Kalauna is putting a new “Kolorful” twist on the nail polish industry all while empowering women at the same time!
Founded by Kalauna Carter a native of Portland, Oregon, she was inspired by the lack of representation of women of color in the beauty industry, “We see the products and we see the models, but how many of them are truly wearing products made BY women of color? Not many.
With a love for nail polish after looking at her own personal collection she thought to herself, “I could save so much money if I learned how to make this for myself.” As she started doing her research she came across the chemical components and saw how dangerous some of them were, EVEN when used in small doses on just our hands and feet. She said to herself “if I can figure this out without all THESE chemicals I could be on to something”. With the advice of a cousin, Teresa Scott, she went to work and that’s when KolorsbyK was born.
Ms. Carter decided to take an unorthodox approached when starting her company. With a degree in Environmental Science and Chemistry from attending Tuskegee University, she created an environmentally friendly and 10-free nail polish company; meaning there is no chemical composition of Camphor, Toluene, Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resins, and Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), xylene, ethyl tosylamide, parabens, phthalates and fragrances. All of which are found in majority of nail polishes sold in stores. They are also non-environmentally friendly and often linked to cancers found in women ranging from cervical, breast and ovarian. Her company, KolorsbyK is also FDA approved, VEGAN as well as cruelty free.
The first ever of its kind sold by a woman of color.
She saw a space that needed to be filled and filled it.”
With her polishes being vegan and animal cruelty free KolorsbyK was able to gain international recognition by retaining international certification from The Leaping Bunny Program. Leaping bunny is the only internationally-recognized certification program for cosmetics, personal care and household product brands which are not tested on animals. They audit companies’ entire supply-chain monitoring system to check companies are following guidelines and are meeting Leaping Bunny’s strict criteria.
Ms. Carter gets asked this all the time about how she came to start her business, and did she have a plan, she states when she started she had no initial fears and had what she thought was a clear plan, but God quickly showed her his. Over the course of almost two years she has learned that God’s plan is truly the right plan and although like most she mentions she struggles with patience, she is never disappointed when he “shows” up.
She states “God placed entrepreneurship on my heart, although when I started my business I had no idea what entrepreneurship was. Her main goal was to make difference and make
impact, but it’s turned into so much more and she can only Thank God for that. She has been able to fulfill her passion of contributing to society taking something as simple, yet complex as Nail Polish and putting her very own “Kolorful” twist on it. She is a firm believer that when God creates us, the desires he puts on our hearts were put there by Him to fulfill our purposes for him and her purpose is within KolorsbyK aiding in all women’s health by providing them with healthier nail polish alternatives. In the Tallahassee community Ms. Carter, has participated in several local events just to name a few Working-Class Wednesday, The Annual Prima Donna Hair Show, Girls2Divas Brunch and The Annual Girlz Gone Pink. She has also puts on workshops where she shares her story of how she created her company, how women inspired her and most importantly educates the young girls and women on the importance of using safe nail products on both their hands and feet.
She aspires to be a role model for other African American women, EVERYWHERE and will not stop until they have all worn KolorsbyK. In the future, KolorsbyK will expand from nail polish to cosmetics, but until then her job will remain unfinished. She encourages all women to go after their passions and stay consistent. God wouldn’t have placed it there If it wasn’t supposed to be.
Fun story, starting KolorsbyK allowed for some amazing opportunities one being able to share her business and polishes with The (44th) FLOTUS Mrs. Michelle Obama and her two daughters Malia and Sasha. It was quite the experience from sending them directly to her and communicating with her and her assistant. Kalauna had the opportunity to meet Mrs. Obama when she served as her classes Senior Class President of Tuskegee University for the Class of 2015. Mrs. Obama delivered the classes commencement speech that spring.
The Ladies of the Dora Milaje from the new Black Panther movie have also been supportive of KolorsbyK. She is thankful her polish has been able to reach them and that they too support KolorsbyK.
Staying Connected with Kalauna:
Click the button below to view our interview with Kalauna on our Freedom Train Network YouTube channel.
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