(CNN)When Tewa Onasanya couldn't find a single fashion magazine aimed at black women on the shelves of a shop in Essex, England, she decided to start one herself.
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The pharmacologist, who had no previous experience in journalism or publishing, rallied her friends for advice, and before long they were putting together the first issue of Exquisite -- a publication aimed at style conscious black women.
The mother of two, who studied pharmacology at the University of Portsmouth, says that she drew inspiration from her early passion for storytelling to develop the magazine.
"I always wrote short stories when I was a little girl and was very good at reporting whatever happened. My publishing Exquisite, a fashion magazine, grew from the love I have for writing," she says.
It took years for the publication to turn a profit, but Onasanya drove her business with fervor and credits the support of her six sisters, husband and parents with helping her keep her dream alive.
However, for the self-confessed shoe-addict the magazine was always meant to be more than just a showcase for pretty clothes.
"The whole idea of publishing a magazine is to provide a platform for women of color," she says.
"They should be able to express themselves and empower other women... The whole idea is not to just be a fashion magazine but to be a platform for empowerment and to create more awareness for issues."
This September Onasanya is organizing the Exquisite Magazine Walk Against Cancer in Lagos, Nigeria, and the company has worked with clinics to offer free screenings in the past.
"My dream is to be grounded on every facet of my life, have a great family, work balance," she says. "And be able to screen thousands of people free for cervical, breast cancer and prostate cancer every year and help towards treatment if need be."