Celebrating founders of color on Juneteenth
We’re so happy to be able to celebrate Juneteenth with you all. The oldest commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States, it was originally marked in Texas on June 19, 1866, the first anniversary of the day that African Americans there learned of the Emancipation Proclamation – more than two years after it was initially issued
Last year – following a move by corporate giants including Twitter, Square, Nike, Lyft, and the NFL to give employees a day off on the day – it was officially recognized as a public holiday in the US for the first time.
It’s an opportunity to reflect, rejoice, learn from the past, and recognize African American achievements. We also hope you’ll use this month to think about the businesses you support, and actively seek out brands founded by and run by people of color. These are four of our favorites to get you started. And you can learn more about Juneteenth here.
AYELE & CO
Danielle Ambrose’s grandmother always told her: "Skincare heals more than just the skin, it heals the soul." Her vision has been (and will always be) to create a brand that reflects the values of clean and sustainable natural beauty. Taking her grandmother's love for natural remedies and using herself as a test subject, she’s created a genderless range of products – serums, masks, and cleansers – that bring comfort to your skin, and to your soul.
Born in Djibouti to a Martiniquan mother and French father, Shirley Billot grew up with a deep awareness of environmental and societal issues. She learned about Creole herbs and pharmacopoeia from her mother, and developed a deep passion for plant research. Studying the virtues of the banana tree, she discovered new cosmetic active ingredients called "musactif" which help preserve the health and youthfulness of skin. That discovery led to the launch of the eco-conscious, high-performance skincare brand Kadalys, with its patented Banana Bio-actives contained in a range of cleansers, balms, and oils.
Vera had no idea she was going to be an entrepreneur. Her background was all theater – Broadway, TV, commercials. All that heavy make-up was never a problem … until she won the part of Linda Metcalf on Another World, NBC’s first Black family soap opera. “I was face to face with a new television family, right in their living rooms, and the mak-eup was heavy for television. Undeniably, I didn't like the way I looked or felt. I mixed and matched in an attempt to find foundation colors, to accommodate my skin tone. I realized for the first time the disparity for high-quality products for women of color. I decided to do something about it. I took a risk.” Vera Moore Cosmetics and Skincare was born.
Darnell Henderson was serving in the US Navy when he discovered the need for quality men’s skincare. The requirement to shave daily, combined with grueling physical and mental demands, left his skin looking inflamed and irritated. As a fit and ambitious young man, this was not the image he wanted to present. So, he set out to develop a solution that would allow him to look and feel his best. The result? Products that go far beyond simply prepping skin for shaving, dealing with acne, dryness, premature signs of aging, and ingrown hairs all at the same time.
"Struggle is a never-ending process. Freedom is never really won, you earn it and win it in every generation."
Coretta Scott King