From moments of shock to demoralising comments and racism, to tears of joy from life-changing reviews - Latoya shares her turbulent yet beautifully rewarding journey of building the gorgeous brand Kitchen Cosmetics.
Amidst this up and down journey, Latoya has created a truly inspiring space to make a difference within the beauty industry. #BeautyWithACause is most definitely something you'll want to know more about and be involved in.
The inspiration for Kitchen Cosmetics came from a need for total transparency. Working within the beauty industry many of the clients I came across weren’t aware of how to use their products, what they were for and what was actually in them. I wanted to create a brand that represented simple transparency; this decision was built on an understanding of the current climate, the beauty industries social responsibility and a respect for ancient beauty rituals.
What separates Kitchen Cosmetics from everyone else?
I believe what really separates us from other vegan beauty brands is the sheer craftsmanship of our products; we do not compromise on ingredients sustainability or outcome. Each product is tailored & handcrafted using simple formulas, clear labelling & premium packaging; this is our non-negotiable. More than the direct consumer Kitchen Cosmetics funds The KC Causes a non profit organisation founded by us for the community.
What is the biggest challenge/s you've faced being a black female entrepreneur?
I would say one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced is for some it is incomprehensible that I am a sole female black business owner. It’s having to constantly face questions about who is the ‘source behind the business’ it’s so demoralising, like yes we can do business too why is that so shocking!
What’s been the most rewarding moment of your journey as a business owner?
Wow what a hard question there have been so many! I think for me I love receiving reviews, it's always like a wow moment reading how a product that I have created has changed someone’s life. I'll always treasure that feeling & I cry every time!
How has your experience in running the business been different from what you expected?
Running the business has taken a lot more late nights than I could have ever imagined but second to that understanding all the intricacies of building a business with a sustainable infrastructure was definitely a huge learning curve for me and much more complex than I thought it could have been.
Have you experienced any form of racism being a black entrepreneur?
I have, unfortunately, the racism that I have experienced has transpired in so many different ways. I have lost collaboration deals, been removed from events & had wholesalers refuse to trade with me etc, some of these issues I was able to tackle head on with the support of allies, which was empowering.
Can you tell us more about The KC Causes?
Yes of course thank you so much for asking. Truly understanding the depth of the beauty industries social responsibility and honing in on our core values, through sales from Kitchen Cosmetics I founded & fund The KC Causes. It's a non profit organisation that donate, host, & build events within local communities in the U.K. We are currently building a sports based mentoring program, self esteem workshops for young girls & raising money for families going through financial difficulties all of which would not be possible without the amazing support and belief in our products.
Can you tell us about another business owner/brand who inspires you and why?
Gosh so many amazing women to choose, I really admire women who are authentically themselves in all spaces some of those woman are; Vanessa Fernandes founder of Naya London, Jen Scott & Jay Tav founders of Hustle & Heels, Khalia Ismain founder of Jamii, Alison Awoyera founder of It’s Black Owned Dot Com, & of course the great Madame C.J Walker.
What is one thing you think customers should know about Kitchen Cosmetics that they may not be aware of?
Being a customer lead business, we have a Brand Rep program that regular customers can join. They receive discounted products & commission on any sales linked to them. This program started as a thank you for customers who love our products & stand with us as a brand. Your voice will always speak louder than ours #BeautyWithACause.
So head on over to Kitchen Cosmetics and take a look at all their gorgeous products, find out more about the inspiring KC Causes, and give their Instagram a follow.