"I was supposed to be studying for the LSAT. Instead, I was in my dorm room with a few friends, where we saw an ad on TV for a skincare line featuring mainly white women, even though the product is used predominantly by black women.
I felt very disheartened by the marketing practices of that company, and it really showed me that they weren't in touch with their core customers. I decided that I wanted to create a cosmetic line that focused on what inclusiveness and diversity within the cosmetic and beauty industries actually looks like.
When I enrolled in college, I was dead set on going to law school. So when I first told my parents that I had started a skincare business, they were definitely a little concerned.
I think their biggest fear when I was first starting out was that I would get crushed and hurt by the fact that business can be such an up and down thing. I was so young and I was studying government politics—I had no business background.
Starting out, I would sell my products at Patapsco Flea Market. Visually seeing all of my customers made such a difference because I could perceive different parts of their identities that I couldn’t access if all of the sales were done online. The flea market also allowed me to get real feedback in real time.
Right now, because of Coronavirus, the bulk of my sales are online, so something I’ve been doing recently is writing notes to my customers. It’s easy to get so consumed in e-commerce that we forget that there is a person buying from another person. I want to grow a company that truly cares for the person who is purchasing.
The goal right now is to move my operation out of my parents house. That would be a symbol of true growth to me."