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The Power Of Choosing Herself: Sienna Brown's Path From Event Planning To Beauty Branding

The ItGirl 100 List, in partnership with Hyundai, is a celebration of 100 Black women who aren’t afraid to pull up their own seats to the table.

Before Sienna Brown, founder of Glosshood, took a leap of faith to leave her corporate career, she knew, in her body, that it was time for a change.


“I was working as an event planner, and I was just so sick of it,” she tells xoNecole. “I decided I didn't want to be there anymore — I didn’t want to live my life like this. My body just felt it. I was getting hives all over, I was so stressed; I would be crying all the time.”

As a means to explore her newfound freedom from a corporate life, Brown began dabbling in various video-based projects, from music and social justice. However, her true passion was to create a beauty brand that aimed to reconnect with her inner child.

“I made a promise to myself — and I wrote this in my resignation letter, actually — that I would always choose myself,” she reflects. “Glosshood is an extension of that: choosing yourself over and over again and getting back to that little version of yourself that prioritized play.”

As a first-generation Jamaican-American, Brown found herself crossed between strict cultural norms towards makeup and her own desire to explore the glamour of coming-of-age traditions. “If you know anything about Jamaican or Caribbean parents, you know they're very strict about makeup and ‘coming of age type things,’” she shares.

Sienna-Brown-Glosshood-founderCourtesy

“I made a promise to myself that I would always choose myself. Glosshood is an extension of that: choosing yourself over and over again, and getting back to that little version of yourself that prioritized play.”

For her, lip gloss wasn’t just a product, it was a rite of passage into becoming the woman she’d ultimately be. “Luckily, my parents were pretty open to letting me wear nail polish and stuff like that, but when it came to makeup, my parents, my dad especially, was like, absolutely not.”

Soon, the beauty supply store became Brown’s playground and the foundation for a product that would make her mark on the beauty industry years down the line.

“When I was creating Glosshood, I thought, What's the thing that can always make you feel beautiful?” she says. “Anytime you just want that extra little oomph in your life, you just put on some lip gloss, and you're like, okay, I feel better.”

Going into her 4th year, the Sephora Accelerator Grant recipient and beauty ItGirl is determined to be “the biggest beauty brand in the world,” trusting that everything she envisions will fall into place. “I've never really wondered how because I knew that if God gave me the vision and put it in my mind, I could do it, and he would put everything in place for me.”

And she’s doing just that, one lip gloss at a time.

Sienna Brown on what it means to be an ItGirl:

“Being an ItGirl means finding solutions — and not taking ‘no’ for an answer. I cannot tell you the amount of times people have told me no. And I've been like, what do I do now? But one thing that always keeps me going is thinking about where I started. Being an ItGirl is like a form of constantly affirming yourself because nobody believes in you the way that you're going to believe in you.

"So when people see you coming out, and you know, being proud of what you're putting out into the world, people want to be a part of that, and people want to support you, but you have to give them things to support. That's what being an ItGirl is to me.”

On navigating struggles and challenges in her career journey:

“When I was first starting my company, and even today, I'm a very scrappy person. I didn’t have the money to pay someone right out; it became a thing of capital. And that's something that I find a lot of founders have to overcome very early on. You're doing what you can with what you have and that's my number one advice to people: start where you're at; do what you can with what you have. You can do a lot more than you think, especially if you're willing to teach yourself. Overcome the idea of, ‘I don't have the money to do it,’ — it’s about getting scrappy and really being devoted to learning and teaching yourself.”

On the advice she would you give young women who desire to make their mark:

“I think the number one thing is to be yourself. Who I am with my parents is who I am with my friends. Who I am with my friends is who I am with you right now. I am fully myself. One thing that I will always pride myself on is that I never know everything. I learned so much stuff day in and day out, and while I'm learning, I still don't know everything.

"Be willing to change things. Do not be married to the ideas or the things that come up or pop up along the journey. Remain nimble and remain flexible; in thought, in practice, and in ideation — that's where the magic happens.”

"Remain nimble and remain flexible; in thought, in practice, and in ideation — that's where the magic happens."
Sienna-Brown

Courtesy

On what excites her about the future of Glosshood:

“I'm excited for it to be the biggest beauty brand in the world. It sounds absolutely insane saying it because it's like, how are you going to do that? But I've never really wondered how because I knew that if God gave me the vision and put it in my mind, I could do it, and He would put everything in place for me. He would align my steps for me.

“It’s about being the most faithful version of myself. Everyone's looking at me like Sienna, you're crazy. And I'm like, well: it's crazy until it's not. I cannot wait to have the entire world experiencing their inner child in real-time through beauty.”

To learn more about the ItGirl 100 List, view the full list here.

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