If you look good, you feel good — it's a beauty proverb that is as old as time. Beyond the idea of vanity, to feel good about your appearance instills a confidence powerful enough to combat negative thoughts of self-worth. Lashae Bey, founder and owner of Lotti Belle Beauty, is on a mission to "change the future of Black hair for women of color" and restore the confidence we deserve by getting down to the root of our scalp problem. To Lashae Bey, The Lotti Belle Experience exudes the growth of self-worth, self-esteem and most of all, healthy, beautiful hair.
I had the pleasure to speak with Lashae Bey on her organic hair formula, why it's important for Black women to have our own haircare and self-care products, and what we can expect to see from her in 2019.
- Check out our interview with Lashae Bey below.
21Ninety: How did the concept for Lotti Belle Beauty come to be? Can you explain in more detail the concept Lotti Belle Beauty, and what makes it different than other beauty brands?
Lashae Bey: Lotti Belle Beauty was inspired by my grandmother, Lotti Belle Johnson. As a little girl growing up in the South, she was all about her hair care regimen and upkeep. She had really full, thick hair and always kept it up. She taught me that your hair is your crown and glory. To always keep your scalp moisturized because that is getting down to the root of the problem. My products are all handmade with clean all-natural products.
21N: What are some of your bestselling products?
LB: My Lotti Belle Scalp and Hair Oil Treatment. I have an olive grower that produces some of the freshest harvested olive oil in the world. This product works so well because it’s pure and super potent and promotes fast growing hair and extremely positive results. Another product is my Lip Raw Honey Therapy Lip Scrub and the Moisturizer. People also love my aromatherapy candle that is infused with pure essential oils. All my products have the signature Lotti Belle smell using our key all-natural essential smells.
Photo: Lotti Belle Beauty
21N: In your opinion, why is it important for Black women to have our own outlet for skin, hair and self-care products? Do you think the beauty industry is changing regarding the inclusion of Black women?
LB: The beauty industry is always evolving. For example, our parents grew up when natural afros were the style, then the chemical relaxer came about. Currently, I think Black women are more so focused on the quick weaves or wigs to get by instead of taking the time to treat their real hair. It's called "protective styles,” however, what are you protecting? I’ve never seen so many Black women with many edge problems and dry hair. It’s truly an epidemic. But I do think the beauty industry is constantly changing. My products are a part of this clean beauty movement, which I’m so proud to share.
21N: The Lotti Belle Mother Oil is a scalp and hairline oil designed to regain self-worth, self-esteem and organically grow natural hair follicles. What is female empowerment to you, and how do you strive to correlate female empowerment to Lotti Belle Beauty?
LB: To inspire other women who look like me to know that you can turn your dreams to reality. Female empowerment is your self-reflection in the mirror. You can’t empower anyone until you start with believing you got the power. I want my customers to feel what I feel with they experience any of my products.
Photo: Lotti Belle Beauty
21N: This past October you launched your Lotti Belle Self-Care Kit — equipped with essential oils, lip and hair treatments, a travel calendar, a journal, and Kiaundra Jackson’s therapy book. Can you describe in detail what Kiaundra Jackson’s therapy book entails?
LB: Let’s be real, life is hard! I wanted to collaborate with a licensed therapist that looks like me that could help Black women deal with their struggles, setbacks, shortcomings, failures, and losses in life. Kiaundra is one of the #1 therapist In America. For me, I wanted this to be a self-care kit that touched on all aspects to get your mind, body, and hair right. I love that journal is pocket-sized book and tackles topics for Black to adopt regular mental health practices that help you stay sane.
21N: OMG! Can you describe your experience of what it was like meeting Oprah?
LB: It was an "aha" moment. She’s truly the definition of a female BOSS!
21N: Prior to starting Lotti Belle Beauty, you worked in the TV & Film Entertainment industry. What has been the most rewarding aspect since launching your own company?
LB: The most rewarding aspect is having both my career job, as well as, my passion business. I was told when I launched Lotti Belle Beauty that I would have to pick one or the other. I proved to myself and other women that you can do it both, with faith and diligence. Also, seeing my customers happy with their end results.
Photo: Lashae Bey
21N: What plans do you have for 2019? Can we expect any new Lotti Belle Beauty products in the near future?
LB: I plan to collaborate more with other Black-owned, female businesses, as well as, tap into speaking engagement opportunities. Coming soon next month, I will be launching my new Edge Bonnets to help grow your edges back and protect them from your pillow at night.
21N: Do you have any advice for Black, female entrepreneurs striving to break into the beauty industry?
LB: Find other like-minded women who you inspire to be — they should be your peers and mentors. Don’t take no for an answer. There's always another way, sometimes its timing. And remember that it's totally ok to start small. Just start. Try not to overthink stuff. Take risks, try to bounce back from setbacks or hardships. I created a Lotti Belle Beauty Prayer Jar, its in my office and I fill it with affirmations of my wants and desires for my business. I think every entrepreneur should have one.
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