Beauty Idol: Desiree Verdejo from Vivrant Beauty

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With so many beauty brands created by brown beauties on offer it can be a real let down when you can't get hold of them. Either they are out of stock, shipping is a bit too much than you wish to pay for or worse they don't ship to your area. Sometimes you just want to have a good old fashioned touch and feel plus a sniff of these wonderful product before you part with your hard earned cash. Recently we have seen Bricks and Mortar stores open up in the UK such as Beauty by Zara and @Bar Beauty and over in the US we have the likes of Vivrant Beauty who launched with a lot of buzz on Social Media. The founder, Desiree Verdejo took time out to tell us how she created her beauty brand. What made you decide to set up your own beauty business? I was a corporate lawyer for seven years but always had a love for beauty, in particular skincare because I struggled with my skin at a young age. Eventually I started looking at it as more than a hobby but also as a field with a lot of potential.

What is the concept behind Vivrant Beauty? Bringing premium beauty to Harlem and offering cool, quality products to women of all skin tones. Bringing a diverse offering is what sets us apart from our peers in and outside of Harlem. I decided to do both cosmetics and hair care in the same store because I was tired of the "segmented" shopping experience. I wanted to allow the customer to buy all of her beauty products in one place.

What sort of research did you do to find out what sort of products your customers wanted to buy? Since I had this idea in my head for a few years before I started it, a lot of the research was done by me using the products myself over a few years to try out them out. I also follow a lot of beauty bloggers to learn about what products people are really excited about.

How did you decide on the look and feel of the brand? I decided to carry the brands and products that I already loved and knew well. The most important thing to me was to offer products that I knew did what they say. I also took into account the fact that Harlem is a mix income area so I wanted products with varying price points. Lastly I wanted to highlight/bring into a premium environment brands owned by people of colour and women. Packaging is also important, wanted products that looked as good as they worked!

What are your future plans for Vivrant Beauty? Two months in and I am focusing on getting the store perfect. I want Vivrant to be a known entity to women in Harlem and Women of Colour all over the world. I am planning on expanding product assortment plus I am launching a blog as well.

What beauty products are you loving right now? Earth's Nectur Honey Curls, Radiance Vitality Oil, and BECCA Cosmetics Shimmering Skin Perfector in Rose Gold

What advice do you have for anyone who wants to set up their own beauty business? Do your research first. If you feel like you have something to add to the industry you should definitely do it!

Below are a few of Des'ree's favourite beauty products.

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You can follow Vivrant Beauty on Twitter.