Range Beauty’s Founder Alicia Scott shares her journey of building a cosmetics company
Joining me on the show today is Alicia Scott, Founder of Range Beauty!
Range Beauty was created out of a need for more diverse shades and less toxic ingredients in the cosmetics industry. It’s a brand that encourages you to express yourself, while still allowing your true skin to shine through. Range Beauty was formed for people ranging from all shades, skin types and genders who have felt left out or underrepresented.
If you’re creating a brand in the beauty space tune in to learn how she went about making a new foundation formulation from scratch and How she landed an iconic beauty industry mentor and stick around for the end where Alicia shares her advice for anyone just getting started.
This episode was so much fun and there’s plenty of actionable tips packed throughout so make sure you’ve got your notepad handy.
Please note, this transcript has been copy pasted without the lovely touch of a human editor. Please expect some typos!
Alicia: I'm Alicia Scott, I'm the CEO and founder of Range Beauty, and we are clean duty for the forgotten jades and we utilize botanicals in our make up line, specially formulated for eczema and acne from skin.
Doone: Sounds like heaven. Can we get back to life before you started range beauty and talk about what you're up to and what was driving that desire in you to launch a business in the first place?
Alicia: Yes, the life before range beauty was very different because I was fashion obsessed. Ever since I was little. I just knew I was going to work in the fashion industry. My parents were so supportive of me designing my own clothes and in high school I took a fashion design flaws. And so I went off to Virginia Tech for fashion design and merchandising. And after graduation I moved to New York. My family's from New York in New Jersey, so easy transition, moved to New York and started working immediately in the industry. And I held several different jobs. And each one of those jobs always had me behind the scenes, though no matter what I was doing, I was always behind the scenes and seeing how the set up went for like New York Fashion Week, L.A. Fashion Week, when we had different showroom events or would have to go to Vegas for events. So I would always see the interaction between the models and like makeup and hair or whomever was behind the scenes. And so that's kind of what started to propel me onto this journey. I noticed the pattern of a lot of the black models coming to set with their own makeup kits.
Alicia: And at first I thought it was just something in the model world because oftentimes they would have to bring their own nude colored bra or something else with them. And so I thought it was just part of their model kit. And then I noticed it was specifically just black models that I was seeing bring their own makeup kit. And I asked in a model told me this whole story of how a designer on a previous campaign flat out said to her while she was sitting in the chair, I can't do the look that the designers requested because I don't have anything in my kit for your skin tone. And yes. And I was so shocked because especially living in New York, you just kind of think that we have everything at our fingertips. And so to hear her say that it was shocking and then she felt that she was a problem, she felt like it was her responsibility to be to now come prepared to shows. And so that's why she started putting together her own of whatever she could find across an assortment of products. Just have with her to try and avoid having that happen again. And so that kind of was the first line for me was that we were still seeing this huge lack of shades and products available for black women.
Alicia: And it made me look at my own journey with makeup, which wasn't really anything I always expected to, like I said, our eyeliner and mascara, because you don't have to worry about anything with those. You get one shade and you're good to go. You don't worry what you're doing. And so that was really my selection. And it was because I just didn't want to try to match my skin tone. I would walk down the aisles. I would see I didn't see anything that was a match. I didn't want to try and buy something and have it not. And then on top of that, I have extremely sensitive skin dealing with eczema and acne. A lot of the ingredients in these products were triggers for my skin. So they would inflame my eggs and I didn't want to try anything new. And so that's what started me along like, oh, if I can make a dream makeup line, what would I want it to look like? And that's kind of how the concept started. That was back in twenty fourteen.
Doone: Ok, wow. So really pretty, pretty Fenty pre like I guess Mac as Mac always had different shades of foundation.
Mac has always been around because I remember a lot of, a lot of the girls in high school go to the Mac counter for prom and homecoming. But I think with them it's always been about their ingredients. So I went on the clean spectrum, but I believe Mac always had a nice assortment of shades.
So you have the realization you're working in fashion at that time. What are the first few steps that you took to actually get started? And you move from idea, light bulb moment in your head to hey, I'm actually a business owner and I'm like doing shit.
Yes, so I always say my first step was speaking about it out loud. So at the time I had two roommates, we were living in Brooklyn and an apartment. And one of my good friends, her name's Alisa. She at the time was the only person I knew kind of in the entrepreneurial world. She was always doing like she started her own thirsting business and she had a photo shoot for it that I was involved with. And she was a she was my first insight into a friend or someone close to me having her own business on the side of her doing her kind of five. And so I remember we were sitting in the living room and I was thumbing through and I a magazine, I think it was like essense or something. And there was an article in it about the best lipsticks for black women. And it kind of made me like, oh, let me ask you what you think about this idea I have for this. And so I said, what do you think about me starting my own makeup line for black women? It's just like, really? My gosh, it's so cool. Do it. What was your dream line like? What do you want it to look like? And so that was really my first step, because I feel like when you say it out loud to someone and you actually start thinking out loud with this person in this and you're kind of like an idiot, it really starts to make it more tangible than when it's just in your head.
And so I think that was my first step, was just having someone in my circle that I could trust and that I could speak to about it that was encouraging and motivating and kind of pulled these different questions out of me that I had and started to think about. Like what? So she when she asked, what would your dream be, what would it be expensive, do you think that you would want it to be like a luxury liner? Like did it? I want it to be affordable. I don't want it to be affordable. I don't spend that much on it. And then. Oh, well, what do you want it to look like? Is it just going to be different? So just kind of bouncing off these, having a regular conversation and just thinking about what exactly what were the components of this line that I wanted to make. And so that was my first step, I think. And I kind of took what we're talking about. And I became best friends with Google and I started searching. I mean, because Google grew, you could possibly need. And at the time, even though YouTube wasn't as big back in twenty fourteen, there were still even videos on there, like how to make your own lipstick at home or how to make your own lip balm or how to make your own flesh at home or whatever. And so you just kind of using that in whatever else turned up on Google about oh here's how you start your own makeup line or what do you need to start to have a startup business or all of that.
So I create my own checklist. I started grabbing things and put it together and formulated this checklist of what I wanted for the actual line itself and then the things that I had to take care of within the business aspect of it, and then LLC, that kind of stuff. And so with the manufacturer and on Google, I typed in what it was I wanted. So I knew that I wanted clean ingredients. I knew that I wanted a US based manufacturers, that I could get to them easily if I needed to. And I knew that I needed someone who had a low macu. So a minimum order quantity, because a lot of times if you work with companies overseas or even companies in the US, they have a high purchase amount that you have to hit before you can actually receive products. And so for me, I was like, I don't have that much money. I'm in New York, I'm living in New York, like, I don't have that much money. And so I just searched and there was a site that came up. It was called I don't know if it's still around, but it was cosmetics index dot com. And it was this entire index of everything related to cosmetics manufacturers or packaging manufacturers. Or if you want to do private label, if you want to do custom, if you want everything that you could imagine, if you want to buy ingredients separately, it was this sounds amazing and it was amazing.
I was like, yes.
And so that's where I found that's actually where I found the list of manufacturers that met my needs. And then all I did was I started calling for them. So it was kind of like I started dating these manufacturers. I started going on to figure out who was my perfect match. I was playing my own matchmaker. And so I would follow them. I would talk to them about the idea they had. I would see how they received it. I would see it about their price. I would see if they had pigments that were deep enough for me to create this deep shade range that I wanted to offer. I would make sure that they had clean ingredients. And then I started thinking about I don't want it to just be makeup. I want it to be makeup. That's good for your skin. And so how do I make that happen? So then I started looking at me, factories that could operate, skincare ingredients and the makeup or into the. And so that really narrowed down my search, and I think that's the best thing that you can do and it's so easy just to make a claim. But then once you start thinking about precisely what it was, what it is that you want this line, whether it's clothing, makeup, whatever to be, and you get to narrow down your prospects, then you get to some really great gems.
And so I narrowed it down. I think it was like I got it down to the top three or something. And then I found my manufacturer, who I still work with today, and they hit all my check marks. And then the bonus is that it's a woman owned manufacturer, which I just loved and actually started the company as a solution to a problem she had with makeup. So it was just perfect. It was a perfect match and that's kind of how everything started. I had all that together. I actually ended up relocating from New York to Atlanta because the fashion industry is so fast paced, there wasn't really time for me to put aside to start a line with my role. At the time I had heavy traveling. My hours were pretty insane. And then just trying to keep up with New York budget. I knew I wanted to relocate somewhere where I could save and successfully launch. And so I actually liked the best places for entrepreneurs to move to. And Atlanta came up as the best place for black women to start businesses.
And so I packed everything up and I moved to Atlanta and I ended up spending my first order with my manufacturer was one hundred and fifty dollars.
That was their order minimum. And I received so much so many products with it. And I sat in my new living room in Atlanta and I treat it like it was like 16 or 17 different shades of brown just in my living room with the the sources that I got from them. And I realized that a lot of these cosmetic companies just aren't creating for us because they don't care to see the need to. It's not because it's difficult to or they don't have the resources to do. And and so that was kind of my third label. That was like, OK, something we're going to do this.
Wow. And so that process of you having the more more than the realization, but you have kind of like validated with your friends, that kind of thing, then you've started the process of finding a manufacturer right through to getting those that early sample set of products. How long was that development process until you actually got to a place where you feel like I have the finished product and ready to sell.
So it started concepts started twenty fourteen. I did a soft launch, like my original launch was in May of twenty seventeen. So about three years of research testing, I tested on myself and my family and my friends and I had them kind of spreading the word about what I was doing. And at that time I also started our social media page. So I wanted to have our social media before the product was there to start to drive some type of awareness and excitement about what it was that I was making. And then I started using it to also comment under people that I would see on social media. So I use social media at the time as another research component. I would see these brands put out lines and there were a lot of black women and women of color who would come in and be like, what is the range? What, like, oh my gosh, I wish that you would do this. I would say, yes, I would comment under there and like, oh my gosh, you should check out that address. At the time I was get cosmetics with my name and I like, oh my gosh, for especially for black women. And it and I would also take those comments that I would see it and use it to apply to the line. So it was kind of like my market research tool. But yes, it was about three years before I actually had my website up and running, had a final product, had packaging and was ready for sales.
Wow. OK, cool. And what was the, you know, the initial capital that you needed to put together for kind of your first order at the website, the packaging and all that kind of thing to get started?
To be honest, I don't think it's been more than five hundred dollars. So I did my own website through Squarespace. I got there like nine dollar plan that came with like and I think it was like two or three months of free trial or something like that. I did it myself at the time. I didn't have like a huge photography campaign or anything happening. So I needed to go there packaging. I actually found a graphic designer on Instagram, again using Instagram and a little extension of Google. And I was doing hashtag I don't know if I just did hashtag graphic designer or packaging design or something. And I found this girl, Linda, who was based in L.A. and she actually was like an intern at a cosmetics company and. They're packaging and so I sourced her packaging and so her cost fifty dollars for me to do three different packaging iterations. So yes, I am someone who is just like if I don't have to spend a lot in the beginning, I'm not going to. And I think that's a big thing for Sanders. They have to come out of the box with. Like, you're not coming out of the box, covergirl. You're not coming out of the box as Benti. You have to stay true to your voice in your mission.
And there's a difference between something being professional and something being perfect. Like perfect is just it's unattainable. Nothing is perfect to make sure that it's professional, make sure it's sellable. And I tell people I went through I've gone through four different brands since I first. So if I would have put up all this money in the beginning, it would have been such a waste and such a loss. And so if you can just figure it out on your own, that's always the best thing and that's the best way to keep your costs low. If not, try to source someone like that. I mean, she wasn't a professional graphic designer, but she someone who wanted to add to her portfolio. And so that's why her cost was low at the time. So just making sure that you're tapping into resources to keep your costs as low as possible in the beginning, especially before you have any sales. So you're already going to be starting off basically with a loss. So you don't want to you don't want that to be huge and now you're scrambling to make it up for sale. So I would say I originally started I was like five hundred dollars.
Amazing. And I think this that's laying out there I don't know who said this. I'm pretty sure it was Garibay is like done is better than perfect. And I think it's so true for entrepreneurs to understand that, especially in that, you know, really early phase of where you just have to be scrappy and you have to just go with what you can and don't get overwhelmed by perfection.
I'm guilty of that. I'm always like what I wanted to be. I was so guilty.
And I think another thing for me was I had I had a I have a great circle of friends. And once I started talking about this, they they were kind of like my accountability partners. So when I would see them and I was like, oh, you know, I didn't like it. And they're like, wouldn't you say the lunch date was going to be next month? I did it. And so they kind of kept me accountable. Like, she just want to just set a date in mind. And that's what I had to do, because it has on me like, oh, it's going to be sometime this summer or I don't know, sometimes, like kind of I didn't want to, like, narrow myself down and take myself down because, you know what, if I'm not ready, but once I put a date on it as I'm not changing the date.
So OK, so what happens when the date rolls around? It's lunch time. How do you start getting customers and getting traffic to your site to to buy your products?
So before I had my cycle live, as I mentioned, I was posting on our social media at the time. I had Twitter and Instagram and I took a picture of the range of shapes that we had and the image actually ended up going viral at the time. One of one of the big makeup content creators at the time picked it up and retweeted it. And she was like, this is what you call range is what we call a shade range. And again, it was during a time when a lot of brands were coming out with like three decades and their whole entire range. So is a very popular problem at the time. So that tweet went viral and it definitely shook up my sales. And so I was very fortunate for that. And then off of that, I just started building and started building its own rhythm. People were coming to the start posting about it. Our customers started posting about it. My friends and family were getting the word out. I was getting the word out on my personal pages. So it really was organic word of mouth. But at the time when I first came up with the concept, I was very specific that I wanted this to specifically be for granted, Ronchi, because that's where I saw the largest gap in the market. And so originally my range was only about six inches.
And I think I have like three maybe Tanji and the rest was brown to deep brown. I also wasn't speaking about my eczema and my acne and how I started this. I was like, I don't I don't even want anyone to know that I am the one that created this. I kind of want this to be a faceless brand. That was another thing. A third thing was I wanted it to be affordable. I wanted it to be kind of like in the CoverGirl category, because at the time, clean ingredients were seen as a luxury and I mean, kind of even know. So I think there's more affordable lines. But at the time, you didn't see. Affordable line, having clean ingredients, and so my price range was like I think at the time, six dollars to ten to twelve dollars. The foundation was twelve dollars and today my foundation is twenty one dollars. So there were just these different factors when I started the line that it starts to form this thing that I was like, wow, this isn't actually where I wanted it to go off of. Our social media became very girly, which I know that's not how I want it to be. I wanted to be a very minimal I want to any gender to feel comfortable using it. But it was very like pink, glittery. And so there is a lot going on.
And it seemed that there was an issue with the price. So I was asking for feedback and I would receive the feedback that it was unbelievable that a small black owned brand could come out with clean ingredients as I was advertising and only charge one dollars. So for them to think about this mass cosmetic giant where we're charging toward dollars with their ingredients for clean house if you're able to do it. So there wasn't this trust going on. And so I saw a complete slowdown after the viral tweet. There was a complete slowdown in sales. I was seeing a lot of feedback about the collection and I kept some people calling it like cute skinny dip. It's so cute. Oh, it's a cute line. And it was just bugging me. And so I was already going to the drawing board because you say, let's scrap this and start clean. And in the midst of that, I received an email to my business account from a brand called Skinny Dip, which is actually based out of London, I believe. And they start off as fashion accessories. And then they branched into making their own makeup line and everything else. And they were selling like Topshop and stuff in the US. And so they actually emailed me and said that I was infringing on their trademark.
And I was like, oh, heck, yeah. Like, what does this mean? Oh my God. I was like, oh, this is for like, do you have any money?
What are you talking about? You're worried about me. But it was kind of the cherry on top to me.
Just going back to the drawing board anyways, there was I wasn't even trying to find out. I was like, no worries. I'm dismantling this, blah, blah. And so then it took me another year to just figure out what it was I wanted to do with this. I'm like, OK, I thought I had some traction. But along with the traction came some criticism, came some feedback. So let's take this and figure out what it is that I want it to really do. And that's when I rebranded and relaunched in August twenty eighteen officially as range. And that's where we are today.
Wow. What a learning curve to go through and to have babies. It's so true though that when you stop and you look back and you reflect and you're like, hang on, this is isn't what I want it to be right now.
We need to like give it a little and shuffle to a new a new vibe and a new energy to get to where you want it to be.
And so once you did that, the relaunch and you got into range beauty, what was the tipping point from there that you really felt like things started to gain traction and things started to really pick up?
So during this entire time, I still had a nine to five. So when I first moved to Atlanta, I moved here without a job. I was here for about maybe a month, two months before I started a full time job. And so during this time, I had my nine to five range skinny dip and then range, which is basically my side hustle. When I rebranded and relaunched as Range again, I was very fortunate that it got picked up very quickly, circulating very quickly on social media. I had some immediate, like press features from Beauty Independent from Berdy and I launched in August twenty eighteen and in October of twenty eighteen I met with target buyers. So I was actually down on my personal page by a buyer from Target who was spam. I was like, OK.
And then the DM asked for my email and I was like, OK.
And I gave my it was my info outrange. Like I don't even want to give you my personal. I don't even know if you're real. You my my general info. I arrange the email and the via email is this formal ariat email with a signature and everything I was doing. And then I looked up on LinkedIn and I said she really is real. And so then I was just like, so I cannot believe that you guys being contacted by Target that's on my wish lists of oh, maybe five years from now I'll be on site. So to have that happen was so amazing. And that was really the tipping point that her and her assistant buyer came to Atlanta. I met with them at a hotel in Atlanta and presented my life. This is my first official unofficial line review that I need to know that's what was happening until I got into retail. But it was a line review and I communicate sometimes and I'm so excited. This is amazing. But I just relaunched like two years or two months ago.
And sometimes you didn't I didn't know you were that new.
I was like, oh, that's a huge compliment. But yes, I am not ready. She was she was being very transparent and laying out all the costs that come associated with what it takes inventory wise. They were very sweet and very honest about what retail really means, basically. And I let them know, obviously, I'm not ready. I was honored to be contacted and I would love to stay in touch. And so that's what really lit the fire was my target. A target buyer has seen what I created and it's an additional validation to what I'm doing, a huge validation to what I'm doing to have one of my dream retailers say we were interested in your brand. And that's when I really started hustling to make sure I got the most exposure. That's when I started looking into what can I do for capital, because I was a huge thing that came up in the conversation, which you have to have the money for inventory, for marketing, for all of this and says, OK, how do I get money? And so that's when I start looking into grants and pitch competitions. And that's really what lit the fire. And then all of twenty eighteen was basically going crazy, like just just building and building and building and doing more and more pitch competitions. In February of twenty nineteen, I went to Target headquarters every February. They have a black owned brand fair for Black History Month, and so they bring on brands that are alumni brands and then they also bring on brands that they are interested in having in their stores. And so I was invited to come and I was able to meet with Melissa Butler from the Lit Bar. I was able to meet with Dixon, who's the owner, Honey Pocho.
She's been on the show. I love her.
Yes, I love, love, love. And their conversation was just they dropped so many gems and they were so welcoming and open with me about what the process looks like and how to find your footing in the industry. And so having all of these little milestones happen really propelled me into, OK, I'm creating something that's more than a side hustle, that's more than a hobby. I'm creating a brand and I want to do my company and my business. And so at the top of twenty eighteen, I said, I'm leaving my nine to five at the end of the year I'm going like twenty twenty will be full time range and so all in twenty eighteen.
I just did pitch competitions, I won a lot of grants, I got a lot of exposure and in December I left my nine to five and it was just the best thing ever.
And then this year, even though this year has been so crazy in terms of everything that's occurred, it has been a very great business wise. We were able to be in the target, take our food program in March of this year. And then we ended up making a deal with Target. We launched with Target in October of this year. I received my first investment of one hundred thousand dollars this year. So it's been a really, really epic. We were obviously Darkon this year. There's been a lot of fitness that happened this year and so it's been such a journey to get here. But everything has just been so it's learning so much, learning. So I'm very grateful for it.
Wow. Well, firstly, congratulations, because that sounds like so many, like so many dream goals for so many people that have all happened this year. For you being on Beyonce, I don't get crazy. Getting into Target is crazy and being able to, like, go into it full time. Wow. I'm just so excited for you. That's that's so cool.
Where is the brand now? Like, what's working for you? How are you continuing to grow and how do you acquire new customers?
So today we're doing the balance of our DTC. So originally we were completely through our website and then we were also doing brand activation. So in-person pop ups, a lot of in-person kind of like touring and shows obviously with Kobe this year that came to a complete halt. So we had to pivot to only being on dotcom and that was also part of our strategy with Target. The question was raised if we wanted to start off in-store and dotcom this year or just do dot com. And so I was like, well, see, dotcom, let me just learn what it looks like to be with a mass retailer and then we can take that and apply it to in-store. And so I'm still I feel like I'm still in the learning phase because it's very different when you bootstrap your brand and you are just so. Nor kind of floating along, doing your own thing, and you're at the same time you're scaling your brand. So I'm in full scale mode and now I'm trying to expand my team. Now I'm looking for investors. Now I'm talking to even more retailers, not thinking about what more do I want to add on to where I'm thinking about expanding into skincare.
So I'm just trying to think bigger picture thinking about down the line and having a brick and mortar, just trying to see how we can better bring attention to the need of skin care benefits and makeup and how we're basically trying to carve out that we're the leader in that area, especially when it comes to inclusive and diverse shade ranges. So that's kind of where I am now, still getting my footing. It feels like I'm still trying to come out as a leader and in my lane and making it more more of a pertinent issue that right now is this trend of like take care of your skin and use clean ingredients of skin care and get an the and talk to your dermatologist, but then you're going back and using makeup for four years. And so I'm really trying to drive the issue that we need to merge these worlds and and just really try to come out on top of doing that. And so that's why I'm still building up our exposure, building up our footprint and building up that there is a need for us.
Yeah, it sounds like that's a really big education piece that I'd actually never thought of that.
And, you know, when you say it, I'm like, yeah, that makes so much sense. But I've never thought of it before, so clearly to keep on going. So I thought, that sounds amazing. And, you know, I read another really cool thing that happened to you this year was that you picked up Bobby Brown as a mentor, which just sounds so incredible having a beauty industry icon to share his learnings with you.
I wanted to know how that came about. And what have you been able to learn from her so far?
Yes. So it actually came about during the time. It was like end of spring, beginning of summer, where we saw the Black Lives Matter resurgence happening and we saw a lot of brands and influencers trying to figure out how they could help our community and how they could help black founders, Black Beauty founders, specifically even. And Bobby Brown is someone who has always had her finger to the polls. She is someone that I remember my aunt and my mother using because she created shades for them. And she is just someone I have always idolized because of her making room for us as a white woman in the makeup industry. And so she actually sent me a DM on our range, Bettie Page.
And again, I'm like, yeah, the ends. I'm like, You guys got better be on your social media pages. Oh, my gosh. Yes.
That was just like I love what you're doing. I'm so happy I can refresh your line. If there's anything you ever need, let me know. And, you know, sometimes people will say that, especially with what was happening at the time, it was for you to be very cautious about who's really there to help you and who's kind of trying to find what they think is a trend with the Black Lives Matter movement. And so when she was just like, oh, that's like I was shocked, obviously, but I was just like, oh, I'm just not have time to talk to me. Like, this is very nice of her to send a message. But and so I responded back and I was like, oh my gosh, you know, I've always loved what you've done for us and how you've always made sure that there was room for us. Thank you very much. I would I would love to take you up on your offer to talk about this is like, oh, yeah, call me anytime. And she gave me her cell phone number.
That is so cool. Wow.
She gave me her cell phone number. And I actually called to my mother because I was like, Mom, Bobby Brown doing your cell phone.
And so we call her. I was like, oh, my gosh. And so I ended up calling her and he was just so wonderful. And she was just like, you know, coming across your page and seeing that you're kind of like minimal makeup, your clean ingredients. That's right up my lane. And we just had this really beautiful conversation. And towards the middle, she was just like, you know, I'm so happy because I'm glad we talked. If you're interested, I would love to mentor you. I would love for you to take me on as your mentor. And she was in mine. I took her on as my mentor and I called her numerous times. She's reviewed my life and she talked about my line on her page. We've done lives together. I've called her about advice with retailers. I called her about advice with investors. And she is just she's amazing. She's the best, the best, the best. So I am and grateful and blessed to have her as my mentor.
Wow. That is so. Sounds incredible.
What advice do you have for women who have a big idea and want to launch their own business?
My biggest piece of advice is just do it. Has we talked about earlier. Just do it. If you've located a problem in your life, like what I'm creating is is going to be a great solution for this, then just do it. There is this quote that I came across last year, and I always say it to myself or I say it to other people because obviously it's the best thing ever it is. You shouldn't fear failure, but you should be terrified of regrets. So don't think about like, oh, it's so easy for us to just fall into this this mindset of like, what happens if I want you to fail? What happens if I lost and I lose money? What happens if no one buys instead of pivoting them? It's like, what if I launch and this is received so well? What if I launch on someone? Thanks me for solving this problem for them, like with the FBI launching it so successful. And so I mostly just do it, see what happens, put it out, see how it's received, and then you can go back to the drawing board if needed and kind of revamp and revise it. Just put it out. Just do it.
Love that. Love it. OK, we are up to six quick questions, part of the episode. Question number one is what's your why?
My biggest why?
I guess it's just thinking about myself and thinking about my community, especially in this industry. Black women are so overlooked and we hold the highest buying power and beauty. And so one of my other wives is why aren't people always creating for us? Like, why are we not always in mind with that? And so for me, it's like they're my wife, my community, my my sisterhood doing it for them. That's my biggest purpose, is just making sure that I'm creating for self and creating for others. So.
Absolutely love question number two is what do you think has been the biggest marketing moment that made your business pop?
And the biggest marketing memo is definitely being featured on BNC dotcom this year, I would say that was so huge for an indie brand to receive. I would say combined with that was the huge push behind black owned brands this past spring and summer. That was also very, very big for me exposure wise. It gave me coverage in L.A. and gave me coverage and a lawyer gave me coverage in Teen Vogue. So there were a lot of high hitting features, but I knew what tops the dotcom, honestly.
I mean, nothing so cool. Holy moly. Question number three is where do you hang out to get smarter? What are you reading? What do you subscribe to? What are you listening to?
So I listen to Michelle Obama's podcast that she recently released, Bobby Brown's podcast that he recently released. I read a lot of blogs, so I kind of steered away from books lately, just looking at a lot of the founders have started their own blogs. And so I'm really into that. Seeing them talk about their beginnings to now. Journey has been really cool to see them laying it out. And then I kind of like my think tank, which some people go on drives or walks or whatever I think is the shower. So when I'm in the shower is when my best ideas and my best thinking happens is when my friends are like, why are you for forty five minutes? Like it is like being a tank. And it's usually if I read something or I saw something or something I literally please in my mind, well I don't even know what I want to do, which is how I can apply a new idea for change. And so I think a combination of all of those things. I really get these new ideas and fresh resurgence for sure.
I love that you're calling it a think tank like. Yes, I haven't thought about it like that before, but it's so true.
You actually really need to dedicate time for thinking and uncluttered, non distracting moments where you can let your things come up.
I actually thought of it because I did a pit competition at SpaceX headquarters here in Atlanta and Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx, is speaking to us. And she was kind of going through her how she thinks about ideas in her and her think tank is her car. So she'll just get in her car even if she has nowhere to go and just drive around. And it helps her think of of new ideas and helps her create solutions for our problems. And I think that's what we do in the shower. So I was like, oh, this is my think tank.
Mine is running, but I haven't been running in so long. I'm so embarrassed to say. But like, you know, that kind of exercise or walking or something where I'm no phone and I don't have any sound in and I'm just focusing, actually I can have me that it doesn't actually matter because I'm not focused on the music, but I can't have a yes. Then I get lost in the podcast. Yes, no question.
Number four is how do you win the day? And that's around your AMPM rituals that keep you feeling happy and motivated and successful.
So in the am I have to have to start with prayer and meditation. It's my biggest thing I've seen. If I'm rushing, if I like oversleep and I have to rush to something and I don't start with that, my day is significantly different. Like, I just I just feel it. And so I always start off with just doing my meditation, doing my prayer, doing different like mantras that kind of set my day up like, no, I am worthy of my success. I am worthy of everything that's coming to me. I am worthy of being the creator like all these kind of things, just like put myself into a positive mindset before I allow social media and emails and all of that in and then night time I have to like skin. My skin care routine at night is a huge thing for me to do. Another time where I like I feel like I don't sleep as well if I don't do my security because there's just a moment to just kind of like the stress and the clutter and you're just kind of like into the motions and you're taking care of yourself. And I don't know, it's just like some some additional time to just soothe myself before I get into the bed. So those are my to be getting in.
And I totally get that. It's like a moment of luxury and it can be the most simple thing. But it's that rich that makes it a luxury.
Number five is if you only had a thousand dollars left in your business bank account, where would you spend it?
If I only had a thousand dollars left, I would probably still spend it on inventory, to be honest. Let's get a last round of inventory out and freaking sell our baby like no other. That's what I would do it.
Nice. Nice. And question number six, last question is how do you deal with failure? And that can be around a personal experience or it can just be a general mindset and approach.
So my reaction to failure has definitely changed, I think as I've gotten older and as I've progressed as an entrepreneur, it used to completely wear me out. It was just like kind of flatlined me. I would dwell on it. I mean, I'm a Taurus, so we are natural over thinkers. And so I would just I would just dwell in my mind for forever. And I think once I started becoming an entrepreneur and doing different things like pitch competitions, especially, I lost a lot of competitions. I received a lot of rejection emails saying we were not accepting you. I've spoken to retailers who were like, oh, you're not a fit for us. And so I think going through that and having a kind of like a pattern of it, where it's not just a one off thing where I've seen it and I've become aware of it, I've accepted it, whatever. And just now it's kind of like off the shoulder. And I had to put my mind to whatever is meant for me and for me, and it will come to me when it's intended to. And so any time something is like kind of taken away from me or not given to me, I'm like, oh, this feels this moment for me. And it is what it is. And if it was intended for someone else, it was because it's being replaced by something even bigger, like you just never know. So I just had to pivot the mindset of like I just wasn't meant for me until the next thing.
Yeah. And build that, like, I guess it's like an AMA.
Kind of thick skin doesn't ever get like easy, but it gets easier I think to does to manage the, you know, that feeling when something goes wrong and you're able to be like, OK, I can cope with this now.
Exactly. Yeah. So I think thick skin and just and that's another thing with, with boundaries. Like I know a lot of artists that I don't want to do it because I don't I was afraid of what they would say. Or do you need to build up like just do it. You don't know they're going to say yes or no. It's like they say no. So what now? Now, now what do you do? So, yeah, it's really building up to it.
And just the next thing tardily. And what is the next thing what's what's coming up. What's the future look like.
So the future for range is so great. But I'm as I mentioned, I'm so excited because we received our first investment and I cannot wait to be able to do some really great things for our beauties and really expand with my and keep on adding more makeup with skin care benefits through our line. As I mentioned my next venture, I definitely want to do skin care for excellent active ingredients. I absolutely want to open our first working for your location and create this safe space I didn't really see growing up and that I don't really see even as late of a place where black women can go and actually be matched correctly and actually be spoken to about their skin in a correct way and feeling ashamed or neglected when they go to shots, making sure we always have their shades and stop, kind of just like this oasis for them to shop in that goes on makeup. That's also about wellness, too. I think those are the things and hopefully expanding our retail footprint as well.
I can't wait to to come and visit your oasis one day, that sounds like such a magical place.
Thank you so much for making the time today to be on the Female Startup Club podcast. I am just going to be forever cheering you on and love what you're doing.
Thank you. This is so grizzly might be recognised. This is so great. I loved your question. Thank you for that.
My God, that's so cool. Thank you for saying that. Yeah, of course. This is so fun.