acclaimed and is growing month by month, year by year. It is stocked worldwide and sold in upmarket stores such as Harvey Nichols and online at popular websites such as Pretty Little Thing.
Flow also works with various companies and campaigns to encourage girls to pursue careers in STEM subjects.