All Things Melanin
#GoGetter Spotlight: KCD Cosmetics
We are always encouraging you to go after your dreams and be your own kind of beautiful. Our #GoGetter spotlight this month highlights Kamilah Dotson and Selena Asgedom, the Founders of KCD Cosmetics, a cosmetic company for women of color. They are the true definition of a #GoGetter. We had the opportunity to get to know their inspiration behind their stunning cosmetic line, KCD Cosmetics.
What’s your definition of a Go-Getter?
Kamilah: A go-getter is someone that never lets anything stop her. She has a vision, a goal, and she goes after it. Regardless of resources, time, obstacles, she finds a way to accomplish what she set out to do.
Selena : Go getter is someone that knows their worth and value and therefore makes decisions or takes action aggressively in order to reach the level of success they deserve.
Introduce/describe KCD Cosmetics and why you decided to create a cosmetic line for women of color?
Kamilah: KCD Cosmetics is a socially-driven cosmetic company that creates makeup for women of color. We believe that our beauty is our business. We launched with the K-Line, a line of 12 shades of foundation for women with warm undertones. We decided to create a cosmetic line because women of color, specifically black women, spend millions of dollars in the cosmetic energy but they have trouble consistently finding reasonably priced but high quality. Women of color deserved to be catered to in an industry in which they have a lot of spending power. We also believe that businesses should positively impact the communities that their consumers inhabit. We want to make sure that add value to communities of color in multiple ways.
Selena : KCD cosmetics is a company born to create products for women of color in order to provide matching foundation shades. It has always been a struggle for women within the community to be able to find products catered for them. Some give up or some had to go through mixing a bunch of products in order to achieve desired shade . AT KCD we truly believe we can change that one face at a time . Our mission is not to change their face , but for women to be confident in their own color shade that was already there.
What is your ultimate goal for KCD Cosmetics?
Kamilah: My ultimate goal for KCD Cosmetics is to grow to be a full service cosmetic line for women of color, providing all products, especially those that women of color have trouble consistently finding.
Selena : Our ultimate goal is to add more shades to our product lines and eventually expand into other varieties of makeup products that can supplement current existing products.
What inspires you when creating your cosmetic products?
Kamilah: What inspires me when creating our products and to keep going with KCD Cosmetics when challenges arise is the fact that I know there is a young woman of color who is trying to figure out who she is and what she wants the image she portray to the world to look like and she is having a hard time finding products to use that she can afford. She inspires me. It is hard being a young woman and it is even harder being a young woman of color, trying to figure out what you like, clothes you want to wear, how to style your hair. And what you see in movies, on TV, in stores rarely reflects you and what you look like. I want to make this journey easier for her, for all of us.
Selena: Being able to create a tool that makes women feel good about themselves is truly inspirational . We know every bottle filled with perfectly curated shades is going to generate excitement and boost their confidence.
What makes KCD Cosmetics unique?
Kamilah: ^^That is what makes KCD Cosmetics unique. We, Selena and I, have been through this and we are still going through this right now. We are able to take the pain points we have experienced and the ones our friends, cousins, mothers, and aunts have experienced and try to relieve them with this company. We are a part of our target market so we can easily talk to and listen to what our consumers want and we identify with their problems and needs deeply.
What has been an “aha” moment for you that made you realize you were doing what you are supposed to be doing?
I was shopping and as I was checking out the cashier asked me my name. When I answered she said; “I follow your business on Instagram!” It was a small moment but it made me feel so good because Instagram has been a hard platform for us and we are trying to get more traction on it but it is a process. I always feel like we are failing at Instagram but for her to recognize me let me know that we did something right and that let me know that we just have to keep trying and learning. And that even though it feels like no one is watching, someone is.
What piece of advice would you give to someone who is “on the fence” about creating something that they are passionate about?
Kamilah: Try it. This is a great time to create, so do it. It is better to try and fail than to never try because, if nothing else, you will have a great experience to remember and learn from. Also, listen to all advice offered to you, but be very selective and the advice you take. Everyone has opinions and thoughts on how you should run your business, what you should create. But they are not you and this business, project, passion, is yours. You do not have to please everyone by trying to take their advice, Trust yourself and that you have what it takes to make the right decisions for your business.
What has been one of the most rewarding moments you have encountered so far?
Kamilah: One of the most rewarding moments was winning a pitch competition for KCD Cosmetics. I pitched to a room of about 70 investors and start-up community members and 68 of them were white, majority male. I pitched them a company specifically for young women of color in a way that resonated with them. I showed them a glimpse of our struggle and when I was finished they saw the necessity for a company like ours, even in an oversaturated market. It was a great feeling and the funding really helped us get our start.
What has been a challenge, with building your brand, that you’ve had to overcome?
Kamilah: Brand Identity and the lack thereof. We are still a new company that sells products that need to be applied to people’s faces. People have not heard of us, so it makes sense that they might not trust us enough to put our product on their face. Or so we thought. What we found was that they do not trust us enough to pay for the product. So we sent free samples and mini-sized bottles at a way lower cost, and we still do! We are working to build trust and it is going to be a long process but we will enthusiastically continue to work at it.
How can people get in contact with you and/or shop KCD Cosmetics?
They can reach us on Facebook and Instagram @kcdcosmetics
They can also email us for inquiries and to request samples at firstname.lastname@example.org
Is there anything else you want our readers to know?
Kamilah: Yes, we are redesigning our website and it will be a beautiful new space for consumers to go on and really see and buy the product. Also, we are launching our Ambassador Program so if you know of any makeup artists looking to be affiliated with a cosmetic company, send them our way!