Hotshot, Ivy League-trained lawyer, Kimberly Smith walked into a store in D.C. to buy makeup. And again, she is disappointed that she can’t find makeup that matches her skin tone. Either beauty companies don’t stock shades for women of color or they simply don’t even make them. Consequently, many women of color like Kimberly, are frustrated with the system. But this was the day Kimberly had enough. This was a problem that needed to be solved, and she was the one to do it. As a result, Kim entered digital beauty entrepreneurship space and Marjani Beauty was born.
Launched in January 2017, Marjani Beauty is an online “beauty and cosmetics retailer for women of color with a selection of beauty products curated from across the globe.” Marjani Beauty’s mission is “to create a retail experience for women of color where beauty and cosmetic products are accessible to all, no matter the shade, hair texture, age, nationality or geographical location.”
Always a “make it happen” kind of woman, Kim launched Marjani Beauty just six months after her fateful makeup shopping trip. But this wasn’t a lukewarm launch! She started with 12 brands and has expanded to nearly 20 in just a couple months. Big name brands like AJ Crimson, Melanie Mills, and Beauty Blender are all on board. Also as a part of its mission, Marjani seeks to give other budding entrepreneurs opportunities. In addition to big brands, she also stocks smaller brands like the one created by 16-year-old Zandra Cunningham. Zandra Beauty is a natural bath and body line for girls.
A globally minded woman, Kim launched her business online to reach women of color in underserved markets. She knew if she was having trouble finding makeup in D.C., it was probably impossible in Wisconsin or Montana.
Kim didn’t know she was going to be a digital beauty entrepreneur, but she saw a problem and sought to fix it. Using the internet and digital media to house and promote her business, she’s able to reach her target market where they are.