Brittney Ogike was transitioning from a career in sports management when she noticed local beauty supply stores had significant gaps regarding the variety and quality of beauty products for women of color. She decided her next play was to fill that gap, so she founded Beauty Beez.

“These local little indie retailers that sell ethnic beauty products sell hair care for curly hair, textured hair, kinky hair – they sell limited skin care options for people with black and brown skin and then makeup offerings that are a little bit more inclusive than what you would find at a Sephora or an Ulta,” Brittney says. “However, the products were limited. The products’ efficacy was also very limited, and the experience was not a great experience. And I’m like, why do I feel so dissatisfied when I leave the local beauty’s beauty supply?”

Even the big beauty giants like Ulta and Sephora weren’t selling the niche products Brittney needed.

“We just set out on a mission to create that space where women of color can feel celebrated in a world full of beauty, dedicated specifically to our unique needs,” she says.

One of the first big surprises Brittney found was that the beauty space is male-dominated. That’s where her experience in sports management paid off.

“It’s an industry that’s catered towards women, but men – specifically white men – are a lot of the decision-makers and the CEOs and the founders,” she says. “So it wasn’t a big transition dealing with men in sports, then going around and dealing with men and beauty.”

Times are changing, though, Brittney says, with more women founders in the beauty business.

“I think that’s why there’s been such a renaissance in beauty because we’re seeing founders and beauty from all walks of life,” she says. “I think it speaks to us women as consumers finding pain points and then finding solutions for them.”

The COVID pandemic caused the brand to shut its doors for a few months, but its e-commerce site flourished.

“It was booming while our store was closed, and once we were able to open the store back up, we still had tons of foot traffic,” she says. “I think the Black Lives Matter movement created that during that time. That had a tailwind effect on our business. We garnered much support from our community and attention from the national media as a whole.”

In Part 1, Brittney talks about:

* Gratitude to her family and husband for their around-the-clock support.
* An overview of the brand
* How she pivoted from a sports management career to the beauty space.
* The gap in products at many beauty stores.
* The renaissance in beauty.
* How she created the brand.
* How COVID affected the company.
* How the Black Lives Matter movement affected the brand.

Join Ramon Vela and Brittney Ogike as they break down the inside story on The Story of a Brand.

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