When looking at beauty and wellness, it’s hard to ignore the necessary yet unique space that African Americans occupy. From seeking a safe haven from everyday struggles to learning how to properly care for our distinctive features, to finding that perfect match to enhance our already magical complexions. Black people have found and will continue to find ways to contribute to the expansion of the beauty and wellness industry, through the creation of their own lanes.
The following three beauty and wellness brands, though small, have figured out a way to have a powerful impact on each of the lives that they touch. After receiving a second chance at life, the first aimed to preserve her life and others through the spread of happiness, joy, strength, goodness, and wisdom. The second, armed with balance and harmony, crafted products used to instill value and worthiness in his customers and clients. And the last, someone who never saw it for makeup, used that very thing that she lacked interest in and used that to launch an empire while building women’s confidence.
Chiquita Lewis, Yail’s Garden
What is Yail’s Garden’s story, and how long has it been in existence?
Yail’s Garden is a handmade, skincare line turned wellness brand that has been in existence since May 15, 2016. The story behind Yail’s Garden began when I lived in Egypt in 2011. In addition to having pneumonia, I had a rare muscle disease and near-death experience. I was married, had two children at the time, lived in a foreign country, and was in a medically induced coma. Upon recovering, I realized that I needed to do things differently to live longer for my children. I began studying herbs, and how to make products because I knew that to maintain my immune system, I needed to stop using products made with toxic chemicals. Unbeknownst to me, my life was beginning to turn into this holistic lifestyle. Fast forward to 2016, I had four children, my now ex-husband’s income wasn’t enough, and I needed extra money for necessities. In March of that year, after, I lost my job and contemplated whether or not if I should start my business. I launched, and my first event was in June of that year at the Quarry on Chicago’s South Side. No one showed up, and I was utterly distraught. But the following weekend, I had an event at the DuSable Museum Art festival. It was a two-day event, and I sold so many products. Ever since then, I have been making and selling products consistently.
What are some of your products?
My top seller is the whipped body butter, which comes in five different scents. The scents are named after fruits of the spirit, such as Happiness, Joy, Strength, Goodness, and Wisdom. They are whipped to perfection and made with Shea butter, coconut oil, essential oils, and go into the skin smoothly, by nourishing it. Another product that I offer is my soap. I have an activated charcoal soap that’s one of my best sellers. It’s made with lemongrass essential oil, detoxifies the skin, and helps with acne and blemishes. I also have soaps that match the scents in the Shea butter so people can layer their fragrances. Bath salts are another product offering. The main one that I try to keep in stock is clarity. It’s made with eucalyptus and peppermint, good for soaking the feet and body, and helps with aches in your joints. Lately, I’ve started selling candles. They sometimes come in the same scents as the body butter, but are more so are tailored to holistic healing and intentions.
What has been the most significant impact on the lives of your customers?
I would say asking them if they would like some “Happiness.” It’s an experience. But in the end, I make them a believer. They ask where the happiness is, not knowing that I’m referring to my body butter, and I tell them that it’s in the jar. After seeing and smelling the body butter on their skin, they realize that it does make them happy. It’s not so much that the product is amazing, but someone was considerate enough to ask about them. Typically, people are projecting. They want to know what someone can do for them, but when it comes to receiving, that’s not something that they get very often.
What are some of your proudest or most memorable collaborations?
My proudest collaboration was when I created my women’s wellness retreats. I made them out of necessity, to have a safe haven for healing as I was going through my divorce. The events included yoga, as well as speakers who happened to be strong, women entrepreneurs. It was like a mini-summit. The women I partnered with were powerhouses, and everyone who attended the retreats left feeling stronger, supported, and excited. I was grateful for the opportunity to bring women together in that way, and have them leave with tools that they could use in the future.
What’s one thing you want people to know about you?
I want people to know that I care. When you meet me and my products, you will feel the love. It’s not just about the money; there’s the intention behind it. The intention is to grow a tribe or a village. It’s not about me; it’s about everyone who comes in contact with me. And because Yail’s Garden is turning into a wellness brand, it’s about how we can sit together to learn from each other and grow.
For more information on Yail’s Garden, visit https://yailsgarden.com/, and follow them on Instagram @yailsgarden.
Ian Edwards, 6|4
What is the story behind, and how long has it been in existence?
6|4 is a beauty brand that has been in existence for five years. It started as an organic, natural skincare brand named after my birthday, June 4. However, as I’ve matured, as well as the brand, 6|4 has become a Skincare and Personal Wellness Lifestyle Brand that I want to encompass harmony and balance, much like my Gemini zodiac sign. As it relates to the product, that sense of balance is the harmony between nature and science. And as it relates to the customer, my goal is to help them achieve a sense of wellness through self-care. We provide services and products that are meant to help provide a sense of balance and fun. The products are very easy and accessible to the client, but also very efficacious in our approach.
What are some of the products that you provide?
The two flagship products that I started with are the sugar scrubs, which have been renamed and rebranded as facial polishes. Their scents are Green Tea Lemon Mojito and Citrus Ginger. I also have two face washes. One is the 24/7 Chamomile and Cucumber daily gentle face wash, and the second is our Alpha and Beta Hydroxy, daily exfoliating face wash. There are also two fragrances, which are Cedar & White Musk and Rose Absolute & Amber. As for the body, there are two scrubs that I just finished. One is the Café Mocha, and the other is the Just for Feet foot scrub.
How has 6|4 changed over the years?
Initially, I wanted 6|4 to be all-natural and organic. I started it before having any real-world skincare experience. Since then, I’ve gone back to school to become an aesthetician and a licensed master aesthetician. I’ve also studied skin of color and the environmental effects in addition to the impact of products. Going back to school has helped the brand change in that I have developed a deeper appreciation for the synthesis of chemical additives. So the brand has shifted from being all-natural and organic to focusing more on efficacy and results now. If that means that the addition of properly formulated skincare products that use some chemicals, then I’m okay with it.
What are some of the collaborations or partnerships that you’re proud of?
A friend of mine, by the name of Cleavon Meabon, invited me to be a vendor at his show, Breathe, at The Arc Theater in Washington, DC. I was also invited to the Stellar Awards in Las Vegas, which was the first time that I traveled out of state for my brand. I’ve been a featured vendor at the Escape Puerto Rico LGBTQ Music Festival and was profiled in a few small LGBTQ publications that I’m proud of. This year, however, I have a lot of artists, musicians, and celebrities that I want to collaborate with. Lil Nas X is at the top of my list. I comment under each of his posts that I will one day be his aesthetician. I want to start expanding my reach to people who have bigger platforms that can help me to grow mine. I want to be on BET, in Black Enterprise, I want to be global. On the surface, 6|4 is skincare, but beyond that, it boils down to emotional and mental wellness.
What is one thing that you want people to know about the work that you do?
It’s two-fold. One, I want people to know that my work is an extension of me. It’s what I do, and I’m proud of it. But what I’m starting to understand is that there was a divinity along the way to put the ideas in my mind. It’s my work, I’m the throughway, but I feel that the work I do is something greater than myself. The second thing is that on the surface, it reads skincare. But deeper than that, it is about creating something that allows people to feel their own sense of value. I didn’t always feel worthy as a child; I felt weird and awkward. But my work for 6|4 allowed me to create something that allowed me to feel worthy of existing. As far as the work that I do, as it relates to skincare, I realized that a lot of people hadn’t been taught to appreciate and value themselves as people, which has a lot to do with what we see in the mirror. Many of us don’t feel that we’re worthy because our beauty standards are based on what we think we should look like. With me doing skincare, when I feel like I can help improve my client’s and customers’ skin, I feel like I’ve helped to improve their esteem in some way.
For more information 6|4, visit https://www.64luxury.com/, and follow them on Instagram @64ian.
Tiffany Humphrey, Tiff Daily Beat
What is Tiff Daily Beat’s Story?
Tiff Daily Beat has been in existence for five years. What’s funny is, I never liked makeup. But as I got older and looked at pictures of myself, I saw that I didn’t look all the way put together. So I started small with a little concealer here, some powder there, and it just snowballed. Five years ago, being a beauty influencer wasn’t a big thing on YouTube. There weren’t many women of color that could give instructions on how to do your makeup. You would see photos of women with a full face, but never how they got there. So when I started Tiff Daily Beat, I posted different products that women of color could use. One day, a friend of mine begged me to do her makeup for her birthday, and after initially telling her no, I did it, and she became my muse. From there, I got my first wedding, and it took off. Then I began to notice women reaching out to me, looking for tips. That’s when I realized that my thing was showing women how to do their full face as easily as possible. It blew up after that, and I came out with my first beauty bundle, which was a collection of lipsticks. Since then, it’s been where it is today. For the past year, I’ve been going live on Instagram every Tuesday for what I call “Tuesdays With Tiff,” where we do a full face. I answer everyone’s makeup questions; we talk about current events, daily routines, words of encouragement, and everything from makeup to marriage. It’s something that just gives women confidence.
What are some of the products that you provide or events that you facilitate?
Currently, I have lipgloss, lipsticks, and highlighters. I just released my birthday palette, which includes 35 highly pigmented eyeshadows. I’ve had events, offer one on ones, consultations, shopping trips, and kit cleanouts. Also, when I can, I do makeup on the weekends.
What has been your most significant moment?
I have two. The first is when someone from Organic Root Stimulator reached out, asking me to come and do the makeup for their campaign. She gave me all the information, I showed up, and months later, to see my name and Instagram handle under makeup artist was unreal. I was outdone. My second memorable moment was coming out with my liquid lipsticks; it was something that I wanted to do for my birthday. So I saved my money and invested in me. I came up with the packaging, added my logo, my husband took the photos, and that was it. It became something bigger than I could have dreamed of. Now I can say that I wear my lipsticks or see people wearing and posting about my products.
In addition to the collaboration with Organic Root Stimulator and being featured in Sophisticate’s Black Hair, what are some other partnerships?
Most recently, I collaborated with Puma. I’ve taught three classes with MAC and have partnered with a lot of salons here in Chicago and pop-up shops.
What’s something that you want people to know about Tiff Daily Beat?
I want people to know that this is for them. I listen to people’s feedback, hear what they’re saying, and take into consideration what colors they like and answer all questions. I wouldn’t be where I am or have the success that I have, had it not been for them. My goal is to make sure that whenever I put something out or do something, that they are the right in front of my business and what I do. Often, you don’t have access to someone you can ask questions about products before buying them. So I tell them to let me be the one to try the products so I can report back. That’s how Tiff Daily Beat started. That’s why it started. And that’s why I’m still here.
For more information on Tiff Daily Beat, please visit https://www.tiffdailybeat.com/ and follow them on Instagram @tiffdailybeat.