With the rise of more and more black women breaking away from traditional 9-5s to become their own bosses, the CEO is getting a revamp as the SHEeo. In the Meet The SHEeo series, we talk to melanated mavens leveling up and glowing up, all while redefining what it means to be a boss.
While working behind the scenes in the fashion industry, Alicia Scott noticed that models of color would show up to shoots with their own makeup due to the lack of shades available. Noticing her own limited collection for her sensitive skin, Scott created RANGE Beauty— an affordable, high-performance, clean beauty line for forgotten shades, designed to appeal to a broad range of melanin-enriched skin tones. RANGE currently offers foundation in 21 shades and 3-4 undertone options that nourish the skin with wear.
Meet Alicia Scott of RANGE Beauty.
Photo by Tailiah Breon for xoNecole
Title: Founder & CEO of RANGE Beauty
Year Founded: 2017
Location: Atlanta, GA
# of Employees: Just me!
30-Second Pitch: RANGE Beauty is high-performance, clean beauty for the forgotten shades.
What inspired you to start your brand?
I previously worked in the fashion industry and noticed on shoots and runway shows backstage, the Black models would bring their own makeup kits for the MUAs to use. This in turn made me look at my own makeup collection which I found non-existent due to lack of shade range availability and my highly sensitive skin. I knew I had to stop wondering why these brands couldn't expand their shades and use non-toxic ingredients and decided to create the line myself.
What was your a-ha moment that brought your idea into reality?
My biggest a-ha moment was when I made my first order with the manufacturer. Fortunately, they have low minimum order quantities and I was able to start with $150 of inventory to test and play with. The day the order arrived, from the base ingredients, I was able to make 15 different shades of brown. I was shocked at the range that sat before me because if I was able to do this in one day, in my kitchen, with $150, what valid excuse did these large corporations have for not trying? I knew I could really put something great out for people of color made by someone who looks like them.
Who is your ideal customer?
My ideal customer is any person of color who feels that their skin tone is of ignored by beauty brands or not genuinely thought of, age 18-34, and ingredient-conscious.
What makes your business different?
RANGE is different because I truly want to make clean beauty for people of color accessible. I am my customer, so transparency and really giving customers a great product is important to me. EWG completed a study that revealed beauty products marketed specifically towards Black women contain two times more toxic ingredients than other groups. There needs to be more clean alternatives in the market and I want to really push that forward. As far as our specific products, we are unique in that they are dual makeup/skincare that actually nourishes your skin with wear instead of causing damage.
"RANGE is different because I truly want to make clean beauty for people of color accessible. I am my customer, so transparency and really giving customers a great product is important to me."
What obstacles did you have to overcome while launching and growing your brand? How were you able to overcome them?
Prior to launch, the biggest obstacle was picking a launch date and sticking to it. I kept pushing things back because I wanted perfection. There is such a stigma around Black-owned brands not being or looking on level with other brands and it caused me to fear launching. I finally got over it and realized the difference between perfection and professional. After launch, my biggest obstacle was keeping up with demand while bootstrapping the company. I didn't take out any loans so the company was growing based off revenue and anything extra I put in which can slow your growth in some areas. I'm still dealing with this but thankfully I've been in some great pitch competitions like Jackie Aina's Noir Tank where I received a grant for $5,000 and currently looking towards crowdfunding.
What was the defining moment in your entrepreneurial journey?
The defining moment in my journey is after being in business for a little over a year, I had Target reach out about us! Aside from our customers' support, it was the most validating moment for me. I mean I had it on my five-year goals so it just made me know even more that was I created is something really of value and significance.
Where have you seen the biggest return on investment? (i.e. marketing, ads, vending, social media)
The biggest ROI has absolutely been from influencer marketing, non-sponsored features. When influencers or MUAs believe in what you have and want to post about it based on that, it really hits home with turning their viewers/supporters into our new customers/supporters.
Do you have a mentor? If so, who?
I don't have a traditional mentor. I've been fortunate to connect one-on-one with the most amazing women who are business owners like Melissa Butler of The Lip Bar and Beatrice Feliu-Espada of The Honey Pot Co, who have dropped the realest knowledge and gems I've ever heard about being in this business. I also have a spectacular village of business women around me like Noor Farooq of Skin Glass by Noor Face and Raven Nichole of Legendary Rootz. We teach each other things, speak on resources, and go hard in supporting each other.
Biggest lesson you’ve learned in business?
The biggest lesson I've learned is just staying true to yourself and this God-given purpose. You can't solely be in this for the money or you won't last long. The belief and faith I have in what I'm doing is what's most important at the end of the day and will keep things going.
Anything else you would like for people to know, or take away from your entrepreneurial story?
I'm just so happy and proud to be here! It's a true roller coaster ride but it's my baby and I love it. I hope anyone who reads this who is doubting starting their company, knows to just go for it now!
Exclusive: Gabrielle Union On Radical Transparency, Being Diagnosed With Perimenopause And Embracing What’s Next
Whenever Gabrielle Union graces the movie screen, she immediately commands attention. From her unforgettable scenes in films like Bring It On and Two Can Play That Game to her most recent film, in which she stars and produces Netflix’s The Perfect Find, there’s no denying that she is that girl.
Off-screen, she uses that power for good by sharing her trials and tribulations with other women in hopes of helping those who may be going through the same things or preventing them from experiencing them altogether. Recently, the Flawless by Gabrielle Union founder partnered with Clearblue to speak at the launch of their Menopause Stage Indicator, where she also shared her experience with being perimenopausal.
In a xoNecole exclusive, the iconic actress opens up about embracing this season of her life, new projects, and overall being a “bad motherfucker.” Gabrielle reveals that she was 37 years old when she was diagnosed with perimenopause and is still going through it at 51 years old. Mayo Clinic says perimenopause “refers to the time during which your body makes the natural transition to menopause, marking the end of the reproductive years.”
“I haven't crossed over the next phase just yet, but I think part of it is when you hear any form of menopause, you automatically think of your mother or grandmother. It feels like an old-person thing, but for me, I was 37 and like not understanding what that really meant for me. And I don't think we focus so much on the word menopause without understanding that perimenopause is just the time before menopause,” she tells us.
Photo by Brian Thomas
"But you can experience a lot of the same things during that period that people talk about, that they experienced during menopause. So you could get a hot flash, you could get the weight gain, the hair loss, depression, anxiety, like all of it, mental health challenges, all of that can come, you know, at any stage of the menopausal journey and like for me, I've been in perimenopause like 13, 14 years. When you know, most doctors are like, ‘Oh, but it's usually about ten years, and I'm like, ‘Uhh, I’m still going (laughs).’”
Conversations about perimenopause, fibroids, and all the things that are associated with women’s bodies have often been considered taboo and thus not discussed publicly. However, times are changing, and thanks to the Gabrielle’s and the Tia Mowry’s, more women are having an authentic discourse about women’s health. These open discussions lead to the creation of more safe spaces and support for one another.
“I want to be in community with folks. I don't ever want to feel like I'm on an island about anything. So, if I can help create community where we are lacking, I want to be a part of that,” she says. “So, it's like there's no harm in talking about it. You know what I mean? Like, I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change. I'm just getting better and stronger and more intelligent, more wise, more patient, more compassionate, more empathetic. All of that is very, very welcomed, and none of it should be scary.”
The Being Mary Jane star hasn’t been shy about her stance on therapy. If you don’t know, here’s a hint: she’s all for it, and she encourages others to try it as well. She likens therapy to dating by suggesting that you keep looking for the right therapist to match your needs. Two other essential keys to her growth are radical transparency and radical acceptance (though she admits she is still working on the latter).
"I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change."
Gabrielle Union and Kaavia Union-Wade
Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images
“I hope that a.) you recognize that you're not alone. Seek out help and know that it's okay to be honest about what the hell is happening in your life. That's the only way that you know you can get help, and that's also the only other way that people know that you are in need if there's something going on,” she says, “because we have all these big, very wild, high expectations of people, but if they don't know what they're actually dealing with, they're always going to be failing, and you will always be disappointed. So how about just tell the truth, be transparent, and let people know where you are. So they can be of service, they can be compassionate.”
Gabrielle’s transparency is what makes her so relatable, and has so many people root for her. Whether through her TV and film projects, her memoirs, or her social media, the actress has a knack for making you feel like she’s your homegirl. Scrolling through her Instagram, you see the special moments with her family, exciting new business ventures, and jaw-dropping fashion moments. Throughout her life and career, we’ve seen her evolve in a multitude of ways. From producing films to starting a haircare line to marriage and motherhood, her journey is a story of courage and triumph. And right now, in this season, she’s asking, “What’s next?”
“This is a season of discovery and change. In a billion ways,” says the NAACP Image Award winner. “The notion of like, ‘Oh, so and so changed. They got brand new.’ I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
"I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
She continues, “So I'm just trying to figure out what's next. You know what I mean? I'm jumping into what's next. I'm excited going into what's next and new. I'm just sort of embracing all of what life has to offer.”
Look out for Gabrielle in the upcoming indie film Riff Raff, which is a crime comedy starring her and Jennifer Coolidge, and she will also produce The Idea of You, which stars Anne Hathaway.
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Have you ever been in a relationship with someone and felt so deeply connected to them? Everything about the relationship was intense – good or bad? Then you might be in a part of a soul tie.
The concept of a soul tie binds individuals on a level beyond a relationship's physical and emotional aspects; it’s more than a mere connection. You can form a soul tie with anyone – lover, friend, colleague, etc.- but we are discussing romantic partners for this article. Think of you and your partner as an intensely burning flame. The flame can burn passionately to light the relationship’s way or chaotically burn everything in its path. Either way, it leaves an indelible mark on the souls involved.
A soul tie should not be confused with the term “soulmate.” The main difference is that a soul tie can be positive or negative, while a soulmate is a mutual, harmonious connection. Unlike a soul tie, a soulmate relationship is generally characterized by mutual understanding, support, and shared values.
However, the more we learn about soul ties, the more it becomes evident that they are not monolithic; they vary in nature and intensity. As someone who has experienced a negative soul tie, it is crucial to discern whether they contribute positively to personal growth or hinder you from flourishing.
If Your Soul Tie Is Positive
A positive soul tie creates a deep and affirming connection between individuals. One key indicator of a positive soul tie is effective communication. If you’re experiencing a positive soul tie, a shared understanding fosters open and honest dialogue, contributing to a sense of connection and support.
Mutual growth is another hallmark of a positive soul tie. When individuals in a relationship encourage each other's personal development and evolution, it signifies a positive and uplifting connection. This mutual support leads to an environment where both parties can thrive individually and together, contributing to the overall health of the soul tie.
Emotional security is a crucial element in identifying a positive soul tie. In such connections, individuals feel a deep sense of trust and comfort with each other. This emotional security forms a stable foundation for the relationship, allowing both parties to express vulnerability and foster a strong, positive bond. These three indicators—effective communication, mutual growth, and emotional security—underscore the positivity inherent in a healthy and affirming soul tie.
If Your Soul Tie Is Negative
A negative soul tie manifests as a detrimental and draining connection between individuals. One clear sign of a negative soul tie is the presence of emotional turmoilwithin the relationship. When the connection becomes a source of constant distress, causing emotional upheaval and hindering personal development, it indicates a negative soul tie.
Codependency is another red flag for a negative soul tie. In such connections, individuals may become overly reliant on each other, impeding their ability to thrive independently. Codependency often leads to unhealthy dependencies and can result in a toxic dynamic that hinders both individuals' growth and well-being.
A lack of effective communication is a third indicator of a negative soul tie. When there is a breakdown in communication, misunderstandings and unresolved issues can fester, contributing to a strained and unhealthy connection. In negative soul ties, the absence of open and honest dialogue can perpetuate a cycle of negativity and prevent the resolution of underlying issues. These three indicators—emotional turmoil, codependency, and poor communication—point to the negativity associated with an unhealthy soul tie.
Putting Out The Fires And Breaking Your Soul Tie
Unfortunately, my deep, intense connection only caused destruction. And despite the obvious red flags, it took a minute before I broke the connection. Why? Because I was addicted to the relationship, we both were. But it is possible to break a soul tie if and when you are ready because if you are not, pretending you are when you are not is a waste of your time.
Breaking a soul tie requires intentional and purposeful actions. Establishing clear and firm boundaries is a fundamental step in severing the connection. By limiting contact and emotional engagement with the person involved, individuals can gradually weaken the tie and create space for personal growth.
Seeking professional support is another effective strategy to break a soul tie. Guidance from therapists or counselors provides valuable insights and coping strategies. Professional assistance can help individuals navigate the emotional challenges associated with breaking a soul tie, offering a structured and supportive environment for healing.
Redirecting energy toward personal growth is important in breaking free from a soul tie. Engaging in activities that promote individual well-being and create a sense of independence allows individuals to refocus their attention on their own growth and development. This redirection of energy is essential for breaking the emotional bonds of a soul tie and moving towards a healthier, more fulfilling life.
The last step I advise everyone to go through is the mourning period. My partner and I did our song and dance for years before I walked away. And I would be lying if I didn’t say that I mourned our relationship while I healed.
Recognizing the presence and nature of a soul tie in your relationship is crucial to understanding its impact on your well-being. Whether positive or negative, the intensity of a soul tie can shape the course of your personal growth and happiness. Breaking free from a negative soul tie demands intentional efforts, from setting clear boundaries to seeking professional support. Redirecting energy toward personal growth and allowing oneself a necessary mourning period are vital steps toward healing and liberation from the intricate ties that bind.
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Feature image by JD Mason/ Unsplash