• Tittykay Cesay

"Better not bitter"

At Ace we look for the best black business success stories, to celebrate, inspire and motivate you. Each week we will share an amazing story, about an entrepreneur from a diverse background.

This week we introduce you to Cashmere Nicole, the founder of Beauty Bakerie.

In 2011, Cashmere Nicole created Beauty Bakerie, a long-lasting, smudge-free and cruelty free makeup brand created to make makeup wearers lives easier. Makeup lovers no longer have to choose between kissing their partner, or keeping their lipstick in tact, by using the cosmetic brand's budge proof products. The brand offers a wide range of cosmetics in a wide shade range, with many products tailored specifically for women of colour. The brand's bakery concept makes its branding stand out from competitors and gives it a fun edge.

"Better not bitter"

Cashmere showed entrepreneurial traits from a young age. From the age of 9, the entrepreneur would beg her mother to take her to the local library to borrow books on anything relating to business, including how to start one and how to write a business plan. She knew that one day, she wanted to have a business of her own.

In 2001, at 16 years old Cashmere became a young mother. Struggling financially, the entrepreneur was forced to apply for food stamps, rent and utility assistance, in order to support herself and her child. She also picked up a job working as many hours as she could whilst taking up courses, in order to gain her high school diploma and eventually go to nursing school.

Just at the start of pursuing her professional career as a nurse, Cashmere discovered that she had a lump in her right breast, and with further inspection the entrepreneur was diagnosed with breast cancer in spring 2010.

After her diagnosis, Cashmere became more conscious of the items she was consuming and using on her body on a regular basis. She began to investigate the ingredients that were in her cosmetics to evaluate whether they were harmful to the human body. Shocked by what she had discovered, Cashmere decided to create her own non-toxic and cruelty free cosmetic brand that had products that wouldn't budge, no matter the circumstances.

So, in 2011 Beauty Bakerie was born.

Alongside recovering from her battle with cancer, the entrepreneur pushed her brand as much as she could to try and claim success. She promised herself that she would try, for at least 5 years before giving up on her entrepreneurial dreams.

Eventually, she created a crowd fund to share her story and raise funds for the business. Her campaign caught the attention of Beyonce, who featured Cashmere on her website as part of her breast cancer awareness month feature. Even still, Beyonce's recognition did not cause a rocket in sales as she would have hoped.

Just as she was about to give up on her dreams and stick to nursing, she created a viral campaign for her best-selling Lip Whip, featuring a woman wiping her lips and showcasing her bare fingers after swiping the product.

The response to the campaign was overwhelming, which allowed the entrepreneur to eventually leave her job and finally live out her childhood dreams despite the hurdles she faced. The brand's motto "Be Better not Bitter" comes from the entrepreneur's struggles which she used in order to propel her success despite the challenges.

Today, Beauty Bakerie has a team of over 30 people and its cosmetics are sold in over 130 countries worldwide. The brand reportedly has a revenue of over $5 million dollars, and has received $3 million dollars worth of investment from Unilever. It has also received attention from many of the world's biggest publications.

The key lesson to take from this? Life is not easy, but do not let the hurdles you go through get in the way of your entrepreneurial dreams. Instead, let your struggles fuel your motivation and success. It won't be easy but it will be worth it.

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