By Yulia Idemenko

March 8, 2021

Aja Frierson, founding father of Behavior Cosmetics

How an proprietor of a non-toxic natural make-up enterprise constructed relationships with producers, overcame the hurdles of a pandemic, and efficiently ramped up enterprise.

Ever since Aja Frierson was a younger lady watching her mom diligently apply her lipstick within the mirror, she was obsessive about make-up, particularly the best way it was used for self-expression and private care. As a teen, Frierson grew to become depending on make-up to cowl up her acne-prone pores and skin. It wasn’t till she was in faculty that she tried totally different detox diets and located {that a} low-processed natural vegan eating regimen offered much-needed aid from her pores and skin issues. When she wished to equally detox her make-up routine, Frierson struggled to search out clear magnificence manufacturers that represented girls who appeared like her.

Quick ahead to his first job out of faculty as a colorist for a number one model within the trend business, the place Frierson realized how you can put collectively stylish shade palettes that could possibly be worn in any shade. of pores and skin.

“It was at that second {that a} mild bulb went off for me that I used to be ready to make use of this new ability to create collections and shade merchandise, and on the identical time assist all girls who need to really feel represented and who need to heal by merchandise that promote well being. ” she says. At the moment, Frierson started to work on creating a group of fresh cosmetics, and so it’s. Cosmetics Behavior was born.

Since its inception in 2013, Behavior Cosmetics has grown right into a profitable make-up model that makes use of non-toxic, vegan, and cruelty-free formulation and sustainable packaging. They supply excessive efficiency cosmetics which are offered in practically 100 shops throughout the nation, together with Walmart and on-line. The present assortment consists of nail polish – the one one in the marketplace to make parts from recycled plastic – multi-purpose natural colours for lips, cheeks and eyes, and natural cream highlighters in reusable aluminum jars and glass.

Higlighters Make-up Vegan Behavior Cosmetics

Since its inception in 2013, Behavior Cosmetics has grown right into a profitable make-up model that makes use of non-toxic, vegan, and cruelty-free formulation and sustainable packaging.

Construct relationships with producers

Whereas make-up is completed in California, Behavior Cosmetics depends on its abroad producers for his or her signature bamboo on caps and different recycled plastic parts which are all sourced from China.

“I am so lucky to have the ability to work with the producers that I make and depend on their experience,” says Frierson. “And it actually provides me the arrogance to know that the formulation I’ve created with them are completely wonderful.”

Regardless of the latest political local weather that has created negativity round China, together with sourcing from China, Frierson has had solely one of the best experiences working with Chinese language producers, though it took time to search out and keep relationships with the proper producers for every part of make-up.

“I’m now working with among the finest producers within the enterprise,” she says, “who’ve actually gone above and past my expectations to verify I am blissful and who’re additionally continuously working with me on totally different options that I do not essentially have. discovered elsewhere. ”

To entrepreneurs who’re contemplating bringing in overseas producers, Frierson says, “Do not be afraid to supply from China. I feel there are some fabulous companions on the market who’re able to work with you and assist you to create options simply on your model. ”

Overcome the obstacles

As a feminine shade entrepreneur, accessing funding has been the largest hurdle for Frierson, particularly within the clear magnificence business during which Behavior Cosmetics operates. And the statistics, sadly, replicate it. In accordance with Fundera, america has a complete of 12.3 million women-owned companies that generate $ 1.8 trillion yearly. Final yr, 64% of latest women-owned companies have been began by girls of shade. Regardless of all this, female-owned startups obtain solely 7% of VC funds, and feminine entrepreneurs, on common, ask for about $ 35,000 much less in enterprise funding than males and get a mean quantity of mortgage practically $ 5,000 lower than their male counterparts.

Lastly, the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has had a major affect on small companies in all sectors, drive rather a lot to rotate, go browsing or fully shut their operations. The information means that small companies have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, with round 48% of firms with one to 4 staff experiencing vital or extreme affect. Behavior Cosmetics gross sales weakened at the beginning of the yr when a few of their bodily retailers closed on account of authorities shutdowns. Have a giant on-line presence has helped Behavior Cosmetics maintain its head above water and inclement climate throughout these making an attempt occasions.

Scale your rising enterprise with a packaging change

Growing a enterprise is sort of all the time a problem. Making a enterprise mannequin that permits your small business to generate income with out including big prices alongside the best way requires the proper infrastructure, flexibility, and enterprise methods in place. That is very true when a small enterprise like Behavior Cosmetics will get a big retailer like Walmart that requires giant minimal orders for every sort of product.

“Scaling was an absolute problem for us, and till just a few years in the past it was actually troublesome for us to scale,” says Frierson. The rationale was that the sturdy parts and the meeting course of prevented them from producing numerous models. It was solely when Frierson modified its packaging that Behavior Cosmetics might evolve.

Behavior Cosmetics has all the time been intentional about their use of sustainable packaging. On the identical time, sustainable packaging is dear, laborious to search out, and never one thing that many producers are keen to work with. It’s notably troublesome for small companies that would not have enough dimension and enough monetary assets to decide to utilizing the sort of shopper packaging.

Up to now, the whole lot Behavior Cosmetics made was assembled by hand and their bamboo cups needed to be glued by hand onto small parts.

“I’m so fortunate to have the ability to work with the producers that I make and to depend on their experience. And it actually provides me confidence realizing that the formulation I’ve created with them are completely wonderful.

-Aja Frierson

Behavior Cosmetics non-toxic vegan nail polish in varied shades

“It was a fully ridiculous course of,” feedback Frierson. So she discovered a producer able to producing recycled plastic and redesigned the caps to be detachable. With this modification, Frierson was capable of fully outsource meeting to its producers in order that merchandise may be shipped straight from the producer to the distribution heart and wherever they should go.

“It took some time, and it took just a little creativity for my makers to determine it out,” she says. “I am actually pleased with our processes now.”

Have the proper monetary associate to assist your small business

“I am unable to say sufficient about Agnes Lew and his workforce at East West Financial institution. They actually went above and past for me in each means, ”says Frierson, who lately grew to become a consumer of East West Financial institution. To assist offset the results of the pandemic and keep money circulation, Frierson utilized for a PPP mortgage, which the financial institution is presently serving to to safe.

“I’ve by no means had such a stage of assist and private consideration from a financial institution earlier than and I really feel like East West is basically invested in my success as an entrepreneur and businessman, ”she continues.

What’s subsequent for Behavior Cosmetics

On the recommendation of Agnes Lew, who pitched to Frierson the thought of ​​collaborating with modern artists, Behavior Cosmetics is ready to launch 14 new nail polish shades, three of that are co-creations with up-and-coming artists like Kezia Harrell. , Alake Shilling and Lauren Halsey.

(Photograph credit score): Gettyimages.com/sorbetto

“What’s actually thrilling about these new colours that we have co-created collectively is that 40% of the proceeds will go to the causes that every of the artists helps,” says Frierson. For instance, Lauren Halsey helps a corporation referred to as Crenshaw City Heart, and their mission is to purchase again the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza and redevelop it for the area people, by the neighborhood.

Frierson had wished to evolve his model in a extra mission-oriented course for a while now, however simply did not know how you can do it in an genuine means. Final yr, with the rise of social justice actions, she felt it was time for her model to start out giving again.

“That is why I am excited to maneuver ahead with this artist collaboration and assist their causes, and it is one thing I need to proceed to do with my model sooner or later,” says Frierson. .


For extra ideas, try our enterprise continuity toolkit with the newest assets on how you can take care of the pandemic.

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