The Business of Black-Owned Beauty Is Booming, but 1 Founder Shares Why It Can't End There

Jun 5 2020 - 10:40am

With antiracism protests happening all over the country in support of the Black Live Matter Movement, a light is finally being shed on other areas of injustices and systemic racism in the US that the Black community has been facing all this time. In the beauty industry, that is being met with many brands and consumers wanting to change [1] and support more Black-owned businesses [2]. For Desiree Verdejo, the founder of Hyper Skin [3], this new self-awareness that people are experiencing is clearly visible in her own business and has impacted it more than she could have ever imagined.

"This has been a heavy week as a Black woman with a Black husband and two young children that I'm raising in an imperfect world," Verdejo told POPSUGAR. "I think with all that's going on, the one positive experience has been how Black consumers and white allies have come together and pinpointed that police violence is not the only wrong thing in our community."

What she's referring to is the sudden increase in interest in her skin-care brand that launched six months ago. "People are really self-reflecting and thinking of other ways and their own lives that they can create equality," said Verdejo, "And so, we've seen a surge of support and sales, which has been amazing." But she's not celebrating this "win" without a little hesitation because Verdejo hopes this movement provides long-term changes after life goes "back to normal."

"I'm really hoping that although nothing's going to remain at a peak, this level of consciousness remains," said Verdejo. "And I hope that more diversity gets integrated [4] into all of of the platforms where there's a light being shone now." In addition to seeing an uptick in sales and followers on Hyper Skin's social media [5] pages, the brand has gotten a lot of attention recently in a few big media publications and made it onto a list of "best 200 Black-owned brands."

"I'm excited that we were mentioned, but I hope that means that this year that more publications make their content incredibly diverse, because clearly they know about 200 beautifully done, beautifully packaged, retail-ready, editorial-friendly, Black-owned brands," said Verdejo. "And I hope that by them being catapulted and focused on and celebrated right now, that some of that remains."

Even though spotlighting and shopping Black-owned businesses is a start — and a great one — she wants to see even more action put to words. "Economic power is significant, and I know the challenge of raising money as a Black person," Verdejo said. "I hope that this trickles into the types of investments that are made in Black-owned businesses, because they're not as hidden as the industry makes them seem."

Of the overwhelming outreach that Hyper Skin has received this week, the brand has also made it onto the radar of major corporations. "I've been approached by buyers from major retailers that I've been trying to get in front of since launch," Verdejo said. "Our consumer is not a monolith, so I'm excited to meet her where she is. I hope that with the current spotlight on Black-owned brands, retailers continue to make sure that the owners behind the brands they carry are as diverse [6] as their clientele."

As exciting as visibility to major corporations is, Verdejo had big plans for this year, regardless. "We are rolling out additional products no matter what, because our customers are clearly ready for them."

She has a friend who owns the clean nail polish brand Mischo Beauty [7], who's audience is predominantly Black. "And it's nail polish," said Verdejo. "I can't think of a more skin tone neutral category of beauty." What she wants consumers to take away from all of this is that while it's great to celebrate Black-owned brands, these brands are for everyone.

While Hyper Skin is geared toward women of color simply because Verdejo felt there was a hole in the market that needed to be filled for clean and clinical, yet fun skin care solutions for Black women, its products can be beneficial to all skin tones. "There are always times of the year, whether it's Black History Month, or what have you, where there is a focus on Black-owned brands," said Verdejo. "I hope that it's pointed out that so many of these products are for everyone."

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