Yaminah Childress, founder of Yany Beauty (a black owned Leaping Bunny certified makeup brand) said no to investors and opted to do the research to find grants to help her business stay afloat during the onset of the pandemic. These cash and service-based grants allowed Yany to continue to pay staff, buy inventory, and minimize some essential bills such as internet and phone services.
In 2020, years of taking the grass roots effort to grow her brand, YANY Beauty became one of the pilot businesses for Amazon’s Black BusinessAccelerator, which provided unique opportunities to have early Amazon Deals that helped sales soar at the onset, and they are the first beauty brand to have an Amazon Explore live shopping page. This along with funding from grants and organic sales growth has positioned Yany as next up in the black owned makeup category!
Not only is the brand emerging in popularity, but recently they achieved 2,465% growth from the previous month. Yaminah, an attorney by trade, has a wealth of knowledge in business management, grants, Amazon, and branding that she’s used to help grow her brand.
We had the chance to sit down with Yaminah and discuss the inspiration behind Yany Beauty.
Who is Yaminah Childress in four words?
Entrepreneur, Optimist, Trailblazer, Motivator
What inspired the start of Yany Beauty?
I started YANY Beauty for one reason, and that was to create safe makeup products that were suitable for all skin tones, especially women of color because at the time our options were very limited.
What products and services are currently being offered within Yany Beauty?
We currently offer a wide range of products. Our shelves are stocked with a full line of cruelty-free makeup from lipstick to bb cream and everything in between. We offer clean skincare products for all skin types and beauty tools. We recently launched makeup and beauty services in our store.
You said No to investors and went on the search for your own opportunities with grants, what was that experience like?
I said no to investors because I am looking to create a legacy business, one operated by family and one that will be passed down generations. I decided to go after grants because they allowed me to get the much-needed dollars without giving up equity.
For me, the experience has been amazing. I have secured tens of thousands in free money, which has helped YANY Beauty survive the pandemic. I think it was easy for me because I’m not scared to take no for an answer. In the grant world, you will receive a lot of no’s. But when I get a yes, it gives me more motivation to move forward even in difficult times. I want to get those who believed in the brand excited to know they made a good choice.
What has been the most challenging part of your journey thus far?
Funding. While I have been blessed with grants and sales, our funding resources are still very limited. And, because of that our advertising budgets are limited, our staff is limited, and we have limited resources to reach the masses and that’s what you need to thrive in the beauty industry.
If you could give advice to the next entrepreneur getting ready to start her business, what would it be?
My best advice is to research and plan as much as possible but also to go for it. Knowing what you’re getting yourself into financially, emotionally, and physically is a must before starting any entrepreneurial journey. However, don’t do so much “planning” that you are wasting time getting started. The truth is no matter how much time you spend researching, you will always encounter something you didn’t know and will always learn something new along the way. I’ve seen many people plan their way out of actually doing it.
What is next for Yany Beauty?
So in the very near future YANY Beauty will welcome YANY Skin a complete line of natural skincare for all skin types. We’re going big on cleansers, masks, serums, toners, and more. We’re also working to bring YANY Beauty to the masses through national retail partnerships and to expand our stores to different regions.
What is your definition of a Pretty Woman Who Hustles?
A Pretty Woman Who Hustles is one that takes charge of her life in every aspect. She is one who strives to be a Boss in her professional life but more importantly one who hustles to take charge of her personal life and well-being.