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Beauty entrepreneur Kristen Noel Crawley, the founder of KNC Beauty, is starting an online educational platform meant to help other Black female entrepreneurs succeed with their beauty businesses.
The program is called KNC Beauty School and it makes its debut online July 14. Crawley and other Black female executives, including Trinity Mouzon of Golde and Melissa Butler of The Lip Bar, will provide four semesters of free information on entrepreneurship, facing adversity, social media and marketing and strategic partnerships and investors.
“We’ll be going over resources and giving advice from other female founders to women of color who want to start a business or are in the early stages of their business,” Crawley said.
Interested entrepreneurs can sign up through a registration link available via Crawley’s Instagram account, where she has more than 400,000 followers.
Crawley had found that after speaking at industry events on panels there wasn’t enough time to answer most questions. That, combined with the recent swell in the Black Lives Matter movement, convinced her that now was the time to do something.
“With the whole BLM thing and everything going on I was looking to myself like, what can I do in my industry to make a difference?’ And this is what I thought of,” Crawley said.
The goal is to share resources and help other entrepreneurs avoid some of the mistakes Crawley said she made in her earlier years as a brand owner. At one point, KNC did a subscription box, and because of the investment required to source so many product units and lag before getting paid, ended up in a tough financial position.
“I put up the money and everything and then I was cash poor for six months. Had I not had someone step in to help me, I probably would have went bankrupt — that’s one lesson,” she said.
She also plans to teach about product development, packaging and labeling. In addition to providing education, the program will give out a $10,000 grant to one entrepreneur to either start their business or support an existing business, Crawley said.
Revlon, which Crawley works with as an influencer, has committed $25,000 to the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund on behalf of KNC Beauty School, and added Crawley to its new diversity council.
“When I had [the idea for KNC Beauty School] I reached out to them,” Crawley said. “I got on the phone with Debbie Perelman, the president of Revlon, and I just let it be known that there needs to be some internal steps taken. And one of the solutions we came up with is a diversity council to make sure this is a long-term investment with Revlon, it’s not just something that you’re posting a black square today or you’re using a few more Black influencers.”
For more from WWD.com, see:
Historically White Beauty Industry Promises to Diversify Workforce
Beauty Forced to Confront Racism
Sephora Takes 15 Percent Pledge, Will Dedicate More Shelf Space to Black-Owned Beauty Businesses
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