YOU LAUNCHED YOUR FIRST COMPANY WHILE YOU WERE ATTENDING BABSON COLLEGE. HOW DID YOU DECIDE ON ENTREPRENEURSHIP AS YOUR PROFESSIONAL JOURNEY?
I actually wrote in my second grade journal that I wanted to have my own beauty company and was set on that dream ever since. However, the summer going into my senior year of college I was offered a full time role at my dream beauty company upon graduation and at first signed with them. However, I quickly realized that my heart was set on the entrepreneurial path and gave myself senior year to work on the concept that eventually became Beautini so that I could pursue it as a career after graduation.
WHAT WAS MOST SURPRISING ABOUT THE WEDDING INDUSTRY? HOW DID YOU SEPARATE YOUR COMPANY IN A SEA OF BRANDS?
The most interesting part of the wedding & events industry is the phycology and human behavior of its consumers. Many everyday purchases are backed by logic and reason but with weddings, they are very much emotional purchases. You may spend $12 for a bouquet of roses at a bodega but for your wedding you will easily spend $200+ for a floral arrangement. That being said, the talent and service of the vendors is what makes all the difference. I decided to specialize in weddings and events with Beautini because I didn't find any options for a bridal beauty company that specialized in natural beauty and embracing one's features. A bride is a normal woman every other day of her life, she wants to look like her best version of herself and not with an overly done, outdated hair or makeup look. Understanding that gap in the market and the lack of customer services at the luxury tier in this section of the industry allowed us to truly flourish with our customers and wedding partners.
As a female founder and a woman of color, what have you had to do to overcompensate for perceptions? How much does your style impact perceptions when you’re fundraising?
Finding an outfit that makes you feel like your best self is always the way to go as that confidence radiates from the inside out. When it comes to overcompensating for perceptions, a man can wear a suit or a t- shirt and jeans as someone in tech and be taken seriously and well respected whereas if a woman were to dress down or wear something on the sexier side, she may be judged as sloppy and that she cannot be taken seriously. At the end of the day, whether it's a potential investor, customer, or peer that you are interacting with, you want to stay true to yourself and brand and not to give a false perception of yourself. With this said, if you want to wear a fun floral dress for an important meeting, I say absolutely go for it!
You attend wedding after wedding after wedding. What’s your favorite part and least favorite?
My favorite part is witnessing the couples having the best days of their lives and being a part of that incredibly special moment! My least favorite part...hmm well I love weddings (hence why I built my first company in the wedding space!) so I guess I don't have one!
What do you do with your event dresses once you’ve worn them once? Do you continue to recycle them in your closet or do you re-sell them?
I generally keep my dresses and reuse them throughout the years or I will hand them down to my younger sister to make sure it's worn many times!
Let’s talk sexual wellness. What sparked the idea behind Beia Beauty? How has this second business experience been different than your first?
I always wanted to build a product based brand but knew it was important to truly understand where the white space was in a very saturated market first. My first company, Beautini served as a platform for understanding the intimate needs and personal skincare concerns of women. Through many conversations with our client I learned that many of us have skincare concerns in intimate areas that affect our confidence in the bedroom and beyond. Now with Beia, I want to underscore the idea that skincare and sexual wellness go hand-in-hand. Beia was created as a skincare company that addresses intimate care in an elevated, luxurious way so that you can feel your best self, look your best self, and be your best self.
Starting my second company, I already knew what I was signing up for by building from the ground up again but I still am figuring out each step out just like I did with Beautini.
How do you want consumers to feel when they use your Beia Beauty products?
I want to empower our consumers to feel comfortable in their own skin so they can experience the pleasure they truly deserve.
Complete this sentence- I feel empowered when…
I am surrounded by individuals that encourage each other to work hard to achieve our dreams.