Browse Tag


2 mins read

Celebrate National Lipstick Day with 6 Black-Owned Brands Redefining Beauty

National Lipstick Day is a time to celebrate the art of self-expression, confidence, and individuality through the power of lipstick.

While commemorating this special day, it’s essential to recognize and support Black-owned beauty brands that deserve your attention and love on this National Lipstick Day.

GloGirl Cosmetics

National Lipstick Day

GloGirl Cosmetics, founded by Tosca Hillman, is an inclusive beauty brand celebrating diversity. They offer high-quality makeup, including a diverse range of lipsticks, empowering everyone to embrace their unique beauty with confidence and radiance.

Pat McGrath

National Lipstick Day

Pat McGrath Labs, was founded in 2015 by makeup icon Pat McGrath. Curated to celebrate self-expression and redefine beauty boundaries, their captivating shades inspire creativity and empowerment, making every lip color a statement of artistry and individuality.

Juvia’s Place

national lipstick day

Juvia’s Place was founded by Chichi Eburu in 2016. The brand is known for its high-quality, affordable makeup products that are designed for all skin tones. Juvia’s Place is known for its African-inspired designs.

Mented Cosmetics

national lipstick day

Mented Cosmetics is a vegan and cruelty-free lipstick brand founded by Vanessa Nicole. Mented Cosmetics offers a wide range of shades, including many that are specifically designed for darker skin tones.

Bossy Cosmetics

national lipstick day

Bossy Cosmetics is a vegan and cruelty-free beauty brand founded by Aishetu Fatima Dozie in 2017. Bossy Cosmetics’ lipsticks come in a wide range of shades.

241 Cosmetics

241 Cosmetics is a beauty brand founded by twin sisters Feven and Helena Yohannes in 2018.  241 Cosmetics is committed to inclusivity and diversity, and its products are available in a wide range of shades.


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3 mins read

People of Color, a Black Owned Nail Polish Brand Focused on Diversity

People of Color is a Black owned nail polish brand founded by Jacqueline Carrington.

She was inspired to start her business after seeing her then 3-year-old daughter return from grandma’s house with her nails painted.

Black owned nail polish

“I didn’t have anything at home to change her nail polish color and keep up with her new interest. It rekindled my interest and reminded me of when I was a kid and skipped wearing nail polish because I played basketball and never saw nail polish shown on brown hands.”

Black owned nail polish

When Jacqueline went online to search for nail polish, she was shocked to see things hadn’t changed in terms of representation.

“I wanted to create a nail polish brand that picked out colors that complemented the various shades of brown skin as the first thought, not an afterthought. As I grew deeper into our values, it became our mission to celebrate and represent people of color from all over the world by telling our stories through nail polish collections. I named the brand People of Color to literally represent us from all over the world, and figuratively because we all live in a world of color!”

Black owned nail polish

What goes into color selection?

We use the majority of our nail polish collection to tell people of color stories from all over the world. When a theme comes to mind, the stories and inspiration pertaining to the collection theme are what lead us to the chosen colors.

Each color then has a story and meaning behind it. We have done collections to celebrate the impact of Black culture in America, with a collection called For the Culture, with colors like Around the Way Girl (lime green) and Soul Glo (glowy orange).

We celebrated women of color queens with a collection called the Queen collection, with colors inspired by and named after queens Moremi, Lili’uokalani, Makeda, Rani Chennamma, and Anacaona.

We strive to tell authentic stories and will utilize our community to sometimes work with co-curators from a specific culture/background to share their stories and select colors and polish names. 

Black owned nail polish

What business skills do you wish you could master overnight?

Content creation! Oh, the time and energy it takes to curate, create, plan and schedule never-ending content! More than 3 years into running People of Color, and I still feel behind in the world of content creation and trends.

What is one fun fact we should know about you?

Surprisingly, I don’t like chocolate. I’ve never liked the taste or smell of it. That’s made it easy for my husband not to have to buy it during any celebrations or holidays. Lol.

-Tony O. Lawson

16 mins read

Black Owned Beauty Supply Store Preparing to Launch Franchise

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

We previously interviewed the owner Dianna Foster about her experience running the largest beauty supply store in Stockbridge, GA.

We caught up again to see how business is going and to find out about some exciting plans she has in store.

Black-owned beauty supply store
Dianna Foster, owner of Cova Beauty

When we first spoke, you had plans to open a second location. Any updates to share? 

We are looking to expand by franchising Cova within the next two years. I am ensuring our franchisees are equipped for success and that I am available to support them every step of the way.

I know firsthand the challenges that can arise in launching a retail location, and my franchisees will have all the tools needed to prevent them from making some of the mistakes I made initially.

I’m super excited to expand into new communities and enlarge our retail territory! 

What type of growth has your business experienced since its launch in 2016? What do you attribute that growth to? 

We’ve had a gradual increase over the past few years. In 2016 we made just under $200,000 in the first year of business and we’re projected to be in the seven-figure range at the end of this year.

There are many things that have contributed to our growth but I’m happy to share what factors were essential for us.

1. Inventory

Expanding our inventory and being able to offer a more diverse product mix for our customers was huge for us. We opened with less than 10 vendors, and we currently have over 100 plus. When we launched, several large vendors would not allow me to open an account with their company. However, I stayed persistent and built relationships with smaller vendors.

If it was an account I was really interested in, I would follow up consistently to see if there was anything we could do to be approved, and after 6 years we were finally approved for one of the largest vendors in the industry. However, during those 6 years, I did not sit idle, I applied to several smaller companies that carried the same products to ensure my customers’ demands were met and we were able to stay competitive.

To secure those vendors, I was required to go through an extensive credit check, I had to be sure that I wasn’t in an over-saturated market, and I was required to show how I could add value to the vendors by meeting or succeeding fulgent guidelines. We also expanded the fixtures in our store to accommodate 60 new product lines. This new direction allowed us to provide a more immersive experience and increase the time customers were in store by giving them more options which increased our average units per transaction. 

2. Strategic Staffing

We hired the right people. Having the right staff remains a top priority for us. In addition to having positive, like-minded employees, I feel hiring a fashion-forward team is critical in this business. I look for candidates who aren’t afraid to take risks with their hair and makeup.

I like when beauty comes naturally to them, and they enjoy it. This helps keep me up to date on the latest trends because they love social media and are always finding cool things on YouTube, IG, and TikTok. Social media being a part of their culture is a bonus for me as well. I love it! 

3. Accounting

Most importantly, I had to understand the financial health of my business. When we opened, managing a store, and selling products was easy for me but I quickly realized If I wanted to truly elevate, I needed to educate myself on the health of the business.

I work closely with my accountant monthly. During our meetings, we identify areas preventing us from being profitable and formulate a plan to increase our profit margins & average ticket sales, etc. would strongly encourage new business owners to partner with an accountant to create a plan to ensure that their business is profitable and that they are able to take advantage of the programs that are designed to support small business owners. 

Black-owned beauty supply store

When the pandemic first started, did your business experience any challenges? How did you address them? 

Absolutely. When the Pandemic began in 2020, we were forced to close for about nine weeks. It was difficult because during that time, our employees lost their primary source of income. I’m sure you can imagine the devastation as a business owner trying to provide solutions for a staff I care deeply for. My main concern was figuring out how they would support their families financially while we were closed. I also realized I had to ensure they felt safe and comfortable to return once we were cleared to open. 

Additionally, all our vendors in the US closed and our supply chains were interrupted. We had no idea or indication of when they’d reopen. It was a lot, but it was important for me to focus on what I could control. I couldn’t control vendors and shipping, but I could take care of my staff. It was a time of confusion and uncertainty and the last thing I wanted them to worry about was their jobs. 

When we were cleared to reopen, thankfully, all our employees returned and while we were happy, we were in for a new challenge. Due to social distancing, we had to change our entire customer engagement strategy. We pride ourselves on offering concierge-like service and we had to completely pivot. The little things that contribute to the Cova experience had to be nixed and boy was it an adjustment. Not going the extra mile had to become our new normal. How do we continue to go the extra mile for our customers without going the extra mile? We had to do the best we could within our mandated parameters. 

So, our new normal looked like creating a new environment where my staff felt safe enough to work with Covid-19 safety protocols. The personal touches we placed on customer service had to stop. We could no longer walk them bags around the counter and thank them for their business. I felt like we couldn’t provide an experience for our customers anymore. We had to limit and then discontinue the option to try on wigs.

Now that may seem small, but our customers love trying on wigs at our vanity bar. The casual and cool conversations were no more as customers wanted to purchase their products and leave. We were no longer able to do what we do best. Ensuring everyone was healthy was the only priority. 

I had to restructure certain guidelines according to the CDC. Small things became challenges. If an employee called out because of Covid symptoms or being exposed to someone with symptoms, informing my team could cause alarm even though we were adhering to CDC guidelines. Callouts impacted daily operations. Employees having to quarantine for two weeks meant the remaining staff were forced to cover additional shifts. These challenges eventually led to a decrease in employee morale. We were able to

quickly adjust to the challenges with a new way of interacting and the team became engaged in a positive way. I can’t say enough how grateful I am to my team. 

Lastly, our supply chains were interrupted. When we reopened, many of our products were no longer available because some vendors had to unfortunately close or there was a delay in their inventory which caused delays in our inventory. We were certainly in no position to wait for vendors to untangle themselves so as a solution, We began partnering with larger vendors and over ordering. We stored the additional products in our warehouse and used that as our backup. That ensured that our shelves were always stocked. 

Black-owned beauty supply store

Why have you decided to launch an “Every Door Direct Mail” campaign?

Prioritizing fruitful relationships and valuable encounters with our customers was a part of our mission before Cova opened its doors. I realize the importance of connecting with them in thoughtful and meaningful ways. 

After reviewing our data analytics and the genuine relationships we’ve cultivated with them over the last 6 years, I decided it was time to expand with a new approach to our outreach matrix.

An EDDM Campaign is not only efficient, but it gives us the opportunity to introduce Cova organically to those within the community we haven’t had the pleasure of meeting yet. This excites me because we can connect with them on a personal level with targeted marketing.

While Digital Marketing allows businesses to reach consumers in a very short amount of time, EDDM allows me to strategically saturate an entire market and track the results. I’m hopeful this will contribute to my goal of building name recognition and brand awareness in the community while reaching a strengthened, more diverse audience. 

You carry a number of Black-owned brands in your store. How do you select which brands to carry? 

I would like to start by saying yes! We do carry several Black-owned brands in-store. 

Some of my personal favorites are The Doux, Alikay Naturals, and Camille Rose. I am often approached by amazing Black-owned brands and while I wish we could carry them all, there are so many factors to consider and I’m happy to share our product selection process. 

The first and most important is that each product must meet a certain standard. We always must make sure that the product is safe for consumers, properly labeled, in compliance with all laws and regulations, and manufactured in an environment that will not cause them to become adulterated. 

In addition to product safety, I must consider the demographics, my location, the season as well as the buying patterns of our customers. Stockbridge is a family-oriented community and what sells well in the city of Atlanta, differs from in the city of Stockbridge. 

I’ve had the opportunity to work in my store almost daily for the past 6 years which has been a tremendous benefit. It’s taught me what works well in my store because I’m able to listen to my customers, and trust me, they know what they want.

We also visit Beauty Trade Shows to stay ahead of the trends and to be sure we’re stocking the right brands. I also meet with my vendors monthly and request a ranking report to select products based on what works well in my store. A ranking report is helpful because it ranks their top-selling items, and we all know popularity matters. 

When hand selecting products for the shelves, it takes planning where I must consider package sizing, chemicals, price point, and demand. Proper planning is a huge factor in my success. I personally hand-select each item that we carry and that’s over 170,000 ticketed items. 

Have you noticed any change in customer preferences or demand for certain types of products over others? 

Absolutely, I think the social injustice in our community has prompted a renewed sense of awareness. And our customers want an accurate representation of who they are, what their hair texture is, and how this brand can help them be their best selves.

I’ve increased the number of Black-owned brands we carry because of customer demand. We want to support our own and I’m honored to be a link in that generational chain.


-Tony O. Lawson

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2 mins read

Black Owned Beauty Brand Receives $1.2 Million Investment

Herb’N Eden, an all-natural bath and beauty company, based in the Metro Atlanta area, has closed a $1.2M investment for business growth. Quinton and Terran Lewis founded Herb’N Eden in 2015 to bring natural skincare products to the forefront of the market.

Mercantile Venture Capital led the investment with participation from The Core Venture Studio.

This new funding will amplify their efforts, enabling them to efficiently meet the demands of their rapidly growing clientele without sacrificing what makes them so successful: their all-natural therapeutic products.

“Through our tremendous growth, we still maintained the same formula and process of making our products,” says Terran Lewis. “We know Black-owned businesses face challenges around funding and equitable partnerships. For us, it was important we remain the majority owners and stay faithful to the tried-and-true process our supporters count on us for.”

Before receiving this funding, Herb’N Eden received remarkable success through grassroots efforts such as in-house marketing, hiring local workers for their warehouse and store, and maintaining the direction of the product development. Investors were attracted by their ability to sustain growth beyond the pandemic year while remaining risk-averse and prioritizing customer communications.

“From $260,000 in 2020 to $2.6M closing out 2021, during the pandemic, is remarkable,” said co-founder and managing partner at The Core Venture Studio James Harris, one of the lead investors. “Their ability to scale their company while strengthening their relationship with their loyal customers drove Core’s decision to invest in the Herb’N Eden team.”

Quinton Lewis notes that the pandemic tested their resiliency. Rather than stop business when orders were backed up for months, they overly communicated updates to customers. As a result, they were able to see sustainable growth.

“It’s amazing to see what we could accomplish in such a short amount of time,” says Quinton. “In two to five years, we hope to continue to scale our business with the resources and connections made while also investing into the dreams of other Black entrepreneurs.”

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8 mins read

What Does It Cost to Run a Successful Beauty Business?

Salons, barbershops, and other beauty-based businesses can do well even in poor economic times. However, running a successful beauty business is dependent on several factors.

Apart from providing high-quality services, you need to ensure that you’re aware of all the financial requirements and have plans in place to take care of them.

Beauty Business

Essential Steps Before Starting Your Business

It’s impossible to overstate how much you’ll need a business plan before taking any steps in pursuit of your beauty business. A business plan allows you to clearly state the purpose of your business, your target clients, the budget, marketing plans, the company’s potential growth, and the standard operational costs.

Then, as you document these, you’ll dig into details that you likely wouldn’t have considered without the plan.

It would be best if you decided on the location of your potential business and the size of the salon or barbershop. That information will influence a few of the costs that we will discuss later and your options for financing.

The Set Costs of a Beauty Business

As you might have expected, you can’t just choose a location and start operating a beauty business. You’ll need to ensure that you’re adhering to the various regulations of your specific state. If you’re not sure what those are, contact the local Occupational and Professional Licensing Division. There are also costs associated with setting up your business or location and ensuring that any staff you hire remains compliant. Here are some figures to keep in mind:

  • Certification – This cost varies according to your location but can be confirmed with your local authorities.
  • License – A license for a beauty-based business can cost up to $12,000 if you don’t already have a cosmetology license. For a product-based business, there are costs associated with obtaining patents and ensuring that your product meets regulatory standards.
  • Insurance – It’s mandatory to ensure your store, but the cost can range from $450 – $2900 depending on the type of insurance you undertake.
  • Purchasing a location – If you plan on owning the site outright, this can cost from $40,000 to $250,000 for a place that is already a salon. Building something from scratch will likely be twice that figure.
  • Legal fees – Generally, these fees are $200 per hour, so the final cost will vary as your lawyer helps with regulatory matters.
  • The equipment – Unless the space you’ve chosen comes with salon equipment; you’ll need to get your own. Including styling chairs, hood dryers, coloring stations, and such, you can require as much as $27,000.
  • Inventory and Supplies – Depending on the type of beauty business, the startup supplies and inventory can be as little as $100 hundred for a service-based business to upwards of $20,000 for a product-based. If you offer a variety of products or expect a large client base, you can expect that your supply costs will be closer to the upper end of this range.
  • A website – Studies show that most consumers find their next purchase online, so it’s a good idea to have a website set up. A website can be free if you know how to do it but can cost up to $10,000.
  • Possible renovations – If your space is not up to scratch, you may need as much as $32,000 to fix any issues.
  • Signs and marketing – These can cost you up to $7,000 depending on your skill level and how you want to market your Black-owned beauty business specifically.
  • A computer system – Having a designated system and effective point-of-sale program can cost up to $5,000 to set up.
  • Start-up cash – Experts recommend having at least $500 on hand for the start of your first business day.

The Recurring Costs of A Beauty Business

Once you’ve started your beauty business, the ongoing costs will be another consideration for you. The ongoing cost is the money you’ll need to spend on a scheduled basis to keep your business running. Here are some of the general expenses.

  • Rent, lease, or mortgage – These costs can vary based on the location and size of your building but aim for up to $4,000 per month.
  • Utilities – These can range from $600 – $4,000.
  • Employee wages – Wages can be a large portion of your monthly expenses, so research what’s typical in the industry.
  • Marketing – Continuous marketing helps grow your client base, including $30 for a simple campaign in your budget and $4,000 for more complex ones.
  • Credit card processing fees – The exact number will vary, but each transaction can cost 1.5% and 3% depending on the provider.
  • Taxes – The figure will vary, but payroll or self-employment taxes can be as much as 7.6% of your sales.
  • Cleaning costs – Many businesses use cleaning services to ensure the hygiene of their surroundings, which can cost up to $200 per month.
  • Insurance payments – This is applicable if you’ve negotiated a monthly fee.
  • Repairs and maintenance – The upkeep of your business is essential, so budget $500 monthly for that.
  • Emergency funds – If the unexpected occurs, an emergency fund of about $500 per month can help.
  • Legal fees – Again, the actual costs can vary based on the legal services you need throughout the year.

Other Important Considerations

As you can see, there are several costs associated with starting and running a successful beauty business. First, it will be imperative to secure financing, so you’ll know where you have a source for your start-up costs. Some people seek help from friends or associates, while others get access to a business loan. Whichever you choose, you must consider your loan repayment in the costs of running the business.

Bear in mind that the first year or two can be challenging for a new business, so repaying a large loan during this time can be difficult, depending on your business model.

While there’s a demand for Black-owned beauty businesses, you can’t only count on that fact to run your business successfully. The key will always be carefully managing your finances while meeting the needs of your clientele. It’s essential to have a plan before taking steps to start your own beauty business. A support structure can also make a difference in the first few years, so make sure you have a good team behind you that can offer advice and help when necessary.

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6 mins read

This Black Owned Nail Salon on Wheels Finds Success During a Pandemic

Philly entrepreneur Keesha Brown launched her mini nail salon inside an old bus in February, just as the pandemic descended on the region.

The golden bronze bus allows her to travel to her clients. It also lets her cater to just one person or one small group at a time.

Black Owned Nail Salon

“When the COVID happened is when everything changed,” Brown, 36, told Billy Penn. “It actually boosted my business.”

The pandemic, social media, and support for Black-owned businesses stemming from recent protests have been like a holy trinity for success for Brown’s newest endeavor, which she christened Last Minute Nails.

Brown, who runs seven businesses in total, has a cosmetology degree. She “always wanted to be a nail technician,” she said, but had trouble finding a job in traditional shops.

So this year, she purchased an old CCT bus for about $7,500 and transformed it into a stylish mini spa. For about $3,000 in renovations, Brown painted the walls a magenta pink and added floral wallpaper, a black chandelier, velour navy blue salon chairs, and dark wood-look floors.

With every other traditional nail salon shuttered following Gov. Tom Wolf’s closure of non-life sustaining businesses, people turned to Last Minute Nails.

“We were the only nail salon listed as open,” Brown said.

That won’t be the case soon. City officials announced last week that personal services — salons, barbers, and spas — can reopen come Friday.

But it’s not just the monopoly on the nail hustle right now that’s got business booming.

While working on a client in Philly’s West Oak Lane neighborhood, Brown’s bus caught one neighbor’s eye. That neighbor snapped pics and shared the images on Facebook.

“This sister has a mobile nail salon and I just thought that was so cool!” Facebook user Simone Collucci wrote. Her post went viral. It’s been shared more than 12k times — and gave Brown her next biz boost.

“I literally had over 800 calls coming in regarding my services,” Brown said. That was in one day. The next day, she got 1,000 calls, and now her bookings are double what they were at launch.

Hiding her Black ownership because of past experience

Last Minute Nails proudly lists itself as a Black-owned business on Instagram. But Brown, a serial entrepreneur, said she hid it at first.

“I didn’t want people to know that it was a Black-owned business because of the non-support that we get from being Black owned,” Brown said. “When I would go to certain clients, I would say, ‘No, I don’t own the business. I’m just an employee.’”

The increased support following George Floyd protests, Brown said, is not what she usually receives as a Black woman business owner — and she has plenty of experience.

Her other companies include a staffing agency and job training program, both on pause while Last Minute Nails gets off the ground, and an ice cream and Belgian waffle shop called Late Night Munch & Crunch in Marcus Hook, Pa.

black owned nail salon

Brown recalled a time when one of her staffing agency clients, a doctor’s office where she’d placed three long-term employees, found out she owned the business.

“And all of a sudden, that took a downward spiral,” Brown said of the doctor’s office. “From that, it went to [him] not answering my calls, [him] not answering my text messages. So that made me feel like…I wasn’t good enough being a Black owned business.”

On the Last Minute Nails bus, Brown specializes in dip powder false nails because they’re quicker than acrylic application — and her entire business model is based on speed and convenience.

That jibes perfectly with the reopening guidance for the industry provided by the city this week. Brown said she uses hand sanitizer, sanitizes clients’ hands before and after their appointment, disinfects the pedicure bowl with bleach after each client and wears a mask…most of the time.

She caught a little flak for not wearing a mask in the viral Facebook photos.”That was just one of the customers that I felt comfortable enough not to wear a mask at that time,” she explained.

Ultimately, Brown believes she manifested her successful nail shop.

“Last year, I kept saying, I want to be rich,” Brown said. “Now I feel like, I’m not going to ever have to worry about my income anymore because all I do is answer the phone and say, ‘Hey, I can take you right now.’ And literally I can make money all day, every day.”


Source: Billy Penn


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5 mins read

BlackTravelBox Offers Beauty Products for The Traveler on the Go

According to Orion Brown, Black travelers have few, if any places they can go to find personal care products that work specifically for their hair and skincare needs.
That is why she created Black Travel Box. Her goal is to give women of color a brand they can trust for all their travel personal care needs.
“I started Black Travel Box because there aren’t any brands serving the 5 million strong (and growing) population of Black millennial travelers”, she said.
Orion is creating a brand dedicated to serving this consumer (and its extensions) with products that take the guess work and stress out of traveling with products best suited for an ethnically diverse community.
We caught up with her to find out more about her inspiration and how her entrepreneurial journey is going so far.
the black travel box
Orion Brown

What inspired you to create Black Travel Box?

After traveling to my 15th country, I found myself with less product than I needed and nowhere to purchase something suited to my hair and skin care needs – I thought to myself that I really can’t be the only one struggling when I travel. And after talking to other travelers like me, I discovered I wasn’t.

the black travel box

How did you decide what specific items to offer and ingredients to make them with?

I started with the basics – products that are in every hotel, travel aisle, and gym that still manage to consistently not consider the needs of travelers and folks on the go outside of what’s considered ‘normal’ hair and skin.
Often products like shampoo and conditioner, while not popular with most travelers, are especially problematic for richly textured hair.
While watery lotions made with waxes and fillers leave darker skin tones dry with an ashy residue. So our product line started with that – and of course lip balm because we’re not trying to have crusty lips out here. It’s a staple we can all get behind.
the black travel box

If you could wake up tomorrow as an expert in any business skill, what would it be? Why?

I’d be an expert in content creation – its so important for us to tell our story and engage with our communities in ways that enrich their travel and on the go beauty experience.
The creativity that I see in the marketplace today is astounding, and I am in total awe of brands that create multifaceted conversations with their communities with such clarity of voice and perspective.

What has been the most rewarding and the most challenging part of your entrepreneurial journey thus far?

The most rewarding part has been receiving notes via email, text, and LinkedIn with words of encouragement from within the Black travel community and beyond.
Our customers are passionate brand advocates and as we learn and grow brand awareness, the response has truly been humbling.
The most challenging part has been keeping focused on the strategy and tactics that we’ve laid out from the outset and not get distracted with shiny objects and short term opportunities.

What types of brands and businesses are you interested in partnering with?

BTB is all about serving people on the go – retail, hospitality, beauty, travel, even fitness partners would be a great fit for our long term vision.

Where do you see your business in 5 years?

We endeavor to be the Away meets Glossier for our community serving up relevant content, building community, and creating a best in class inclusive line of products made for an on the go lifestyle.

What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?

Trust your gut, pray, and take the leap. Whatever form that may come in. Whether you side hustle or full time, with dedication and focus you can create the business and legacy that you want.

– Tony O. Lawson
5 mins read

She Overcame a Health Scare and Launched a Successful Cosmetics Business

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.

CEO and Founder, Nana Frimpong

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.

1 min read

Black Owned 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 Bonnet Brands

Regal Ivy

Black Owned Satin Bonnet

Beautiful Curly Me




Black Owned Satin Bonnet

Purrty Dimples

Black Owned Satin Bonnet

Peace Crown’d

Natural Hair Shop

Black Owned Satin Bonnet

Eboni Curls

Black Owned Satin Bonnet

Glow by Daye

FlorBella Boutique

Goodnight Hair Bonnets

Grace Eleyae

Black Owned Satin Bonnet

Loza Tam

Special thanks to Kami (@frobunni) for helping us compile this list! It takes a village!

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1 min read

Black Owned Makeup and Cosmetics Brands You Should Know

Black consumers account for a disproportionate amount of product sales in a number of consumer goods categories. One of these categories is Beauty. Almost 86% of the $63.5 million spent on “Ethnic Hair and Beauty Aids” is attributed to Black consumers.

Source: Nielsen Homescan 2017

I’m sure you would agree that Black owned beauty brands should be getting these coins. Here are a few you can support. As usual, let us know which others you think should be on the list!

Black Owned Makeup Brands

Laws of Nature Cosmetics

black owned makeup

GloGirl Cosmetics


The Candy Lady

Einnaf Cosmetics


The Lip Bar

Lamik Beauty

Beauty Bakerie

Juvia’s Place

Black Owned Makeup Brands

Mented Cosmetics

Black Owned Makeup Brands

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