Lets be honest, there are thousands of beauty brands in the world so what makes you spend your money with one? For some it’s because their favorite celebrity endorsed it, or maybe you saw a Youtube video that peaked your interest, or your home girl put you up on game on what everyone is talking about right now.
For cosmetics brand Beauty Bakerie, it’s a combination of things. And what makes them even more interesting is that their CEO did it all while taking extra money from her paychecks and investing it in her business. A couple of years later, she has Beyoncé wearing her products and it seems like she’s just getting started.
I sat down with the woman behind the brand to learn about her brand and her views on the beauty industry.
What made you create Beauty Bakerie?
I’m a creator. I’m an arts addict and Beauty Bakerie is an extension of my love for the arts. As a child, I watched my mother spend hours in the mirror preparing for her day every single morning. I wanted to create products that last all day and give you back the moments that matter. I also drew inspiration from my love of pastries and desire to inspire people to be “sweet” in every interaction.
How did you fund your vision?
Keeping costs low was important, so I learned to do a lot of things on my own. I paid for it all with my paychecks from my day job every two weeks; whatever extra money I had I would put towards whatever the business needed.
Do you feel that there is a difference between black owned cosmetic lines and non-POC brands, in terms of support and sales? Why or why not?
Well, yes, there are the obvious differences one should notice: most black-owned brands are female-led, whereas many of the non-POC brands are lead by men. Then, there are the less obvious differences. Some of the non-POC brands may have millions, even billions of dollars of support or billions in sales. They can usually afford to do the things that a smaller brand may not be able to do, but the beauty for smaller brands was the opportunity that allowed many of us to scale in a shorter timeframe than usual.
What void do you feel you’re filling in the beauty industry?
I’d say it would be a few things. In terms of products and formulas, we are providing customers with convenient, performance based formulas allowing them to return to the moments that matter most. Avoiding kisses because of the fear of having to retouch or the fear of smudging is something our customers don’t have to worry about. And then there’s the brand itself – mainstream media was pushing a bad girl persona that I don’t think everyone identified with. I think Beauty Bakerie is a place for those people to call home.
Everyone would be ideal, but being realistic I’m really happy to see anyone wear Beauty Bakerie. It is so amazing and fascinating when anyone tags us because I always wonder how we were able to reach even them. Obviously when Beyoncé and her mom wore it, I screamed for days, but I get just as excited when I see more and more customers and supporters of the brand wearing it and loving it. It is that same feeling all over again.
Why do you think your brand has grown so popular within this past year? What has your company done marketing and branding wise?
I think that we’ve been able to reach customers. I think our customers are talking to each other. Our customers have become their own influencer in many ways. Their voices are powerful and their voices have traveled.
What was a difficult time in your life that you overcame and how did you do so?
There are so many. A really difficult time was deciding between mothering and providing. It is a very difficult decision for some mothers to make. You have to decide, do I stay on foodstamps and work this job that doesn’t pay much so that I can see her after school, talk to her, spend quality time with her and guide her — you know those moments that we live for that are gone too fast — or do I work, juggle school, further my education and start my own business so that she won’t have to make a decision like this one day? That was very difficult, but I made the decision that was best for us and I know she appreciates that.
Where do you see your brand going in the future and what do you want your supporters to take from this interview?
Beauty Bakerie will continue to spread worldwide and it will resonate with so many people who are looking for something just beyond makeup. Many people ask me how I got started and I think when we are hopeful for something we all wonder that question, but in reality there is no secret recipe. It is only prayer and hard work. There is nothing I have done that another can’t do if they have faith and believe in themselves.