Hello there 🙂
When I look back on the past 365 days, I can hardly believe what has happened. From a global pandemic to myriad layers of social unrest and the spark of a movement where blacks and allies take to the streets in the name of justice, it's like a decade of events has been huddled into one short and one
extremely tense period. If you are feeling exhausted, unfocused, or just unsure of how to move forward, please know that these feelings are perfectly normal. Please also note that the work has only just begun.
This feeling is not new to black creators in the beauty field.
As members of a devastatingly underrepresented group, these founders, CEOs, entrepreneurs and dreamers know better than anyone that it is simply part of the Black experience to work harder to see the baseline results. However, the real indicator of success is the ability to overcome the difficulties and even to use them to reach the sweet spots that can only be unlocked with untied creativity, unapologetic authenticity and tireless hard work.
Despite all of the challenges of the past year, black-owned beauty companies are on the rise. Movements like the Fifteen Percent Promise and Pull Up for Change have challenged brands and retailers to really look at their structures and to tangibly change their approach to diversity, inclusion and justice. Now it's your turn to show yourself. The black squares on Instagram were nice, but it's time to put everything we've learned into practice over the last year. Ahead of us, 13 Black Beauty founders share their stories and visions about how support for black-owned beauty companies will grow and thrive in the years to come. Keep scrolling to find out more.
Describe yourself in three words. Enjoyment, intuitive, flexible. What does beauty mean to you? Beauty means many things to me. I instantly associate it with love for yourself and the ability to take the time to care for yourself. To me, beauty is to the extent self-love – intentional self-love. What inspires you to create in the beauty field? There is so much opportunity and space to actually create. There is so much room and space to record. I find that very inspiring. There is a lot of room in this beauty space if you are thinking about connecting sustainability in a holistic way, especially when it comes to talking about black women around the world. There are so many opportunities for black women in particular to create and innovate. What are some of the emotions that popped up for you when the plight of Black Americans rose to the forefront of collective consciousness over the past year, and how have these emotions helped or challenged you personally and / or professionally? Many different types of emotions have definitely popped up for me, from frustration to hope and sometimes hopelessness. But realizing how Hanahana has this platform where we can talk about topics or be a place where people can laugh or just take time to rest or be inspired by beauty was really exciting for me – too know that we have this platform that we can use it this way. At certain moments it is definitely a challenge to work at all. We are a team of black women, from leading our social side to the women developing the products. So everything that goes on always affects us. We also try to take our time. Now, how can allies be helpful when it comes to black-owned beauty companies? What actions would you like to see beyond performative social media posts? Purchasing power is one of the greatest ways. Allies can obviously help by actually buying and sharing products, and providing resources and opportunity. I think when it comes to the beauty field there are so many options, but sometimes it doesn't even seem feasible to scale when you're a small business, especially a black owned company. They don't even see the possibilities of scaling in a way that is for us. Opportunities will continue to be created for employees to receive scalable resources such as: B. Supplier engagements or intros and all these different kinds of things. I think this is how allies in beauty can really help. And I think there are a lot of allies out there too, but it definitely has to go beyond social media posts. Social media is not the sustainable income for Black Beauty companies, so it's important that you put your money where your mouth is. "I created this shea butter to comfort me and to be honest, not to be ashen and just feel good. When I put on shea, I feel like I'm doing something for myself. I feel like I'm up." taking care of my body. I know that I moisturize and I know that I feed my skin good things. " "The black and brown exfoliating cleaner is a necessity, and frankly you must have the exfoliating body bar ($ 22). So … you just have to have all things. I wouldn't live without them." Describe yourself in three words. Communicative, conscious, present. What inspires you to create in the beauty field? I want to be the brand that inspires vagina. The mere fact that I can do it inspires me. What are some of the emotions that popped up for you when the plight of Black Americans rose to the forefront of collective consciousness over the past year, and how have those emotions helped or challenged you personally and / or professionally? Well, it's nice to see the respect, attention, and action towards the emergency, but the mere fact that it just came to the fore confuses me because it was always here. Really, what it has done for me is to show me that I have to live on a high vibration and see things for what they are. I think what is important is that we get to it with what we have learned over the past 400 years and not with what we have just started to notice and learn in the last year. The breed structure should result in us having this exact conversation … The good news is that this plight has woken the world, especially here in the States. So many companies are devoting people and capital to addressing the lack of our systems that has created so much inequality, and it's nice to be part of this change in the world. What actions would you like to see beyond performative social media posts? I don't need anyone to prove something to me. The only action that is right to see and feel is that which is real. What advice do you have for black people who, like you, want to make a difference in the beauty industry? Know that you are capable of anything, even if it makes the next billion mark. But understand that if you choose to do it, you shouldn't be earning a medal and you are not exceptional for creating something like this. You just do what you want to do. I don't want it to sound easy, but I think it's important to kill the stigma and ego that comes with it. "You work for every part of the body and I'm a clean freak!" "They protect me when I need them most and they help my vagina feel calm while it does its job." Describe yourself in three words. Dedicated, caring, passionate. What inspires you to create in the beauty field? I'm inspired by every black and brown face around me. I'm also driven by the impact Buttah is making on our community by making us better known in the beauty industry. What is an achievement or goal that you have achieved in the past year, large or small, that you are most proud of? I can't point out one thing because the past year has been so transformative, but some that come to mind are the Los Angeles Times article we participated in in September and the launch of Buttah Body . I was born in Texas, but I've been in LA for over a decade. To be recognized by a city that I love and now call home means the world. What are some of the emotions that popped up for you when the plight of Black Americans rose to the forefront of collective consciousness over the past year, and how have those emotions helped or challenged you personally and / or professionally? The first thing I feel is pride. I've always seen the strength, the beauty and the perseverance of black people. The pain and inhumanity of racial injustice hurts, but it motivates me to continue building a brand that empowers and uplifts our community. Now, how can allies be helpful when it comes to black-owned beauty companies? What actions would you like to see beyond performative social media posts? It's very simple: support us. Give us access to the same opportunities our white peers have when it comes to starting a business, accessing finance, and sharing resources. "It's simple, efficient, and gives you a healthy glow. This was one of our first offerings. It's an all-in-one kit that allows our users to experience a three-step spa-like skin care routine." "Because of the luscious shea and cocoa butter, it's nutritious, moisturizing, and smells of heaven. Our community asked, and we replied – buttah love from head to toe." Describe yourself in three words. Stylish, quirky, creative. What does beauty mean to you? Beauty means how I treat myself and how I treat people. I think beauty is not only a reflection of how you look outward, but how you feel about yourself and how you treat people in the process. Do I put people above me? No, I never want to do that. I always want to be confident and secure with myself, but not at the expense of dealing with other people. What is an achievement or goal that you have achieved in the past year, large or small, that you are most proud of? For some, this may seem like a small feat, but just being alive in a pandemic is something we should all be proud of. I know this sounds very clichéd, but it's something I don't take for granted at all. It's something I really appreciate. I started a new brand in the middle of a pandemic and that could have gone far to the left. It's incredibly amazing, but I'm the proudest and I feel best about just being alive, healthy, present and still a little successful. Now, how can allies be helpful when it comes to black-owned beauty companies? What actions would you like to see beyond performative social media posts? I think allies have to stop looking for credit to be allies and they just have to do what they take for granted. Do the same things that you do for your non-black colleagues. In the same way, you would go to a store and buy a product and not question it, do the same for black-owned companies and not do it for credits or awards. Live life just like we do as black consumers when we shop. Also keep in mind that many black-owned brands operate at the small business level, at least most of which we are aware of. Just think of logistics like delayed shipping or a slower customer service response time compared to more established brands. I wish many people were aware of this and sensitive to it. When the outside world is feeling out of control, what brings you back to yourself and your mission? I am constantly trying to focus on the things that I can change. I can change my mind. I can control how I react to certain situations. Even now more than ever, I can control how much of the outside world I am exposed to. Sometimes this means unplugging the power cord for a day or two, or even a couple of hours. I'm incredibly proud of that. I've managed to build a really healthy relationship with social media. Social media can trigger a lot of negative things at times, and that's one of the things I can control. I can control how much of it I'm exposed, how often I'm exposed, and how much of it actually affects my mental health. "If I have to pick a single candle to recommend, I'll say Cuffing Season because it was one of the candles we brought to market with. I think it's probably the most popular and neutral from our core collection. She is constantly. " Incredible feedback. It's not too feminine or too masculine for a fragrance. It's so popular with everyone. I think people will definitely feel good when they start there. " “I also think everyone needs silk pillowcases. They're great for your skin and hair, especially if you have curly hair. When I do my nighttime skincare, I love knowing that not everything I've put on my face isn't True, I love silk because it keeps the integrity of the products I use at night intact. " Describe yourself in three words. Relaxed, self-starter, caring. What inspires you to create in the beauty field? Other founders and brands, my own research on skin care (specifically acne) and the millions of ways we can find innovative and meaningful solutions for our customers. What are some of the emotions that popped up for you when the plight of Black Americans rose to the forefront of collective consciousness over the past year, and how have those emotions helped or challenged you personally and / or professionally? I felt a lot. Anger over this problem lingers years after it was made public. Hopelessness for the same reasons. But then I hope for the movement of the conversation and the sheer number of people who get involved. For work in particular, I'm cautious about non-blacks using our lives, work, and emotions as check boxes for anything they need to do to pat their back. That last emotion especially helped me choose which partnership to go with as I navigated an area where everyone wants to work with a black-owned brand. Now, how can allies be helpful when it comes to black-owned beauty companies? What actions would you like to see beyond performative social media posts? In the beauty room or any other room, really, including blacks. Not just for marketing, not just for photo shoots or color areas, but also for important decisions. If you really care about the cause and the blacks, create meaningful opportunities for them in the backend. What advice do you have for black people who, like you, want to make a difference in the beauty industry? Are there any resources you should recommend? Connect with other black founders and creators – this is one of the best steps I've taken to find a community where I feel so fully understood. In addition, the New Voices Foundation is a prime resource for Black Women owned businesses. "Earth Cleanser is definitely numero uno. Nothing like it on the market, and the antibacterial ingredients work wonders on my breakouts. I notice the biggest difference when I don't have this!" "Super Smoothie Cleanser is a close runner-up. I really don't see anyone doing our cleansers so there aren't any dupes out there and it's such an important part of a skin care routine." Describe yourself in three words. Transparent, funny, daring. What does beauty mean to you? I think it is our "imperfections" that make you stand out from the crowd. Embrace this imperfection, honey! Now, how can allies be helpful when it comes to black-owned beauty companies? What actions would you like to see beyond performative social media posts? Our allies can contribute to our success stories. We already know our story. The people who are not black or people of color who really respect our journey are now their responsibility. It is their responsibility to educate and communicate with their loved ones, co-workers, neighbors, etc. Help them see what the conflict is and why it is important. We are human and equal, nothing less. What advice do you have for black people who, like you, want to make a difference in the beauty industry? Are there any resources you should recommend? I'll say it starts with itself. When I started going bald, I listened to the masses about what was considered beautiful or beautiful. One day I realized that this was inevitable. After accepting the change, I started a new journey and now we have Mantl. We are all different and we have our struggles so take advantage of that and make it a success. You may think you are alone, but trust you are not. Let that be a driving force in helping you and others. When the outside world is feeling out of control, what brings you back to yourself and your mission? That would be trust! It is a great feeling when you know that you have put your heart, energy and knowledge into something. Whenever this is the journey behind everything you do, whether it's successful or not, it's still a bloody win! "The cleanser is the first for me. It lathers so nicely and gently cleanses your skin without coating." "Age Defense Moisturizer is the second. It makes my face and scalp look really cute and helps fight those crazy fine lines we all want to avoid." Describe yourself in three words. Sensitive, sociable, adventurous. What does beauty mean to you? The idea of beauty has changed for me lately. If you'd asked about a year ago, I would have answered that beauty looks great to yourself and to others. However, beauty means so much more today. It's about feeling beautiful and seeing the beauty in others. When you feel beautiful, you want to take care of yourself and your skin. When you see beauty in others, you want to take care of them. In my case, from my point of view, taking care of others means offering quality products that are not only good for them but also good for the planet. What is an achievement or goal that you have achieved in the past year, large or small, that you are most proud of? I'm proud to get rid of plastic and switch to sustainable packaging! What are some of the emotions that popped up for you when the plight of Black Americans rose to the forefront of collective consciousness over the past year, and how have these emotions helped or challenged you personally and / or professionally? My heart has been warmed by recent black-owned beauty company activity. We were concerned about COVID-19 for the first few months, and the support during those impactful days made me both hopeful and concerned. I was concerned that this was a "trend" and we all know trends are changing. Black business shouldn't be trendy; These are real lives that have had a great impact on others. The support was enormous and I hope it will continue. What advice do you have for black people who, like you, want to make a difference in the beauty industry? Are there any resources you should recommend? To my black sisters and brothers, create the change you want to see in this world. Put fear aside and go for your dreams. There are so many free workshops out there that can help. Shopify has many as well as numerous other organizations. Seek support and benefit from others who have come this way before you. "Our hero product, the Mineral Tinted Face Sunscreen SPF 30, is clean, reef-safe and protects me with no white residue. I'm the number one fan!" "Our Emollient Rich Hand Cream SPF 15 because our hands are old long before our faces and are often neglected. I believe that we should all be well looked after." Describe yourself in three words. Sensitive, thoughtful, dreamer. What does beauty mean to you? For me, beauty means acceptance and empowerment. Learning to accept yourself and love the person you see in the mirror can be a long journey that will last a lifetime. As I started to accept the little mistakes that I knew I couldn't change, I felt like I had lost so many misconceptions about beauty and myself as an individual. I felt more empowered from the inside out, and I think that showed outwardly in both my confidence and my lifestyle. Also part of it is learning to accept others and the different standards of beauty that can coexist in our world. I tried this from the beginning through KNC Beauty because I always wanted my brand to include everyone, regardless of your expression of beauty. It makes me feel empowered to know that I'm building a community of like-minded people who share the same values as myself. What is an achievement or goal that you have achieved in the past year, large or small, that you are most proud of? I am very proud of the KNC School of Beauty because it was so successful and we were able to virtually organize the entire production under the restrictions of the quarantine. There were lots of moving parts, but the finished product sparked some of the most significant conversations I've had in the past year. I am very grateful to all of the women who joined this initiative, and I was so proud to have my long-time partner Revlon support us as a corporate sponsor and grant a select finalist a grant of $ 10,000 from every session we hold. It felt like everything really came together in the best possible way, and I couldn't have done it without my team at Sun-ny Side Up, who helped organize and implement everything to get the buzz we wanted could . I'm so proud of the community that we've built among our viewers over the past three sessions, and I'm really looking forward to developing it further over the course of the year. What are some of the emotions that popped up for you when the plight of Black Americans rose to the forefront of collective consciousness over the past year, and how have those emotions helped or challenged you personally and / or professionally? I have been very frustrated and upset over the past year with the racism and rhetoric that is so evident on our faces that people continue to perform across the country. It makes me sick and it makes me sad because as a parent I never wanted my children to grow up in a society where these systems continue to fail us. We are a black family and this will have a direct impact on the future of my children in this world. I felt at odds as a mom because I wasn't sure how to approach these issues with my boys. That was difficult because it's not fair that we have to teach these things to our children so young. I want them to grow up knowing that they can be who they want without fear or judgment from others. Professionally, I really wanted to take a stance on my company to show that we can lead this conversation and promote change as a black and female brand. Now, how can allies be helpful when it comes to black-owned beauty companies? What actions would you like to see beyond performative social media posts? I think we as consumers need to commit to continuing and diversifying our shopping habits. Whether they are local businesses, women-owned businesses, or POC businesses, we need to find ways to support businesses that don't necessarily have the same level of visibility as a business. I have had great success finding these smaller businesses on social media that I could use to connect and actually support them with my dollar. To be an ally, you need to show your financial support and purchase the product or service provided. It takes a lot to build a business, and when it comes to financial investing, it can start most of the time. Even retailers who run black-owned brands and have shown support through initiatives like the Fifteen Percent Pledge need to do more to build these labels and bring them to the forefront of our shopping experience. Whether it's a brand partnership that is at the fore or something like our KNC School of Beauty where people have the opportunity to start their own business, the conversation needs to focus more on the growth and success of BIPOC – Focus on leading companies. “My lip mask was the first product I developed and I got the idea while I was on a trip to Tokyo. I saw the lip mask trend growing in popularity there and wanted to create a natural version of this I love this product in the US because it was my first idea that I focused my brand on, I still use it as part of my routine to this day and I am so happy that so many people are enjoying it so much still the perfect selfie moment and I'll never get over it. " "Supa Scrub was so much fun, especially with the lip washer I designed to complement it. I wanted to create a product that could be paired with Supa Balm ($ 22) that had a fun application element to the combo from scrub and brush also really works by completely removing the dead skin from your lips and filling them with nutrients and moisture. I always travel with balm and scrub as they can be used on the go and will fit in any makeup bag. " Describe yourself in three words. Thoughtful, resilient, independent. What inspires you to create in the beauty field? My greatest source of inspiration is my community. If you value humanity and community, inspiration is abundant. I don't have a big team, but I keep thinking about ways to improve the life of my community and that never makes me feel uninspired. What is an achievement or goal that you have achieved in the past year, large or small, that you are most proud of? I can't think of any greater accomplishment than having a positive impact on other people's lives. Last year I was very proud to receive messages from aspiring entrepreneurs who are inspired by my journey and want to create and build a better future for themselves. What are some of the emotions that popped up for you when the plight of Black Americans rose to the forefront of collective consciousness over the past year, and how have those emotions helped or challenged you personally and / or professionally? I feel emotionally drained from all of this. It was deeply traumatic because when I launched the brand in January 2019, I got so rejected. I couldn't get a retailer or the press to present Klur. Maybe because my ideas weren't trending back then, but nobody was interested in talking about sustainability and inclusion, much less from a black-owned luxury brand. It is very difficult to put into words and I still process the whole situation. When I go from one extreme to the other, I wonder if these actions are really real or corporate goals just to appear inclusive. Wie können Verbündete jetzt hilfreich sein, wenn es um Schönheitsunternehmen in Schwarzbesitz geht? Welche Aktionen möchten Sie über performative Social-Media-Beiträge hinaus sehen? Es gibt viele erstaunliche Schönheitsunternehmen in Schwarzbesitz, die eine Plattform benötigen. Verbündete können proaktiv sein, indem sie diese Personen auskundschaften, Beziehungen aufbauen, ins Rampenlicht rücken und sie das ganze Jahr über feiern, ohne einen Krümel nehmen zu müssen. Ich würde gerne mehr kulturelle Wertschätzung im Schönheitsraum 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. Ich würde gerne sehen, dass Menschen die kulturellen Beiträge von Farbigen in Schönheit, Vergangenheit und Gegenwart anerkennen und würdigen. "Ich habe dieses Produkt entwickelt, um zu demonstrieren, dass die Gesundheit der Haut durch intelligente Formulierung und minimale Wartung erreicht werden kann." "EOC wurde geschaffen, um Selbstpflege, Hautpflege und Aromatherapie zu vereinen, um Freude an unserer Haut zu finden und die Geruchssinne zu nähren." Beschreibe dich in drei Worten. Kreativ, ehrgeizig, optimistisch. Was bedeutet Schönheit für dich? Schönheit ist für jeden etwas anderes, aber ich glaube, dass Schönheit Vertrauen ist. Schönheit lernt, sich selbst zu lieben und zu akzeptieren, während Sie Ihre Unterschiede, Ihre Einzigartigkeit und das, was Sie zu Ihnen macht, annehmen! Ich sehe Schönheit als einen fortwährenden persönlichen Prozess. Jeder Mensch ist auf seinem eigenen Weg und seiner eigenen Zeitachse, um seine eigene Schönheit zu entdecken. Was ist eine Leistung oder ein Ziel, das Sie im letzten Jahr erreicht haben, ob groß oder klein, auf das Sie am meisten stolz sind? Anfang dieses Jahres haben wir Briogeo in Ulta Beauty-Läden in den USA eingeführt. Mit einer Übernahmepartnerschaft mit Ulta Salon haben wir auch unser erstes Debüt in Salons gegeben. Es war eine wirklich aufregende Gelegenheit, noch mehr Menschen saubere Haarpflege zu bieten! Was sind einige der Emotionen, die für Sie aufgetaucht sind, als die Notlage der schwarzen Amerikaner im letzten Jahr an die Spitze des kollektiven Bewusstseins gerückt ist, und wie haben diese Emotionen Ihnen persönlich und / oder beruflich geholfen oder herausgefordert? Die schrecklichen Ereignisse, die letztes Jahr die Proteste gegen Black Lives Matter auslösten, haben viele von uns frustriert und herausgefordert, auch mich. Persönlich und beruflich war ich extrem erschöpft und emotional ausgelaugt. Als eifriger Gründer und CEO war ich nicht in der Lage, mich auf die Arbeit zu konzentrieren und produktiv zu sein. Wie viele andere war mein Eimer fast leer und ich musste Mitgefühl zeigen, um mir Zeit zum Trauern und Nachdenken zu geben. Wenn Sie sich den Raum geben, Ihren Eimer mit geistiger Energie zu heilen und wieder aufzufüllen, können Sie besser das tun, was getan werden muss – für Rassengerechtigkeit zu kämpfen, die schwarze Gemeinschaft zu unterstützen und zu erheben und ihre Geschichten zu erweitern. Welchen Rat haben Sie für schwarze Menschen, die wie Sie Veränderungen in der Schönheitsindustrie bewirken wollen? Gibt es Ressourcen, die Sie empfehlen sollten? Seien Sie proaktiv und aufgeschlossen bei der Suche nach Mentoring von schwarzen und nicht schwarzen Verbündeten. Der Aufbau eines vielfältigen Netzwerks ist entscheidend, um mehr Türen, Ressourcen und Möglichkeiten zu öffnen, während Sie Ihre Geschäftsstrategien stärken. Am Ende des Tages kommt niemand alleine zum Erfolg – Sie gehen noch weiter, wenn Sie ein starkes internes Team und ein starkes externes Support-System haben. Informieren Sie sich auch über die Netzwerkorganisationen in Ihrer Branche. In der Schönheit gibt es zum Beispiel Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW), die für mich von größter Bedeutung war, um Menschen zu treffen und Möglichkeiten auf diesem Weg zu eröffnen. "Unsere viermal mit dem Allure Best of Beauty Award ausgezeichnete Maske ist mein heiliger Gral und eines der ersten Produkte, die ich formuliert habe! Ich benutze sie einmal pro Woche für 10 Minuten, wenn sich meine Strähnen trocken und beschädigt anfühlen und eine Dosis Protein benötigen . " "Unser leichtes Pflegespray ist mit einer einzigartigen Mischung aus pflegenden Hagebutten-, Argan- und Kokosnussölen aufgeladen. Sie wirken zusammen, um Frizz effektiv zu reduzieren, Feuchtigkeit zu speichern und den Glanz zu verbessern. Ich liebe auch ein Produkt mit einem Doppelsieg – dies man arbeitet doppelt als Entwirrer! " Beschreibe dich in drei Worten: Polymath, energiegeladen, doof. Was inspiriert dich, im Beauty-Bereich zu kreieren? Als ich aufwuchs, hatte ich eine Menge Hauterkrankungen wie Akne, Hyperpigmentierung, Pseudofolliculitis barbae und Furunkel und fand nie eine Marke, die mit mir in Resonanz stand. Ich war immer verlegen wegen meiner Hauterkrankungen. I noticed a lot of the products I was using were not properly tested to care for people who looked like me. A lot of brands were also promoting this idea of unattainable "perfect” skin. I knew firsthand how having these skin conditions affected my mental health. That’s why at Topicals we take the focus off of having “perfect” skin and put the focus on making the treatment experience more enjoyable or, as we like to say, "Funner Flare-Ups." Topicals is transforming the way people feel about skin by making the treatment experience more like self-care than a burdensome ritual. What is an accomplishment or goal you’ve achieved over the last year, big or small, that makes you feel most proud? I’m the youngest Black woman to raise over $2 million in venture capital funding ($2.6 million to be exact). On the day of launch and in partnership with the Nordstrom pop-in, Topicals sold out within 48 hours online and in stores. What are some of the emotions that have come up for you as the plight of Black Americans has moved to the forefront of the collective consciousness over the last year, and how ha ve these emotions helped or challenged you personally and/or professionally? I get excited seeing so many Black people win! I’ve watched behind the scenes as many of them have worked diligently with few resources to create magic. Adversely, it’s exhausting knowing that we have been left behind for so long and that there is quite a way to go for true equity. Nonetheless, I’m hopeful that a new future is here! What advice do you have for Black humans who want to effect change in the beauty industry as you have? Are there any resources you’d recommend seeking out? Black people have been made to believe that our unique experiences hold us back, but I believe these experiences have given us unique insight to change our communities. I do believe that allies should use their power to further support us. In terms of business, I’ve learned so much from Web Smith and his company, 2PM. It’s a newsletter that teaches you everything you need to know about building a long-lasting business. "This silky serum targets multiple skin-discoloration mechanisms to help fade present and future dark spots of all kinds." "Our super-rich, creamy AF nighttime mask replenishes vital moisture and strengthens the skin barrier for skin so soft you won't believe it’s like butter. Since everything we do is community led, we make sure to listen to our community's feedback. We began beta testing back in August of 2019 and found that eczema and hyperpigmentation were not being properly addressed by the beauty industry. Also, having to postpone our launch twice really allowed us to reconnect with our community to ensure we are targeting their concerns. Even if you don’t have a skin condition like eczema or hyperpigmentation, Like Butter can improve your skin’s moisture barrier, and Faded can brighten your skin tone. All of our ingredients have been carefully selected to be safe and effective for all skin tones, especially darker skin." Describe yourself in three words. Passionate, loyal, driven. What does beauty mean to you? Beauty to me means fearlessness—fearlessness that comes from a place of putting in the work, investing in yourself, and knowing that you’re doing the best you can to take care of your mind, body, and spirit. What are some of the emotions that have come up for you as the plight of Black Americans has moved to the forefront of the collective consciousness over the last year, and how have these emotions helped or challenged you personally and/or professionally? When the movement first started, I was a roller coaster of emotions. We benefited by getting a lot of media attention for being one of the best Black-owned beauty businesses. This resulted in an increase in sales as well as helped fast-track our expansion into more retailers. I was certainly happy about that growth. But at the same time, I was angered and saddened that this acknowledgment came as a result of so many terrible injustices. These emotions have helped me focus on doing my part to give back to other Black-owned businesses by serving as a mentor by sharing advice and providing access to vendor partners and collaborators. . How can allies be helpful now, as it pertains to Black-owned beauty businesses? What actions would you like to see beyond performative social media posts? Diversity and inclusion need to be expanded to include equity. Diversity and inclusion are not enough. There needs to be equity. Equity means allocating the resources and opportunities proportionally. This is all about being fair and allowing everyone to start from the same position. When the outside world feels out of control, what brings you back to yourself and your mission? All roads lead back to the consumer for me. It's the consumer feedback that motivates me to stay focused on the BeautyStat mission: Our mission is to scour the planet for new ingredients and innovative technologies to help your skin look and feel its best. We follow science and safety, striving for transparency with powerful clinical testing results, so you can enjoy our products with complete confidence. We will continue to develop fresh, clinically proven skincare products that consumers want, love, and can’t live without. "This is our superstar vitamin C serum. We use one of the highest levels of pure vitamin C available in an over-the-counter cosmetic product (20% pure L-ascorbic acid), and we have three patents on the ability to encapsulate pure vitamin C so that it does not degrade or oxidize. (Many competitors turn orange or brown due to oxidation.) It's clinically tested and dermatologist approved to reduce the look of lines and wrinkles, firm and tighten skin, even out skin tone, and diminish the look of pores." "This was formulated to help repair skin’s barrier with a proprietary combination of hydrating ingredients: ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and a probiotic ancient-mushroom extract that works synergistically to drench the skin in moisture that lasts all day in a super-lightweight gel-cream formula that is perfect for combo/oily/acne-prone skin." Describe yourself in three words. Creative, storyteller, advocate. What inspires you to create in the beauty space? My goal is to inspire and support women working toward living their best lives. To that end, I know that looking and feeling good are important in a woman's life, and I want to be a support toward those goals. What is an accomplishment or goal you’ve achieved over the last year, big or small, that makes you feel most proud? Selling the film, Monster, that I produced to Netflix. What are some of the emotions that have come up for you as the plight of Black Americans has moved to the forefront of the collective consciousness over the last year, and how have these emotions helped or challenged you personally and/or professionally? I love seeing the diversity of faces and ages standing up for humanity. I am hopeful that as a people we will keep focused on humanity, look deeper and recognize the past and present sacrifices and contributions of the indigenous and African Americans in the U.S., and truly work to balance the inequities that, if left unchecked, will swallow us all eventually…. What advice do you have for Black humans who want to effect change in the beauty industry as you have? Are there any resources you’d recommend seeking out? Be bold, serve your market, and have the highest standards. "I love this vitamin daily for strong hair and nails. Movita Beauty and all Movita products were created to serve as tools in a woman’s arsenal as she is working toward trying to access her healthiest life. Movita products are important because they are good quality, certified organic, and can be taken on an empty stomach." Up next, These 5 Black Designers Are Painting the Future of Fashion