Five Minutes with Kesha Williams
Kesha Williams is the founder of ColorBlend Makeup which is a British beauty brand for both women and men to encapsulate universal beauty, diversity and individual self expression. She took time out to tell us how she created her beauty brand.
What made you decide to set up your own beauty business?
After being made redundant just 10 weeks after my son was born in 2011, I frustratingly couldn’t get another job straight away. I spent the majority of my maternity leave worrying about my future income so I decided to improve my chances of employment by going to university for the first time when my son was just 10 months old. It was over those next few years that I decided to quit the rat race to create a lifestyle that I could enjoy with my son. With previous experience as a makeup artist and beauty consultant, I decided that returning to makeup would be right for me.
What is the concept behind ColorBlend Makeup?
ColorBlend Makeup is a beauty brand made to encapsulate individuality, unique beauty and self expression for both women and men. We aim to challenge the beauty industry by moving away from the homogeneous ideal and redefining what beauty means, by creating products for under-represented skin-tones and markets to express themselves outwardly through the use of our cosmetics.
What sort of research did you do to find out what sort of products your customers wanted to buy?
I spent my university years questioning fellow colleagues, strangers, friends and family on the types of products that they wanted to see on the market. At the time, contouring was an emerging trend so the first product we bought to the industry was our 6-Well Contour Palette. I also used sources such as Mintel to discover statistics and trends. Being a Woman of Colour myself who previously struggled to find a foundation shade that matched 100%, I wanted to provide a solution to other individuals of colour who had the same issue.
How did you decide on the look and feel of the brand?
I’m quite a minimalist and don’t like too much fuss, so I wanted a brand that had a simple and sophisticated look that allowed the products to speak for themselves. I went for a clean and sleek choice which is appealing to those who feel similarly. ColorBlend Makeup is often compared to MAC and in terms of quality; the feel of the textures, the pigments and the finishes are to a very high standard, not to mention there are no parabens or harsh chemicals. All products are cruelty free, allergy tested, fragrance free and hypo-allergenic, which I believe all makeup products should be.
What are your future plans for ColorBlend Makeup?
The possibilities are endless! For 2018, I’d like the brand to be partnered with more authorised retailers. Aside from our website, you can also find us on the newly launched Flawless Shades and Jamii websites. I also want us to partner with more influencers and publications. I’d personally like to continue to give back to my local community and get back into the colleges. I worked with the beauty students at Lambeth College and Bromley college in South London last year to give them an insight into the industry and the key skills they would need to enter.
What are your favourite beauty products?
I LOVE purple, so my favourite purples from the brand are Bitchy and Goth from our Deluxe Xtreme Lips range. I also love our HD Foundation in N10 and Trio Concealer – which is perfect for a quick morning routine, covering dark circles and pigmentation and giving the skin an overall appearance of wellness and radiance. Outside of ColorBlend Makeup, my favourite beauty products are the cleanser and exfoliator from the Simple skincare range along with cocoa or Shea butter to moisturise. I was recently given a SilkE Bee Baby Balm which is amazing for my lips – especially with the harsh weather conditions we are experiencing.
What advice do you have for anyone who wants to set up their own beauty business?
Firstly, faith. You must step out with faith and confidence in your idea/business. When I got the very first set of contour palettes delivered to me, I was paralysed with fear which stopped me from progressing for a few months. Of course that did nothing but cause hindrance. Use the information available to you to do your research for gaps in the market and once you get going, outsource whatever it is you can’t do yourself. Also, surround yourself with like-minded individuals - people that you can discuss ideas with, help to elevate you mentally and professionally and keep you accountable.
You can follow Kesha on Twitter.