Dollhouse Cosmetics CEO Chyna Russell On Helping Woman Of Color Build Six-Figure Beauty Brands

The global beauty industry is almost a half trillion-dollar business.

But for Black beauty consumers, finding the right foundation shade can feel rather taxing for companies that don’t realize that Black people’s skin comes in a variety of hues. It’s evident that the beauty industry still has far to go when it comes to inclusivity and diverse representation in the Black community.

For Chyna Russell, that call to action has become her life’s mission. The Dollhouse Cosmetics founder is committed to empowering women of color to create their own beauty businesses.

BLACK ENTERPRISE caught up with Russell who shares how she turned her passion for inclusion into a successful empire and gives advice on getting ahead of the competition in the beauty industry.

BE: What was the “Aha Moment” that led to the idea for your current company Dollhouse Cosmetics? Can you share that story with us?

RUSSELL: My aha moment came while working for other major cosmetic companies. I quickly realized that I wasn’t seeing women that looked like me in this field. I also wasn’t experiencing an environment where Black women were catered to. All I would see in reality was numbers. Truth be told, the numbers were being falsely reported. It would always say the numbers aren’t showing that Black women spend money on makeup and I knew that wasn’t true. The truth was these companies didn’t see the relevance in having a market for us. Once this reality set in, I said, ‘I’m going to do more research then get my money right and solve the problem.’ The solution and my goal were always and will be to have Black-owned businesses cater to women that look like me. Dollhouse cosmetics is dedicated to always serving women who look like me!

What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?

The top three skills of entrepreneurs I would say are:

  1. Being able to strategize
  2. Remain humble with the ability to continuously learn
  3. Never lose your ambition and self-confidence

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person to whom you are grateful who helped get you to where you are?

I would have to say my mother is my angel on earth. I can honestly say that that without her prayers and grace I wouldn’t be able to even think I could pull it off. Even with her not being an entrepreneur, she still allowed me to dream. Being allowed to dream is a level of freedom that I’m beyond grateful for. I always encourage parents to allow their children to dream because just with that they will truly believe anything is possible.

The global beauty industry today has grown to more than a half a trillion-dollar business. Can you tell us about the innovations that you are bringing to the industry? How do you think that will help people?

What I’m bringing to the beauty industry is acknowledging the lack of knowledge we have. I’m providing opportunities for women like me to learn about what a woman of color as a consumer needs and wants. My cosmetics completely caters to women of color and provides them systems that will be effective, affordable, and [are] still luxury. This is important because women play many role—from a stay-at-home mom to a party girl. No matter which type of woman you are, Dollhouse Cosmetics Flawless Face Kit will be a hit each time.

As an expert in the beauty industry, can you share the top three beauty tips that anyone can use “to feel beautiful”?

I wholeheartedly believe that feeling beautiful is something that us as women have to learn to do from the inside out. The tips I would share to help with feeling beautiful would be:

  1. Always having a high level of self-motivation, passion, tenacity
  2. Have knowledge within the business and learn as you grow
  3. Confidently have the ability to network as it can create your net worth and having a vision

What advice would you give to someone looking to get into the beauty industry?

I would tell someone who is entering the beauty industry to ask themselves: what problem can you solve? Because solving a problem with a solution will keep you current. It will also keep you booked and busy. It’s important to study your competition because that will keep you on your toes. Competition can make you grind harder so it’s always necessary. And remember fear is a part of the process. Honestly, being afraid to start something new is a part of the journey. Use fear as your fuel and keep your foot on the gas!

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