BeautyMarked & Co is a Philadelphia based business that offers quality vegan and cruelty free cosmetics and accessories. Founder, Nana Frimpong originally started doing makeup professionally in 2013 while she was in pharmacy school. Even while she worked as a full time pharmacist, she continued to do makeup on the side.
She recently developed a neuromuscular disease that comes with debilitating symptoms that render her unable to work as a pharmacist nor as a make up artist.
Despite this life changing event, Nana was compelled to make the most of her situation. In March of 2019, she started an e-commerce business selling her own brand of cosmetics and beauty accessories. “In a way, my sickness ended up being a blessing in disguise because it gave birth to what is now BeautyMarked & Co.” she says.
Intrigued, we decided to learn more about Nana and her entrepreneurial journey and goals.
How did you decide what products to offer?
As a makeup lover, I definitely wanted to start out with cosmetic products that would cater to everyone, from the busy working mom who doesn’t have time for a full face of makeup to the makeup artist trying to build a cost effective kit. So I started with lipsticks/glosses and mascara – two makeup essentials most women don’t go without.
Not everyone has the time or skill to wear false lashes so I really wanted to bring a mascara to the market that brings the most out of your natural lashes but doesn’t break the bank.
I also was fed up with the notion that black women could not wear certain (bright) lip colors because of their skin tone.
So, I shied away from the traditional brown nudes and came out with bright, dark, and bold colored lipsticks that anyone can wear regardless of their skin tone.
All of my lipsticks can be worn alone or mixed to create unique shades that suit each individual and their preferences. In addition, for those that may not be interested in makeup, I wanted to offer additional beauty products that celebrate my Ghanaian culture. So, I decided to sell Ntoma (also known as Ankara) satin lined bonnets and headwraps.
Every aspect of the brand, from the logo to the product names are completely African inspired. Lipsticks are named after African cities, lip glosses are named after African desert regions, while the bonnets/headwraps are named after the Ghanaian women in my family and common female names of my Ashanti tribe.
What do you like most about owning a business? What do you like least?
The most rewarding aspect of owning a business is definitely working for myself. It’s a lot of hard work, sleepless nights, trial and error but it’s definitely worth it knowing I’m working towards building my own brand. The downside is the time it takes away from my personal life.
For now, I handle all aspects of my business including product development, customer service, social media marketing, etc. and that can be very time consuming.
Where do you see your business in 5 years?
I would eventually like to focus solely on cosmetics. I hope to develop a full line of cosmetic products and to make BeautyMarked & Co. a world renowned brand.
What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?
My first piece of advice to those thinking about starting a business is to start now, with what you have, no matter how small it may be.
There’s never a “right” time to start and you’ll never be prepared enough until you actually take a leap of faith and start. Entrepreneurship is a learning curve; mistakes, failure, trial and error are apart of the process and crucial to learning and ultimately becoming successful.
I would also advise aspiring entrepreneurs to get rid of any negativity, both from yourself and those around you. Fear and doubt are the enemies of success. Entrepreneurship is all about taking risks; the greater the risk the greater the reward.
Sponsored by BeautyMarked & Co.