Just a few months ago, the 2020 Target Takeoff Beauty cohort completed their Target Accelerators experience. Let’s check in with a few of the participants to see how growing their businesses have evolved since then, in their own words.
Range Beauty | Clean beauty for the forgotten shades, where makeup meets skincare
Founder: Alicia Scott
Based in: Atlanta, GA
Tell us the story of your startup. How did you get started? What makes your idea unique?
While working behind the scenes in the fashion industry, I noticed some Black models would show up to shoots and shows with their own makeup kits. I asked a model about this and she mentioned an experience where the MUA couldn’t do her makeup because they lacked the products for her skin tone. I was frustrated hearing this and it led me to reflect on my non-existent makeup collection. Not only did I have difficulty finding shades or products for my Brown skin, but with acne and eczema-prone skin, I had to be careful with the ingredients I used.
I started imagining my dream line and knew I wanted to create makeup products that were beneficial for the skin, free of toxic ingredients, and available in shades not commonly found in drugstore aisles. Upon researching, I learned that Black women are exposed to twice the amount of toxic beauty products due to the lack of clean alternatives for their skin tones. I found a U.S. manufacturer that checked all of the above and allowed me to start with a minimum order amount of $150. After a soft launch to test the market in 2017, I officially launched Range Beauty August 2018 as clean beauty for the forgotten shades. We utilize botanicals in our makeup specially formulated for acne and eczema-prone skin.
Range is so special to me and a lot of factors contribute to our uniqueness. When it comes to Black women, we are often left as an afterthought in the beauty industry. Being a Black woman-owned business, creating with Black women top of mind, and providing clean makeup that takes care of the skin has allowed us to create our own lane.
Alicia Scott, Founder of Range Beauty
How have you continued to evolve your company?
Since the shift to Buy Black and include Black owned brands in the larger conversation, I’ve seen a significant increase in orders and exposure. With COVID-19, I was nervous because we usually have in-person brand activations to allow people to come and play in the products. Now, I can barely keep up with orders and can’t keep products in stock! With our revenue solely coming from online, it is very important for us to push guests towards our shade matching tools and frequently post customer photos to our social media which provides more ease and trust in buying with us.
Currently, I am switching our website to another platform to allow for an even better shopping experience. I’m also participating in digital conferences and spending more face time on our social media to further the genuine connection with our audience. Connection is the main priority to me right now.
What advice would you give to other founders?
My biggest piece of advice to founders is something I have to tell myself daily right now and that’s to take care of yourself. You can’t give your business, employees, or customers what they need or operate at your best if you’re not taking care of yourself mentally, physically, and spiritually. In addition to this, continue to do what’s right for your brand and not doing something because you see another brand doing it. If that means pivoting or creating and launching new products, great do that, but it’s also great if you don’t want to do those things. Stay true to your brand voice.
Stryke Club | Clearer Skin. For the boys.
Based in: Los Angeles, CA
How are you balancing the days?
Right now, the days have a few things in common: unpredictability combined with intense focus and drive. Because all of us founders are moms, and now our children are at home, we are juggling so many different worlds simultaneously. Like help with 4th grade math and then immediately pivoting to an investor call. It’s a lot, but we are fortunate to be super passionate about our brand and our mission, so we are having a lot of fun. On any given day, we are on the phone with manufacturers, packaging people, our design firm, and our PR team, tweaking our pitch deck, fulfilling orders, creating financial models, posting on social media and much, much more.
What do you want readers to know about Stryke Club?
Stryke Club was designed by four moms who believed that our boys and all boys deserve the best for skin care and acne treatment. One of our founders is an all-star dermatologist with a waitlist that is close to a year! She has fallen in love with an ingredient that she has used with her patients for the past decade and we are now making it accessible via Stryke Club! It’s super effective against face and body acne, eczema, dermatitis and more.
The founders of Stryke Club during a virtual meeting.
Handwritten notes to Stryke Club customers accompany product orders.
Young King Hair Care | Royally crafted hair products with natural ingredients fit for a young king
Based in: Atlanta, GA
Cora Miller, co-founder and CEO of Young King Hair Care shares how they are adapting their strategy on digital marketing and more to reach new customers.
Kade | Founders’ son and inspiration for the brand