A Black beauty entrepreneur is using her journey to show other women of color that it is possible to overcome the odds. Cashmere Nicole—the woman behind Beauty Bakerie—grew her brand into a $5 million company after facing the obstacles of poverty and health ailments, Forbes reported.
Nicole’s entrepreneurial rise was far from an easy feat. When she launched her company six years ago, she was on welfare and raising a child—that she had in high school—on her own, the news outlet writes. Despite dealing with the obstacles of single parenthood at a young age and being on public assistance she still managed to put herself through college, nursing school, and work on her passion project in her spare time.
While working on Beauty Bakerie, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and eventually ended up getting a double mastectomy. Nicole’s experience with breast cancer inspired her to feature non-toxic, vegan, and cruelty-free products in her line. She told Forbes that she struggled with publicly opening up about her battle with breast cancer but later realized that her story could help other women who were in similar predicaments. “I was hearing God tell me to tell the story,” she said, according to the news outlet. “All of a sudden, I heard, ‘This isn’t about you. You need to tell the story. The scars don’t make you broken, they make you beautiful, and you need to move out of the way’.”
Three years ago, Beyoncé’ heard about Nicole’s story and featured her on her website for Breast Cancer Awareness month. After the nod from Beyoncé, her brand began to take off and she cultivated a team of advisors to help take it to the next level. Two years ago, the brand garnered $475,000 and brought in upwards of $3.3 million last year.
According to Forbes, this year Unilever Ventures invested $3 million into the company and other Black executives like William Lewis, Kenneth Chenault, and Charles Phillips have invested as well. Nicole is also working with Olympian Gabby Douglas on a lipstick collection and plans to add more products to her line. “It’s been a Cinderella, dream-come-true story to come from food stamps and Section 8 and daycare assistance to this,” Nicole told Forbes.
This has been a huge year for Black women in beauty entrepreneurship. In October, Amanda Johnson and KJ Miller—two Black women behind the beauty brand Mented Cosmetics—became the 15th, 16th black women ever to raise $1M capital.