Hello there 🙂
For black people who work in the fashion and beauty sector, the differences between us and our non-black colleagues are obvious and worrying. We sit in the front row at top-class fashion shows and only watch a handful of models who share our skin tones on the catwalks. We receive congratulatory press releases from well-known beauty brands that advertise expanded basic color ranges, although these developments are long overdue and often still fail to meet the brand. A serious lack of representation in our industry has led to these discrepancies, and while immense progress has been made in terms of diversity and inclusion, much remains to be done.
Conversations during Black History Month often look back to appreciate the past, and while we have nothing but respect and gratitude for those who have left their mark on us, we live in the now and highlight the black voices that the stories and Reinforce experiences of black people through their content, their products and their platforms; those who have made the conscious decision to stay there in rooms that are not intended for it.
Meet 14 black thought leaders in advance, who not only take the reins to tell our stories, but also shape the story of the beauty of cool girls and what that means and looks like across the industry. They remind us all that it is cool to take care of ourselves. It's cool to see the beauty in every hair texture, complexion and body shape. We welcome them, and here they share all of their stories and shed light on how they want to raise the bar for beauty and beyond. We invite you to learn their names and encourage you to follow their work and support their movements.
Describe yourself in three words: extrovert, open, detailed. What does beauty mean to you? Love yourself at your ups and downs. It loves you with age and changes your body faces and still feels beautiful no matter what transitions you experience. Do you have a personal mantra or confirmation you want to share? Beauty is not what others think about you, but what you think about yourself when you look in the mirror. You are the only one that counts. What inspires you to do what you do? The women in my community. Black people who are disadvantaged and have no resources inspire me to do everything possible to give something back to my community. Women from Accra, Ghana to Newark, New Jersey, inspire me. I am working to provide my sisters with a better support system and resources. Have you ever felt "different" or excluded from beauty trends or the entire beauty industry? I remember when the contour started and it was impossible to find a shade that showed on my dark skin tone. I tried everything and no pallets worked for me. At that moment, I felt forgotten and thought how disappointing it was that no one thought of shadowing dark-skinned women. I wanted a chiseled face too, but how? Maybe a year later, a makeup artist instructed me to try a dark, berry-colored blush, and it changed my life. I contoured MAC Blush in Film Noir and also used it as an eyeshadow. It actually shows on my skin and always makes me look kidnapped! What advice do you have for black people who, like you, want to make changes in the beauty industry? Social media was the most effective way to spread change and awareness about our generation. It's so easy to complain about what you don't like among your friends, but posting it and talking about it to a wider audience requires courage and change. You have to realize that so many people are struggling with the same problems, and when this comes to light, there is usually a change. What do you want to change in the beauty industry? How can allies be helpful? Listen and then produce. Stop assuming that we need certain products and get focus groups instead and make solution-oriented decisions with us. Describe yourself in three words: love, passion, healer. What does beauty mean to you? Embodiment of my inherent divinity and feminine power. Express both of them unfiltered as I navigate the world to stand in my authenticity and truth and to inspire others, especially black women, to do the same. Do you have a personal mantra or confirmation you want to share? "I am unconditionally loved and supported." I have been talking about my life for a little over a year and make brave and radical actions and decisions in accordance with it. This totally changed my consciousness and subsequently my life. What inspires you to do what you do? I am inspired by black women and girls around the world – including my family, people I have met and people I do not have – who, like me, are on a healing journey. We are all in different phases of our healing journey and have different wounds, traumas and challenges that we can use as opportunities for growth and elevation. I hear from dozens of these women every week, inspired by the work that my team and I do at Black Girl in Om. And it confirms the vision we have and personally encourages me to push it forward. Have you ever felt "different" or excluded from beauty trends or the entire beauty industry? One of the insidious things about the representation or its lack is that it is invisible and therefore has an almost hypnotizing influence on the recipient. I spent a large part of my life not realizing that black girls and women like me were not represented in beauty. It was incredibly normal to open a magazine and only see white models. Fortunately, a lot has changed. However, there is still so much to do. My friends Abena Boamah from Hanahana Beauty and Trinity Mouzon-Wofford from Golde, both phenomenal women within the BGIO family, are two dynamic forces that I commend for their tremendous commitment to ensure that black beauty founders and black beauty brands come onto the menu and stay there. What advice do you have for black people who, like you, want to make changes in the beauty industry? Don't pay attention to trends. See what's missing, what's needed, and what you want to see. Build that, stick with it, and don't think for a second that it doesn't matter. What do you want to change in the beauty industry? How can allies be helpful? Billions of dollars in funds invested in black beauty founders. Allies can invest the coin and expect an enormous return on investment, both materially and spiritually. Describe yourself in three words: animated, grateful, passionate. What does beauty mean to you? Beauty is a feeling and a state of being. In order to live with and be surrounded by beauty, it is necessary to change your perspective and challenge yourself to always be open. Do you have a personal mantra or confirmation you want to share? I am exactly where I should be. Please describe what inspires you to do what you do. My real curiosity for the ever-changing landscape of wellness, media and technology is definitely a big part of why I do what I do. My community kept me up to a certain standard of storytelling and reporting, which is a big part of my motivation to share all of my experiences. Have you ever felt "different" or excluded from beauty trends or the entire beauty industry? A concrete example is a time when I was asked to take part in an event in the wellness area and to report on social issues. I went and was surprised to see that her store had a lot of books for sale, but not one by a colored person. I talked about it on my social media because it really shocked me. The company responded quickly with a reason why there was no diversity in its business and asked me to write down my IG story that was about it. It was really hard for me to feel like I was jeopardizing a business relationship because I spoke up for what I believed in and my team and I had some tough conversations, but ultimately I stand by my decision to speak up , Two weeks after the event, they still sent me an email asking them to make a statement withdrawing my criticism because of a setback. I told them that I would not make such a statement, but if they wanted to talk about how to be more inclusive, I would like to discuss them with them. They replied that they would no longer support me and my career. It was a difficult situation for me to learn this lesson, but I would end up advocating what I believe in rather than receiving a check from a company that doesn't support my values. What advice do you have for black people who, like you, want to make changes in the beauty industry? Don't be apologetic yourself. Others are likely to believe the same, and your truth is your power. What do you want to change in the beauty industry? How can allies be helpful? I think beauty companies can learn a lot from Gen Z in terms of marketing, messaging, and ingredients. I also want to see more color included. Fifty have changed the game, but many brands still only have three to eight basic tones that usually don't take on the darkest skin tones or have only a dark shade. Describe yourself in three words: not apologetic, risk taker, brave. What does beauty mean to you? Openness and acceptance for yourself and others. I feel that in order to see the beauty in everyone, we have to accept our own mistakes in order to be able to accept others better. For a long time, the media and beauty industry only showed beauty in one light, which made it difficult for people to fully accept themselves, including the shortcomings and imperfections. I firmly believe that you must love every part of you before you can extend that love to others. Do you have a personal mantra or confirmation you want to share? I am enough, which is also the mantra of The Lip Bar. People often fight against imposter syndrome. If you remember that you are enough, that you are one of them, and that you are no other, you can overcome imposter syndrome. What inspires you to do what you do? I always tell people that I have no passion for makeup because it is true. Yes, we make amazing products, but it's more about reminding people that they don't have to change to be beautiful. We already have everything we need to be the best version of ourselves. And for anyone looking to improve their beauty, we want you to be able to do so by using products that are non-toxic, vegan, inclusive, and easy to use. Have you ever felt "different" or excluded from beauty trends or the entire beauty industry? There are many beauty trends that require too much skill to achieve. I look at them and think, wow, that must have taken a long time, or they really have to be clever. I don't have much time to research how I can get this look or exercise over and over again. My personal frustrations have inspired me to launch our Fast Face system. For example: eyeshadow is so intimidating for me. I don't know which colors go where or what works for me or what works together. That's why we've introduced a liquid eyeshadow in 10 seconds and mini eyelid palettes so you don't have to think about what works for your complexion. We did it for you. What advice do you have for black people who, like you, want to make changes in the beauty industry? The beauty industry was largely run by men who didn't wear the products, so there were always gaps. My advice is not to be afraid and cut out your trail. If you find that there are gaps in an industry, don't be afraid to be the solution to the problem. That applies to every entrepreneur. Make sure you solve a problem. What do you want to change in the beauty industry? How can allies be helpful? I want to change the expectation that women have to look a certain way. From makeup to body decisions, women should support women. When we see how people accept and love themselves for who they are, we should celebrate them, not shame them. Describe yourself in three words: resilient, refined, confident. What does beauty mean to you? For me, beauty is synonymous with trust. That is why self-care and self-love are so important. You have to fill yourself with positivity, and the best way to do this is to do things that give you pleasure every day. Do you have a personal mantra or confirmation you want to share? There is nothing better than a woman who is happy to be herself. What inspires you to do what you do? I was always determined to be very motivated, but as a mother of two girls, I was always particularly motivated to be the best version of myself. I realized early on that I had to model this behavior for her if I wanted my daughters to be confident and confident. Have you ever felt "different" or excluded from beauty trends or the entire beauty industry? Up until the last decade, there have been no products carefully made for naturally curly hair. There were many products for chemically processed hair, but nothing for women who just wanted to hug their natural curls. As a child, my mother used coconut oil on my hair, which resulted in swollen, undefined hair. So I usually pulled my hair back and tried to control it. Hair products have come a long way today. I think we live in an exciting time with so many curly, friendly products. The result is that women are now feeling encouraged and inspired to embrace their natural hair, and that's a nice thing! What advice do you have for black people who, like you, want to make changes in the beauty industry? Be the example you want to see in the beauty industry. We don't all have to look the same. It's okay to be unique. Let the beauty industry adapt to us and not the other way around. Together we have a bigger voice. When we support brands that are thoughtful and inclusive, it encourages other brands to participate. What do you want to change in the beauty industry? How can allies be helpful? I want to continue to see more representation. I want to see more authenticity, more diversity. I think it's actually starting to happen, but it's still not enough. I think this new age of influencers reflects what attracts audiences. We are tired of being drawn to the opulence of a makeup ad, only to find that the product is not suitable for our skin tone. I also want clean beauty and sustainability to be the standard, not a niche. I think we've put some good options on the market, but overall brands can do a lot more. Clean beauty should also be more inclusive, and by that I mean that it has to be affordable for everyone. Describe yourself in three words: versatile, expansive, bizarre. What does beauty mean to you? Beauty means unabashed trust. Do you have a personal mantra or confirmation you want to share? I have everything I need. I like to remember it when I buy another vintage. What inspires you to do what you do? Other black women. We're all so different, but it's our similarities that really matter to me. Beauty is an area where we always come together despite cultural differences, socio-economic upbringing, physical locations and educational background. Have you ever felt "different" or excluded from beauty trends or the entire beauty industry? Yes, I felt different. I used to make fun of myself because I wasn't allowed to shave. I wouldn't have noticed otherwise, but children are mean. I think Western society is obsessed with being hairless, and that's just not me. I recently bought a Bevel razor, the first razor I have bought in a long time, and I mostly made it because I am a Tristan Walker fan. (Besides, it's so well done!) That doesn't mean I think there's something wrong with the hair removal preference because I'm also a fan of swimwear wax (I call it an advantage). but I don't think body hair is shameful or dirty. What advice do you have for black people who, like you, want to make changes in the beauty industry? Fear is one of the things that you only have to enforce often. And it makes it easier to come around if you speak to people you trust and who also encourage you. My mother, my small group of friends and my work team do it all for me. I'm thankfull. What do you want to change in the beauty industry? How can allies be helpful? There is so much, especially in the beauty industry, that I would like to change it. Blacks spend so much on ethnic hair and beauty products ($ 54.4 million, according to Nielsen Homescan), but the experience of buying black beauty doesn't reflect that. (Just go to the closest beauty shop in the neighborhood. You will feel me.) I think we have been accepting this experience with thoughtless products, mediocre quality and deaf branding long enough. I want to create accessible and thoughtful shopping experiences and products that are inviting and talk to us. I think allies can be very helpful by adding perspective and additional expertise, but also listening and taking a seat if necessary. The CEO and co-founder of Baby Tress is our ally. Because it uses its resources and connections and listens actively, our brand has been able to contact and promote other WOC-owned businesses and companies. I think this perspective is necessary for growth. Describe yourself in three words: Resilient, socially introverted, black woman. What does beauty mean to you? My mother was rebellious and always wore bright red lipstick. I always loved my mother's makeup because it was so brave. She would wear a bold red lip and black eyeliner. (It was the 80s.) So I started to fall in love with beauty and cosmetics. Do you have a personal mantra or confirmation you want to share? I am so confident of who I am and what I represent. I love being a black woman. My mantra is all I have to do is stay black and die. What inspires you to do what you do? My biggest hope and what will happen is that Black Girl Sunscreen will become a global brand. Of course, we have to crawl before we go, so we're working to make the brand, our mission, and our vision better known. You see us – we are not hiding. So we do the work that is needed to jump into and talk about different countries and markets in places where they never thought they would see sun protection for black people. We really want to question the idea that this is not for us. Have you ever felt "different" or excluded from beauty trends or the entire beauty industry? It started very young. I think the first time I was faced with it was in second grade, and I remember this story so vividly because I struggled with it for a long time. A girl asked me why my hair wasn't moving. If you don't have long hair, it may not move, especially if you don't have a relaxant. That was the first thing I noticed and I wondered why my hair didn't move like my fair-skinned colleagues. What advice do you have for black people who, like you, want to make changes in the beauty industry? I think it's something that has to happen in you. You are the only you and nobody can be like you. So take this and run with it. I appreciate that in myself. You can imitate me, you can try to be like me, but now there is only one shontay left. Embrace what you are and love it and love yourself. Because there is only one of you. What do you want to change in the beauty industry? How can allies be helpful? What I want to see from a retail perspective are multicultural products on the shelves with traditional brands. Why do we have to be in a separate category? Describe yourself in three words: creative, goofy, sleepy. What does beauty mean to you? For me, beauty means undisturbed – free. Whatever it looks like. Do you have a personal mantra or confirmation you want to share? Laugh if you can. Sleep when you can. What inspires you to do what you do? Past me and the black girls and women of today and tomorrow. Have you ever felt "different" or excluded from beauty trends or the entire beauty industry? Pony! If you have 4c hair, nobody believes you can pull bangs off. I remember wanting her in middle school, and my own family told me that if I wanted to have this look, I needed to get a fabric. What advice do you have for black people who, like you, want to make changes in the beauty industry? Don't wait for an example. Be the example. With social media, we can choose who our modern muses are today. Just be here; be you that's revolutionary. What do you want to change in the beauty industry? How can allies be helpful? Allies, realize that you need at least one black person in each department. You should have much more than that, but if one of your departments is all white, you have to misunderstand the blackness. Describe yourself in three words: calm, positive, independent. What does beauty mean to you? Beauty has everything about you and loves it for what it is and how it makes you feel. Do you have a personal mantra or confirmation you want to share? You have so much light plants grow towards you. What inspires you to do what you do? I love the feeling of giving people the feeling of being strengthened by their hair in the salon. It's really a great feeling to see the smile on people's faces every day. It is fun for my content creators to have a vision and bring it to light. Sometimes it's easy and sometimes it can be challenging, but it's my creative way to be just me. Have you ever felt "different" or excluded from beauty trends or the entire beauty industry? Throughout my childhood and sometimes as an adult, I go to a store or see an ad and there is no one to represent me. I was on set for photoshoots and I am the only person showing so many different shades of brown. There should be more of us. There is enough space and our beauty should also be shown. What advice do you have for black people who, like you, want to make changes in the beauty industry? Always be yourself and never let anyone tell you how to act or how to be. What do you want to change in the beauty industry? How can allies be helpful? I want to make it normal to see all types of women in a campaign and not something that needs to be announced. We should always be there because every woman deserves to feel beautiful. Describe yourself in three words: curious, creative, passionate. What does beauty mean to you? Beauty is to be at home in your own skin, to feel really comfortable with yourself and your imperfections and to project this self-confidence back into the world. Do you have a personal mantra or confirmation you want to share? I borrow something from Audrey Hepburn and say: "Happy girls are the prettiest girls." What inspires you to do what you do? The guests I interview for Naked Beauty are infinitely fascinating. I can talk to women who I admire about their approach to beauty and self-care, and then share their stories with my community – the fact that they keep it with me 100, completely unfiltered and vulnerable makes the production and hosting of this show a pleasure and a privilege week after week. Have you ever felt "different" or excluded from beauty trends or the entire beauty industry? Where to start! Any sunscreen that leaves a terrible white cast, any makeup line that has no foundation in my shadow, any makeup artist who isn't familiar with makeup for brown-skinned women, or any hairdresser who can't make structured hair – the list never ends, but I'm hopeful because things get a lot better. Diversity and inclusion go beyond a catchphrase and become a necessary way for beauty companies to operate. What advice do you have for black people who, like you, want to make a difference in the beauty industry? Find a way to tell the stories that are important to you. I wanted to hear a podcast that women thought was real about beauty, but I couldn't find it, so I did one. Find out what you miss and don't see, then fill the vacuum. If you crave it, you can bet that you are not alone. What do you want to change in the beauty industry? How can allies be helpful? Bringing a range of different models into your campaign doesn't mean much if you don't have diversity behind the camera and in your company. There should be colored women in all of marketing, in the management team, in the product development team and beyond. The variety in casting is great, but we now expect more than that. Allies working in the beauty industry can help by ensuring that they see different candidates for open roles and by using networks for colored women to find new ones List employment opportunities. Describe yourself in three words: creative, persistent, determined. What does beauty mean to you? For me, beauty means that your value for yourself is unshakable no matter what someone says. Do you have a personal mantra or confirmation you want to share? I will find a way. What inspires you to do what you do? The inspiration for creating the content I created comes from my own experience of feeling rejected and excluded from the beauty industry. I felt it. It hurts. And now I'm fighting it so that not only my 6 beautiful sisters never have to feel it, but all my sisters around the world never have to feel it. Have you ever felt "different" or excluded from beauty trends or the entire beauty industry? Nothing feels "different" than going to a beauty counter and hearing: "We have no shadow for you." Or adapting to the shadow and going out like a white hiker. I am very proud that I am gradually helping to change this. What advice do you have for black people who, like you, want to make a difference in the beauty industry? I started creating content when I was 25. I didn't know where they would take me, but I knew I was fed up and not alone. The full potential of the beauty industry is underrepresented in black women. Wir haben so viel zu sagen und so viele verschiedene, einzigartige Arten, es zu sagen. Also, mach es, Schwester! Was möchten Sie an der Schönheitsindustrie ändern? Wie können Verbündete hilfreich sein? Ich möchte die Box, in die uns die Schönheitsindustrie versetzt, ändern oder so ziemlich entfernen. Natürlich kann die Box uns nicht enthalten. Lassen Sie uns also dazu beitragen, dass die Schönheitsindustrie für alle das Beste ist, was sie sein kann. Verbündete werden während einer Veränderung oder Bewegung benötigt. Zahlen sind stark und ein Verbündeter bleibt nur dann übrig, wenn er versucht, die Stimme der Menschen zu stehlen, anstatt sie zu verstärken. Beschreibe dich in drei Worten: Nachdenklich, belastbar, unabhängig. Was bedeutet Schönheit für dich? Schönheit ist jede Ausdrucksform, die Ihr persönliches Vertrauen stärkt. Es ist zutiefst individuell und für mich bedeutet es, die Wahrnehmung der Welt, wer du bist, auszuschalten und den Mut zu haben, dein wahres Selbst zu definieren. Haben Sie ein persönliches Mantra oder eine Bestätigung, die Sie teilen möchten? Jeden Tag erinnere ich mich daran, niemals aufzugeben. Verlieren ist immer eine Möglichkeit, aber Aufgeben schließt jede Gewinnchance aus. Was inspiriert dich dazu, das zu tun, was du tust? Ich war dazu bestimmt, diese Arbeit zu machen. Es gibt nichts Größeres oder Inspirierenderes, als dein Schicksal zu erfüllen, und in dieser Erfüllung steckt meine größte Energie- und Inspirationsquelle. Haben Sie sich jemals von Beauty-Trends oder der gesamten Beauty-Branche „anders“ oder ausgeschlossen gefühlt? Schwarze und farbige Frauen waren noch nie der Standard für Schönheit. Ich habe früh gelernt, dass ich nicht ausgeschlossen werden kann, wenn ich keinen Trends folge. Wenn ich meinen eigenen Tisch baue, gibt es immer einen Platz für mich und Frauen wie mich. Ich bin immer im Takt meiner eigenen Trommel marschiert und habe mich nie "anders" gefühlt, weil das Ziel war, immer meine eigene zu haben. Welchen Rat haben Sie für schwarze Menschen, die wie Sie Veränderungen in der Schönheitsindustrie bewirken wollen? Wenn Sie es träumen können, können Sie es schaffen. Am Anfang müssen Sie Ihre größte Cheerleaderin sein, bevor Sie Ihr Team finden. Sie müssen bestehen, integer handeln und niemals von Ihren Überzeugungen absehen. Die einzige Möglichkeit, echte Veränderungen zu bewirken, besteht darin, niemals aufzugeben. Was möchten Sie an der Schönheitsindustrie ändern? Wie können Verbündete hilfreich sein? Es gibt schwarze und farbige Frauen, die erstaunliche Dinge in der Schönheitsbranche tun und eine Plattform brauchen. Verbündete können proaktiv sein, indem sie diese Personen auskundschaften, Beziehungen aufbauen, sie ins Rampenlicht stellen und feiern, ohne einen Krümel nehmen zu müssen. Ich würde auch gerne mehr kulturelle Wertschätzung im Bereich Wellness und saubere Schönheit sehen. Minderheiten sind von diesen Bewegungen weitgehend ausgeschlossen, doch Marken beziehen weiterhin Zutaten aus kulturell reichen Ländern und nutzen dabei Gua-sha, Ayurveda und andere nicht-westliche Schönheitsrituale. Wirkliche Veränderungen werden eintreten, wenn alle, insbesondere die Verbündeten, die kulturellen Beiträge von Farbigen in der Vergangenheit und Gegenwart der Schönheitsindustrie anerkennen. Beschreibe dich in drei Worten: Neugierig, einfühlsam, ein Wassermann (durch und durch). Was bedeutet Schönheit für dich? Was bedeutet das nicht für mich? Schon als Kind war ich immer fasziniert von dem rubinroten Farbton eines brandneuen Lippenstifts oder davon, wie die Haare meiner Mutter nach dem Waschen und Aushärten zu glänzender Perfektion herabfielen. Aber Schönheit ist tiefer als Ästhetik. Es geht um Selbstdarstellung und darum, wie wir mit der Welt kommunizieren wollen. Diese Milliarden-Dollar-Industrie wird mir nie langweilig werden, und ich habe das Glück, ein winziger Teil davon zu sein. Haben Sie ein persönliches Mantra oder eine Bestätigung, die Sie teilen möchten? Meine Oma hat immer gesagt, man kann mit Honig mehr Fliegen fangen als mit Essig. Und es klingt noch heute wahr! Sie erreichen so viel, wenn Sie nur echt sind. Was inspiriert dich dazu, das zu tun, was du tust? Ich habe Schönheit immer geliebt, aber die Beziehung war nicht immer wechselseitig. Als begeisterter schwarzer Mode- und Schönheitsliebhaber war es schwierig, mich in diesen Bereichen wiederzufinden. Während ich alle Aspekte dieses Bereichs liebe, denke ich immer an Repräsentation. Haben Sie sich jemals von Beauty-Trends oder der gesamten Beauty-Branche „anders“ oder ausgeschlossen gefühlt? Jeden Tag. Wie gesagt, dies war keine Branche, die für Leute wie mich gebaut wurde. From getting quizzical looks outside of Spring Studios, to publicists who seat me in less-than-preferential spots at events, to hairstylists who mangle my natural curls… I've seen and experienced a lot. But I know that there's a greater task at hand here, and I refuse to let any of that stop me. What advice do you have for black humans who want to effect change in the beauty industry, like you have? Remember who you're doing what you're doing for. Even if your story doesn't get a ton of traffic, or you have to sell an angle super hard to your manager—it's worth it at the end of the day. The right eyes will see it, and it will touch the right person. What’s something you would like to change about the beauty industry? How can allies be helpful? I think that a sense of genuine curiosity could behoove plenty of figureheads and their teams. There's no reason why I should have to over explain what box braids are or why I don't shampoo my hair every day. Especially when there are plenty of resources out there for them to learn these things. Describe yourself in three words: Relaxed, gutsy, curious. What does beauty mean to you? For me, beauty is a reflection of comfort and confidence in yourself. You define how that manifests. Do you have a personal mantra or affirmation you'd like to share? Know when you're lucky. What inspires you to do what you do? I'm driven by the challenge and the opportunity, I think that's consistent for most founders. We embrace our curiosity as a tool to solve problems. Have you ever felt “othered” or excluded from beauty trends, or the beauty industry at large? I grew up in a mostly white town in Upstate New York, so I constantly had this sense of other. Even reading the teen beauty magazines back in the day, the options were so limited. When they showed cute styles by hair type there was either "curly" (something much looser than my texture) or "relaxed"—aka, black hair that's been chemically processed to be straight. There was literally zero acknowledgement of natural kinky-curly hair textures. What advice do you have for black humans who want to effect change in the beauty industry, like you have? Solve the problem you're facing. I felt alienated by the wellness space, so I showed up and built my own brand that would feel more approachable and inclusive to all consumers. What’s something you would like to change about the beauty industry? How can allies be helpful? I want to continue to see more inclusive representation across natural beauty and wellness. We're seeing it way more in color cosmetics, but there's more the natural space can do to include women of color in particular. Up next, meet the hairstylists redefining natural hair in hollywood.