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Her goal is to encourage Black women and make them feel beautiful. In the process of developing her business, Johnson has also rekindled entrepreneurial and creative passions she had from a young age. One of her many creative endeavors included making her own lip gloss on the kitchen stove as a fourth grader. But without funds or the encouragement to pursue her creativity further, those early memories of innovation and invention faded away until her freshman year at Iowa State. In FebruaryJohnson was scrolling through social media and was inspired by the many Black creatives, artists and other leaders she saw recognized during Black History Month.
Johnson decided it was her time to invest in herself and used a school refund to launch her business idea. She had been bullied about her lips at a young age, and lip gloss became a key part of her personal style and confidence. She wanted others to feel confident and beautiful, too.
I remember being ignored in different spaces.
I want to make people feel good about themselves and for other Black girls to know they are beautiful. I create everything myself. It takes research and experimentation to perfect the specific details she wants in her lip gloss products, such as color and consistency.
Once a product is ready to produce and market, she fills lip gloss tubes using a syringe and pipette. She makes as many as to 1, lip glosses per restock. While the process is complicated, her marketing strategy is simple: stay true to herself and brand. Her authenticity connects her in a special way to her customers. I also love how I have a platform to speak on issues and educate others, while being able to create opportunities.
By centering Black women and other Black, Indigenous and people of color in her photoshoots and storytelling, she hopes to uplift and inspire others who may have often felt unseen or unrecognized. As she has built her business, Johnson rediscovered her childhood creativity and a new sense of drive. I aspire to continue to use my voice to shed light on the issues that have been left in the dark.
Everything I do behind my brand and in my life is intentional, and I will continue to fight for the fallen, the silenced and the ones who fought before me. There will never be any room for hate here, and I will spread radical love with everything I do.
I am, and always will, represent something bigger than myself. In the future, Johnson hopes to expand her business while using her psychology and communications majors to create opportunities in mentoring, activism, art and cooking for residents of low-income neighborhoods and students of color. We have to address the lack of funding and aid in Black and Brown communities.
If you have a dream, idea or a vision, slowly start that savings fund specifically for your dream. Johnson encourages students to meet with other entrepreneurs, use online resources and ask good questions. Do you know an entrepreneur? Ask them for advice.
Do not be afraid to mess up and do more research. It is all part of the process. Make sure that whether you are starting out or have been working for a while, do not get so consumed in the world around you, that you forget about you. If you are inspired to launch a big idea of your own, LAS has a new program for students.
It was not available when Johnson started her business, but will open for undergraduate students in Fall Learn more. Submitted photo. Submitted photo It takes research and experimentation to perfect the specific details she wants in her lip gloss products, such as color and consistency. Published: March 1,Beautiful black girls of Iowa
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