I just started chopping these lists. I would go through and go down rabbit holes of their Instagram pages and their beautiful websites, doing all this research on these founders. There were these other initiatives like the 15% Pledge and Pull Up for Change—beautiful initiatives—also being born out of the summer of 2020.
In my mind, when I would look at those lists that I appeared on alongside 200, 300, sometimes 400 other Black-owned, Black-founded beauty brands, I thought to myself, Why has nobody ever thought about opening a store where the majority of the products were made by people of color?
But not only them, that we also had allies and other brands to show true inclusivity. I was also getting a lot of DMs from people saying, “I just discovered your brand Nyakio Beauty at Target, but can I use it on my skin? I don’t look like you.” I also felt it was my personal calling to do some myth-busting, which is, I, as a Black woman, my whole life have been using products made by people that don’t look like me, and they work on my skin, and they work on my hair and the makeup shades.
I thought, Gosh, if a few people are asking me this on DM, this feels like a much bigger opportunity to solve for some miseducation.