Looking back over the last 365 days, I can hardly believe all that’s transpired. From a global pandemic to countless layers of social unrest and the spark of a movement that’s seen Black folks and allies taking to the streets in the name of justice, it’s as if a decade of events have been crammed into a short and extremely tense period of time. If you’re feeling depleted, unfocused, or just plain unsure how to move forward, please know that these feelings are totally normal. But please also be aware that the work has only just begun.
For Black creators in the beauty space, this sentiment isn’t new. As members of a devastatingly underrepresented group, these founders, CEOs, entrepreneurs, and dreamers know better than just about anyone that working harder to see baseline results is simply part of the Black experience. However, the true marker of success is the ability to push past the hardships and even use them to reach the sweet spots that can only be unlocked with untethered creativity, unapologetic authenticity, and relentless hard work.
Despite all the challenges presented over the last year, Black-owned beauty businesses are on the rise. Movements like the Fifteen Percent Pledge and Pull Up for Change have challenged brands and retailers to really look at their structures and make tangible changes to the way they approach diversity, inclusion, and equity. Now, it’s your turn to show up. The black squares on Instagram were nice, but the time has come to put all that we’ve learned over the last year into action. Ahead, 13 Black beauty founders share their stories and their visions of how the support of Black-owned beauty businesses will grow and thrive in the years to come. Keep scrolling to learn more.