Akilah Releford of Mary Louise Cosmetics
"As a Black and female founder in the beauty space, it's important for me to speak up now more than ever. The beauty industry has been notorious for lacking diversity, whether it be through product assortment or marketing campaigns. With that being said, I feel honored on a daily basis to create skin-care products for those who feel like they are not represented in this market. I think about my grandmothers, Mary (maternal) and Louise (paternal), and how I can continue to channel their voices and spirits through the work I do.
When I first started my company almost three years ago, I had zero connections in the beauty space and knew of very few Black female entrepreneurs in the skin-care space. What gives me hope moving forward as a business owner is the fact that, three years later, I now know of so many amazing and impactful Black-owned and minority-owned skin-care companies that are championing for diversity and inclusion in the beauty industry. My peers and my customers give me hope.
In the last few days, Mary Louise has been completely overwhelmed with love from so many people, and we sincerely appreciate the support. We will continue to do our part as a woman- and Black-owned brand to provide inspiration (and amazing skin-care products) for all!"