Project Beauty Expo’s Brittany Brown is making it easier for the people to connect with the brands they need!
Imagine going to the store to find that perfect beauty product. As a beauty junky, you are always curious about new products and the claims they offer. They fail! You know you picked the right item. You read reviews from similar people. What went wrong? Did you ever stop to consider that the company did not have you in mind? Disappointment sets in and you feel as if your beauty needs will go wayward. But alas, someone knows the struggle and has created a solution that can ensure that you will glow beautifully with confidence. Her name is Brittany Brown. To alleviate the stress involved with getting beauty items tailored to people of color, she has created Project Beauty Expo. This event is truly here to save the day and Brittany is speaking with Kontrol about it.
Start To Good Skin
Before Brittany Brown ever thought about creating an event centered around skincare and wellness, she was an entrepreneur. In 2013, Brown started making the transition into a more natural approach to her skin care. Eventually, friends and even strangers on the street started complimenting her on the quality of her skin. To increase her knowledge of skin, she decided to go to school to become an aesthetician.
Brown wanted to make sure that people had quality skin with quality skincare, thus the launch of her very own line Monee Cosmetics. Seeing brands such as Shea Moisture and Carol’s Daughter become growing brands while still being independent, at that time, let her know that there was a future. As people started to fall in love with the products, she knew it was time to grow.
As any new entrepreneur would do, Brown took opportunities for growth seriously and was willing to try to get Monee Cosmetics into as many hands as possible. One day, someone suggested that she attend a large trade show in Orlando, Fl. The price to register was over $2000. She registered and took her brand south for new eyes to see her skincare. The experience was new and very jarring. The excitement of going to that large trade show in 2014 was soon gone when she realized that there were not a lot of indie brands and not a lot of brands for women/people of color. Despite that unpleasant situation, Brown was determined to help others get good skin with Monee Cosmetics. With the help of her family and friends, she decided to give the show/festival circuit one more try. Sadly, she once again noticed the lack of brands for women/people of color present in a Washington, D.C. pop-up shop. Plus, it seemed as if the attendees were not too welcoming. At this point, Brittany Brown knew that there was a problem and she was going to work on being a solution.
Using her experiences as a small independent brand, she knew that other women/people of color may have the same feelings when it came to trying to start, expand and step into new spaces, such as pop-ups and trade shows. To solve the lack of representation, Brown decided to start Project Beauty Expo. The Project Beauty Expo is currently in its third year and it gives the people just what they need. With her encounters at the trade show market, she is able to get view of someone that attends and as someone that is a vendor.
With respect to the perspective of the vendor, Brown knew that she did not want just simply fill a spot and take someone’s money. From her first experience, she knows the devastating feeling of just being a quota for registration fees. Brown also knows first-hand one of the most challenging parts of being an indie brand is the financial aspect. When the Brown started Monee Cosmetics, she did not have a road map and was self-funded, which was a unique learning experience for her.
From the outside looking in, being an attendee to an event can be thrilling. However, that feeling of glee can be equally fleeing when the brands present do not represent you or people that look like you.
The Project Beauty Expo’s goal was to fix the two previously mentioned issues and bring new brands to people in search of natural products for women/people of color. Brown only had six months to get everything together. One day someone reached out to help, but that meeting quickly soured when the person said that even they couldn’t help, given the magnitude of their persona. Disparaged, Brown thought the expo was a bad idea and was about to give up. Expressing her concerns to family and friends, she was encouraged to continue and push forward with her vision.
Successfully, the first Project Beauty Expo was completed. Four brands came and the people loved them, but they wanted more. The following year, 22 brands offered their products and services to the people that were looking for items specifically for women/people of color. Brown wants Project Beauty Expo to be a marketplace of discovery for health, wellness and beauty.
The true magic of Project Beauty Expo is the level of intimacy between the brands and the people. Too often brands lose touch of what the people need or want. The focus for PBE was never money but in the notion that brands and people need an organic connection. The event is two days. The first day is about vendor education. They get information about marketing and growth from a host of experienced panelist. The following day is for the attendees and for them, it’s all about the discovery of new brands and items. Day two is great for people in the midst of the transition into a more natural lifestyle.
Project Beauty Expo is on in its third year and it is adding even more vendors. Brown has expressed an interest in having more brands that cater to more people of color in the wellness side of PBE. Also, this year there will be the expansion into e-commerce for some of the lifestyle lovers out there. Brown’s goal for PBE is to just simply grow the brand, while still being able to connect to POC that look for items made with them in mind.