Browse Tag

beauty products

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Black Owned Sunscreen Brand Receives $1 Million Investment

Black Girl Sunscreen (BGS) is a Black owned sunscreen brand based in Van Nuys, CA. The company produces a fragrance-free, melanin reinforcing SPF 30 sunscreen moisturizer using natural ingredients. This month, BGS secured a $1 million dollar investment from a private female funding source.

black owned sunscreen
Shontay Lundy, owner of Black Girl Sunscreen

Despite Black owned businesses typically having the most challenging time raising capital, BGS achieved this milestone with one single anchor product.

Currently, BGS is the only indie Black owned sunscreen brand carried full time in Target’s sun care section. This came after a successful sales and marketing campaign, which focused on the importance of all complexions needing sunscreen. Now over 200 Target stores across the country sell the BGS SPF 30 and BGS Kids SPF 50.

black owned sunscreen

After months of vetting potential partners, owner Shontay partnered with an investor who embodies many of her traits, namely integrity, and business savvy. Black Girl Sunscreen is valued at $5 million, after recently receiving their newest investment.

In the throes of COVID-19, the five-person BGS staff implemented an “all hands-on deck” mentality to ensure the company thrived. Lundy, refused to let the pandemic slow down her progress, stating that, “I told the team we need to change the narrative and be very nimble to survive this.”

The team immediately enhanced their social media strategy, started working longer hours, and increased their marketing efforts. Since the onset of COVD-19, the brand has seen a tremendous uptick in e-commerce orders and will be launching a new product later this year.

Traditionally, businesses with women of color CEOs at the helm, receive less than 1 percent of all VC funding every year. Black women startups and entrepreneurs are leading the pack when it comes to being marginalized, only receiving 0.2% of all funding.

Despite the large funding gap, women of color, especially black women aren’t slowing up anytime with funding new businesses and diving into entrepreneurship, as minority women account for 89% of new businesses opened every day. We sat down with Lundy to speak about her new private investment in Black Girl Sunscreen and where she sees Black Girl Sunscreen going next.

Source: Dominique Fluker for FORBES

 


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How This Black Owned Beauty Supply Store Is Readjusting To Changing Times

Due to government-imposed mandates, many Black owned beauty supply stores have seen foot traffic decline or completely stop.

However, some have found ways to meet the demand for their products. One of those businesses is Glendale, CA based Blessed Beauty Supply.

black owned beauty supply
Lexus Allen, owner of Blessed Beauty Supply

What inspired you to start a beauty supply store?

I started transitioning to natural in 2015 and I became a bit of a product junkie. I started loving my natural hair/curls, keeping it healthy, and trying new products. I loved shopping for products but didn’t really know anyone else who enjoyed it as much as me.

So, I decided to open my own store where I could create a community/environment to meet other people who loved it as much as I do, and to help other women and men on their hair journeys.
Black Owned Beauty Supply Store

How has the Coronavirus outbreak affected your business?

Initially, the coronavirus slowed business down a bit but things have begun to pick up again. I’ve been getting new customers from all over the world, which is great. Beauty supplies, especially Black-owned products online are in higher demand now more than ever before.

What new strategies have you implemented or do you plan to implement in your business?

Luckily, I already had an online store setup. Having that in place made adjusting to the pandemic much easier. I’ve switched to solely selling online, and I’ve also implemented curbside pickup for those that live locally and don’t want to wait for shipping.

Although our shipping is pretty quick (usually 1-3 days). I’m still strategizing on any other ways I can make this time easier for my customers because I want them to always have a good experience when shopping with Blessed.

If you had one ask of your community right now, what would it be?

Support and patience. During this time and any, I ask that the community unconditionally support Black-owned businesses like they do other business or larger corporations such as Wal-Mart, Target, Sally’s, etc.

Black owned beauty supply stores need patience because we are working overtime to make sure all your beauty needs are being met right now. A lot of us are selling out of items and during these times it’s harder to restock on some things.

If I don’t have something at my store and can’t get it in a timely manner, I will gladly refer you to another Black-owned establishment that may have it. It’s all about support and patience right now, especially for me because I’m a fairly new business and learning as I go.

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Black Owned Satin Bonnet Brands That Aren’t Charging $98

According to NiteCap Founder Sarah Marantz, she came up with the idea for a satin bonnet “after much consideration, conceptualization, brainstorming and borderline obsessive research.”

black owned satin bonnet brands
NiteCap Founder Sarah Marantz

Fortunately, for Black women everywhere, someone else had the bright idea of creating appropriate sleepwear to keep their hairdos intact. Black Owned satin bonnet brands have existed for ages. Here are a few of our faves for Black girls who considered hair bonnets when sleeping on their hands wasn’t enough…

Black Owned Satin Bonnet Brands

Regal Ivy

Beautiful Curly Me

Chiwrapz

ID Noble

Loccrush

Black Owned Satin Bonnet

Purrty Dimples

Peace Crown’d

Angel Bonnets

Beauty Marked & Co

Natural Hair Shop

Eboni Curls

Glow by Daye

FlorBella Boutique

Goodnight Hair Bonnets

Grace Eleyae

Black Owned Satin Bonnet

Natural Born Hats

Isoken Enofe

Black Owned Satin Bonnet

Loza Tam

Creations By Shirelle

Headdress by Sheri

Special thanks to Kami (@frobunni) and the Professional Back Girl (@professionalblackgirl) followers for helping us compile this list! It takes a village!

-Tony O. Lawson 

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Black Owned Haircare Brands You Should Know

The global haircare market was valued at $95.45 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach $116 billion by 2024. The global skincare products market size is projected to reach $183.03 billion by 2025.

These industries are fueled primarily by Black consumers. Let’s funnel more of that money into Black-owned brands.

Black Owned Haircare Brands

Beard Organics

black owned haircare

Neter Gold

Wolf’s Mane Beard Care

Safiya Green

103 Collection

Blumseed

curLUXE Naturals 

S Dot Beauty

Bel Nouvo Beauty

Mello Hair

Cara B Naturally

Dr. O’s Butters

Pur Bella Naturals

Soultanicals 

Obia Naturals

Black Owned Hair

Curls Dynasty

Shear & Shine

Curly by Nature

Camille Rose Naturals

Hug My Hair

I Love Afro

The Naturally Made For You

Body Butter Lady

TLC Naturals

Big Hair Beauty

Black Owned Hair

Glam Girl Essential Skincare

Nandi’s Naturals

Amina Aromas

BelleButters

Darcy’s Botanicals

Itiba Beauty

Natural Passion

Morning Dew Hair

Alaffia 

Alikay Naturals

Argan Deluxe

Wonder Curl

Mielle Organics

Cream and Coco

Quick Dry Locking Foam

Bask and Bloom Esssentials

Curls

Design Essentials

Karen’s Body Beautiful

Koils By Nature

My Honeychild

Huetiful

Qhemet Biologics

WonderCurl 

Naturalicious

NaturAll Club

Cassandre Beccai

Oyin Handmade

-Tony O. Lawson

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Meet the Owner of the Largest Beauty Supply store in Stockbridge, GA

Cova Beauty is a black owned beauty supply store that specializes in cosmetics, organic care products, hair extensions and accessories.

They are also the largest beauty retailer in Stockbridge, GA. We caught up with the owner, Dianna Foster to find out more about her and her business.

black owned beauty supply
Cova Beauty owner, Dianna Foster

What inspired you to start your business?

I’ve always loved everything about beauty, hair & fashion. I was the girl known for always switching my hairstyles up and trying new things. This love blossomed into a passion. As I was in a season of inner exploration, looking to determine my next professional career move, I was inspired by the lack of options in the beauty supply industry.

black owned beauty supply

There were certain things I needed and couldn’t find from products to experience. I stepped out on faith to create a space that offered everything I would want and need. I’m so grateful that our customers are enjoying it.

What has been the most challenging and the most gratifying thing about owning a business?

In the beginning, one of my challenges was delegating. My business is my baby, I love every part of it and enjoy doing the work. However, I had to quickly become comfortable with delegating so I can focus on our growth. The cool thing about that is it encourages growth, empowers and gives confidence to my staff. It’s been amazing.

black owned beauty supply

The most gratifying part of this journey will always be the customers and the relationships we’ve developed with them. The joy I feel when our regulars visit us is indescribable. The gratitude I’m overcome with is immeasurable when a woman tells me she drove over an hour to visit Cova.

Knowing we’re a part of their lives now is so humbling. It makes me so happy. Nothing else can compare to that feeling.

What skill have you developed over time that has had the biggest impact on your business?

Self-discipline. Discipline affects every aspect of this business. You must have the discipline and work ethic to complete tasks, be resourceful and execute day in and day out.

black owned beauty supply

When I’m not feeling my best, discipline kicks in. Without it, none of this would be possible. You cannot maintain any level of success without discipline.

How easy or difficult was it to source Black owned brands to sell in your store?

Fortunately, we’ve had really positive experiences with Black owned brands and haven’t had much difficulty supporting them here in our store. We have so many great relationships and I’m so grateful for that!

What advice do you have for others who want to start a beauty supply store.

Do your research. Develop self-discipline. Don’t move too fast. Don’t rush the process. Know your worth and make sure your work ethic matches it. Make sure you love it because it’s not a walk in the park.

black owned beauty supply

There will be challenges, man have I had them, but my love for this keeps me going through it all. I really love what I do and I know its that love that had me here 7 days a week, 12-16 hours a day. It refocused me when I needed course correction.

Where do you see your business in 5 years?

I definitely see us expanding and scaling Cova. We’re actually scouting locations for store #2! I’m also planning to rollout an e-commerce extension as well. We get so much support from people across the country that want to shop with us so it’s coming! Cova Beauty will be a household name!


Contact:

Website: Cova Beauty

Address: 5248 N Henry Blvd Suite 700, Stockbridge, GA 30281

Phone: (678) 829-3352

Tony O. Lawson


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Black Owned Beauty Startup Raises $23 Million

Diishan Imira looked at the $6 billion U.S. hair extension and wig market in the U.S. and felt something was amiss. The vast majority of hair extensions used in salons – about 95%, he says — are purchased by customers online or at retail stores, who then bring those products to stylists who use them to service the customer. Salons themselves are not the point of sale, often because of the high cost of human hair.

Black Owned  Beauty Startup
Diishan Imira
Founder and CEO of Mayvenn

Simplifying that dynamic offered an opportunity that Imira, 37, seized with the launch of Mayvenn, an Oakland-based provider of real human hair from India he founded in 2012 with COO Taylor Wang. In the past four years, the company has racked up a cumulative $80 million in sales of hair extensions by partnering with hair stylists whose businesses relies on styling with such products, and who direct their customers to purchase hair from the company—essentially recruiting stylists as salespeople by building them websites, offering online support and a 15% cut of each sale, as well as sales incentives like store credit. About 70% of revenue, Imira says, comes through Mayvenn’s network of about 40,000 stylists, the rest from direct-to-consumer.

Imira and Wang’s strategy has attracted some serious growth money. This week the company announced a $23 million investment, which will go towards marketing to customers and stylists, and developing new package deals that combine hair sales with styling services from stylists within the network, at lower cost.

The influx of capital, which constitutes Mayvenn’s series B, brings the company’s overall growth capital tally to $36 million, adding to about $3 million in seed funding raised in 2013 and a $10 million series A in 2015 led by Silicon Valley powerhouse Andreessen Horowitz.

Investors who have laid bets on the firm since its founding include Serena Williams, Cross Culture Ventures and Jimmy Iovine, co-founder of Interscope Records and Beats Electronics. Imira remains the largest shareholder.

This latest cash injection is led by Essence Ventures, a firm founded last year by Richelieu Dennis, owner of Essence Communications and co-founder of the Sundial Brands family of personal care products, which he sold last year to Unilever for an estimated $1.6 billion. With the investment, Dennis bought himself a seat on the Mayvenn board.

Richelieu Dennis’s Essence Ventures led Mayvenn’s $23 million series B

“They’re taking a lot of friction out of the process and creating data economics for the professionals and the stylists, and greater value for the consumers,” Dennis told Forbes. The concept caters to an underserved market in both cases which is scalable, he added, which is a winning strategy.

Recruiting stylists to the Mayvenn platform to act as de fact brand ambassadors and points of sale shows a level of innovation the hair extension business has not seen, says Dennis. “We think that this gives Mayvenn the opportunity to be a leader in this space both on the service side and on the community side.”

Partnering with stylists is the main difference between Mayvenn and other players in the space, which includes sources like The Hair Shop, My Hair Closet, Indique, and Remy New York. There are also many brick and mortar options for buyers.

“I never thought I was going to do anything in hair,” says Imira, who moved to China in 2003 after college to teach English. While there he would purchase goods like sneakers, art and furniture for import and sale back in the U.S. on Craigslist.

In 2010, to hone his business chops and make connections, he earned an MBA from Georgia State University in affiliation with the Sorbonne, studying in Brazil, Paris and China. “I had fantastic instincts around business and the fundamentals of how to buy things and sell them,” he explained. “What I lacked was a higher level corporate and finance-based understanding of how to build something large. Nor did I have any connections to people in business.”

The human hair extension market beckoned when Imira’s sister, a stylist in Los Angeles, lamented the cost and difficulty in acquiring hair. Imira became a hair hocker, sourcing supply and selling to salons from the trunk of his car. That’s when Taylor Wang, Mayvenn’s cofounder and COO, entered the picture. Wang had been a client of Imira’s back in 2004, buying sleek Asian tennis shoes from the burgeoning entrepreneur, which he would sell online. Wang founded an e-commerce business, Group Swoop, which he sold to BuyWithMe, Inc. in 2011.

As the two discussed the hair market the concept that became Mayvenn emerged, funded with about $50,000 Imira raised through friends and family. As it operates today, stylists sign up with Mayvenn for free, receive a company-created, cookie-cutter website which acted as a gateway to the company’s online hair extension store, offering various types and styles. Stylists could direct their clients to buy from the site and receive a 15% commission for each purchase, plus $100 of free hair for every $600 worth sold.

“I saw these stylists who, for the most part, are independent contractors—they rent their chairs in a salon; they’re entrepreneurs,” says Imira. “I’ve always been an entrepreneur and I saw a way to empower them and, in my view, bring more equity to the marketplace where you’ve got African American women who are purchasing billions of dollars of products but are not really sharing in the economics of it at all.”

Imira ran the concept through 500 Startups in 2013, primarily to make connections to other entrepreneurs and investors he felt could be of help. “I took VCs on field trips to hair salons and beauty supply stores,” he remembers. The effect, he says, was astonishment. “That was what closed the deal.”

That year the company raised $3 million in seed money to get the network up and running and secure hair products from Asia. A series A two years later brought in another $10 million and spurred growth.

Imira first met Dennis several years ago through an introduction by the Sundial chief’s cousin, Emmett Dennis, and Imira identified Dennis as someone from whom he could learn. Ironically, the hair care giant saw elements of Mayvenn’s strategy that could inform its own growth process. “They saw what I was doing in helping to build distribution through these hair salons and through stylists as a component to what they had been trying to do for a long time,” says Imira.

The companies stayed in touch and once Dennis sold Sundial Brands, flush with cash, investment talks began in earnest. “The biggest synergy is that we believe that in all of our businesses, the common theme is community,” says Dennis. “Especially serving under-served communities – that’s our sweet spot – and that’s exactly where Mayvenn fits.”

 

Source: FORBES

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19 Black Makeup Artists That Are Making their Mark

Thanks to social media, especially YouTube and Instagram, Black makeup artists are reaching potential clients, earning money and growing legions of fans who love their work.

If you’re one of the millions people that want to learn how do everything from everyday looks to halloween costume makeup, check out these Black Makeup Artists for some tips and inspiration.

Black Makeup Artists

(@lakenlasheir_mua)

black makeup artist

@arjiapmua

@erbodyluhgrannie

@_gabriellaelena

@katkarmalust

black makeup artists

@iamcharityleigh

@glamxkam

@toniolaoye1

 

@glamz_junkie

@nymatang

@beautywithtaffy

@southerncutbeauty

@jarrytheworst

@glambyninagilbert

@princessbellaaa

@issheblackorazn

@laomizbeauty_mua

@keishadesvignes 

@fiercefacesbybrianna

 

-Tony Oluwatoyin Lawson (IG @thebusyafrican)

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Number of Black Owned Beauty Stores on the rise

Temika Morris says customers are usually surprised when they see her, but it brings them a sense of pride to see a black woman owning a beauty-supply store that serves people like her.

The 37-year-old turned her passion for hair into a reality by creating, along with her daughter, Ms. Melanin Beauty Supply and Salon on the Southeast Side in June 2017.

Morris had owned other businesses, but realized she wanted to open one that caters to black women’s beauty needs after a deal fell through on a hair store that she explored with a business broker.

“It is an honor to be able to represent black women who put a lot of the money into this industry,” she said.

There are an estimated 350 to 500 black-owned beauty shops in Ohio, including a handful in the Columbus area, and that number is continuing to rise nationwide, according to the Black-Owned Beauty Supply Association.

Located at 3601 Gender Road, Ms. Melanin Beauty Supply and Salon sells natural hair products, weaves, wigs and accessories. It also sells hair-straightening products, such as relaxers and perms (chemical and non-chemical).

In the past year, the store also has added a fashion boutique and salon services, including hair, eyebrows, eyelashes and makeup services.

The store’s product lines reflect interest among black women in the natural hair movement, which has women embracing their naturally curly hair rather than trying to chemically alter it, Morris said. Many black women look for natural hair products that care for their curls without drying them out, she said.

As the natural-hair movement continues to grow, black consumers are less willing to shop in stores that don’t understand their specific needs, said Sam Ennon, president and CEO of the beauty-supply association.

Black women spent $54 million this past year in the black hair-care industry, according to a 2018 study by Nielsen. Yet black beauty shops are predominantly Korean-American owned, according to the association.

Of the more than 35,000 beauty-supply stores in the United States, about 2,500 are black-owned, compared with more than 7,000 that are Korean-American owned, the group says. Those figures, however, could be changing, Ennon said.

“There is now a rise of black-owned beauty shops because of the want to get back into the business,” he said.

Koreans began to dominate the beauty store industry because they started businesses early on, when hair products were high in demand, said Sam Hwang, vice president of the National Federation of Beauty Suppliers.

“They provided a service where the community could purchase a product they needed,” Hwang said.

Hwang says the number of Korean-owned beauty stores is shrinking because first-generation Korean owners are retiring and closing the stores.

“A lot of the kids don’t want to continue the businesses their parents did,” he said.

The biggest barrier that black beauty entrepreneurs face is that many small businesses do not have the capital to buy bulk inventory and offer products at the lower prices found at bigger beauty stores, according to the Black-Owned Beauty Supply Association.

“People always complain about black-owned businesses being expensive, but they have to understand businesses like us are funding all of this out of one pocket,” said Morris’ daughter, Kayla Morris.

It takes more than just your race to attract customers; it takes knowing and learning about the business, Temika Morris said.

“I don’t want people to support us just because we’re black-owned,” she said. “Support us because we care about our customers.”

Sherman Willis, vice president of Willis Beauty Supply Co. at 1499 E. Livingston Ave. on the South Side, said he’s been running his shop alongside his brother, James Willis, since 1967.

“It has been rewarding, and I can consider it successful that we still have our doors opened,” Willis said.

Rondala Jeffers lives in Canal Winchester and visits Morris’ shop frequently, happy to have a black-owned beauty-supply shop near her.

“The employees are very friendly and make you feel like family,” Jeffers said. “Sometimes, I’ll even come in to just talk to everyone.”

Another customer, Tiffany Jones, who lives in Berwick on Columbus’ East Side, heard about the shop from Facebook, and said she loves that the owner is black.

black owned beauty stores
Temika Morris (right) and a customer (Photo: Eric Albrecht/Dispatch)

“It’s important to have black-owned beauty stores because it’s hard for someone to know what to put in your hair if they don’t know much about it,” Jones said.

Although Temika Morris says her shop still has room to grow — she’d like to expand her inventory — she believes she’s making a difference in her community.

“I’m proud I created this and have been able to sustain it this long,” she said. “It makes me hopeful.”

 

By Tanisha Thomas via The Columbus Dispatch

 

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Black Owned Skincare Brands You Should Know

A few years ago, Dove released a skincare ad that quickly received backlash for being racist and offensive. They have since pulled the ad but not in time to stop calls for a boycott of their products. More recently, the CEO of LUSH has also stepped in it.

Since SHOPPE BLACK is all about highlighting Black businesses, we created a list of Black owned skincare brands that would love to have your business.

Black Owned Skincare Brands

ITADI

black owned skincare

Naked Bar Soap Co

black owned skincare

Pooka Pure & Simple

Temple Zen

black owned skincare

Jade & Fox Co.

black owned skincare

Cream & Coco Skincare

black owned skincare

Skinfolk

Kyra’s Shea Medleys

Butter Me Up Goods

Ayele & Co.

black owned skincare

Best Life Organics

Nyah Beauty

Very Pretty Skin

M by LW

Josephine’s Creme

Sixela Skincare

Sogona Sacko

ReLiv Organics

Shea Radiance

Urembo Asili

Angie Watts

black owned skincare

Emollient

black owned skincare

 

dermHa

black owned skincare

Jacq’s Organics

Chanvere Naturals

DreamStar Cosmetics

IYOBA

Brosily Bath and Body

Oyin Handmade

black owned skincare

 

 

Tony O. Lawson

If you would like to add your business to this list (or another) SUBMIT HERE.


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Black Beauty Supply Store Celebrates 30 Years

On Saturday, July 22nd, African Image Beauty Supply Salon celebrated their 30th anniversary grand re-opening sale.

Rebecca Opong opened her business over three decades ago wanting to bring hair care and more to the community.

beauty supply
Rebecca Opong

“It’s kind of like a giving back to the community,” stated Opong. “Meet new people, meet old people.”

There will be items on sale, music and refreshments for customers that come visit AIBSS on Saturday.

Originally from Accra, Ghana (West Africa) from a town called Suhum, Oppong sold African clothing when she was located on Crenshaw and Adams. She received her license in cosmetology from L.A. Trade Tech.

At the time in the late 80s, hair products were in high demand especially for people of color, so she decided to go into hair and beauty products. She also realized that there were not many if any African Americans in this business.

One of the few Black-owned beauty supply businesses in the area, AIBSS has stood more than the test of time. The business sells all kinds of products from shea butter to black African soap as well as offering hair braiding services, weaves, African fabrics and movies.

Her daughter, Narkie Opong, when she’s not busy in school or at work, helps out at AIBSS along with her siblings. The Opong family have all put their love and time into supporting their mother’s business. Narkie has watched her mother run AIBSS through the years.

“It’s kind of like a one-stop shop,” said Narkie.

Opong is proud to have been operating within the community for three decades and credits her success to the black community.

Narkie wanted to stress one very important message that has become even more prevelant in recent years.

“Support Black businesses,” said Narkie. “We don’t have too many African American beauty shops and for Black women—that’s like our holy grail.

“For a shop to have been around this long and keep evolving, within itself, I think it’s great not only for the community but for the culture.”

AIBSS prides itself on being a business that is more about being a community experience than about making money. Although patronizing and doing business with community is the goal, Opong values the community more. She wants to make sure that AIBSS is offering a genuine experience the community can’t receive anywhere else.

Not only is [AIBSS] a Black-owned shop, it’s an African business,” stated Opong.

Ultimately, Opong looks forward to expansion across different suites in California and by Gods grace regional and internationally.

African Image Beauty Supply Salon is located at 1878 S. Western Ave in Los Angeles, CA 90006. It’s located on the corner of Washington and Western, next to the 7-Eleven. For more information, please call (323) 733-6383

 

Source: LA Sentinel