This post is also available in: French
The beauty industry has often received flack for its lack of diversity and inclusion of women. Some beauty companies, for example, don’t offer darker shades that would suit brown skin tones. Thankfully though, beauty brands are emerging that celebrate a range of skin colors, and, furthermore, use models that deviate from thin Caucasian female to better represent female diversity. One brand doing exactly that is Karmela Cosmetics. In this guest post, Karmela Cosmetics’ founder Nechami Tenenbaum describes how the inclusion of all women is central to her company’s vision.
Growing up in a religious Jewish home, my upbringing was definitely different than the typical secular American. While being brought up religious, my home was open and liberal, open to all different types of people. With wonderful parents as role models, I was brought up with an open and accepting attitude toward all people. In my family, we were taught to be open and loving, not judging based on external appearance, religion, or ethnicity.
Building a Beauty Brand that Supports Diversity and Inclusion
Building a brand, especially in the beginning, is full of challenges, decisions, and hard work. Every step is full of decisions; sometimes we make a choice that brings us closer to our goal, sometimes our decisions become learning experiences. A huge challenge inherent in running an online business, and creating a national brand, is putting my name and face behind it, knowing that everyone is watching each step, watching my stories, seeing my posts, knowing that I’m the one behind everything. Caring what other people think is a common challenge for many of us and sometimes impacts our decisions in life. When I chose to use a beautiful girl, who is obviously Muslim, for my photo-shoot, I knew I was possibly treading in dangerous territory.
How would people react? Would my decision upset Conservative Americans? Would people from my religious Jewish community feel offended? I put a lot of thought into this before I decided to include a full head-shot with her hijab. When I walked in to the studio and met Noora, her warmth, sweetness, and beautiful soul shone through the hijab and outer Muslim garb.
Noora is in our main brand picture, as am I and a good friend of mine who is Black American. I chose to do this because Karmela Cosmetics is all about diversity and inclusion, love, and support for other women, connecting as one. That’s how I grew up; we were taught at home to accept and love people from all different walks of life. My hope and goal is for my brand to bring the same love and acceptance and help spread it throughout the world at large.
Giving Back to Other Women
Lastly, we chose to go further with supporting female diversity and inclusion by donating a portion of proceeds to organizations that support women. We donate 10% of sales from each color collection to assigned charities. The pinks go toward helping battle breast cancer via the National Breast Cancer Foundation; the reds to the National Eating Disorder Association; nudes, the Rapunzel project, and the purples; the endometriosis foundation of America.
About Nechami of Karmela Cosmetics
Nechami Tenenbaum, MBA, is a Pro Makeup artist and Entrepreneur. After years of research for the “perfect formula,” she launched her own high-performance lipstick line. She loves contributing to women’s causes, as well as helping women look their best. Find more beauty tips and product info at Karmela Cosmetics or at @karmelacosmetics on Instagram and Facebook. Or reach Nechami at Info@KarmelaCosmetics.com.