Former classmates and sorority sisters, Montré Moore, Phyllicia Phillips, and Angel Lenise are redefining the Black beauty store experience with their company, AMP Beauty LA. While the buying power of Black women in the beauty industry holds steady at 9 times more than any other ethnic group, we remain among the most underserved. Not only are there very few options for elevated shopping experiences, (most Black women still score their products from the neighborhood stores predominantly owned by Koreans), Angel Lenise tells NBC News that “75% of products marketed to us…are toxic.”
“So this group that spends the most in this category is exposed to the most toxic ingredients…and that’s wrong,” she continued.
For this reason, the ladies behind AMP Beauty LA founded a marketplace that focuses on clean beauty products made for and by Black women. And in this way, the company serves not one but two demographics, Black women in search of clean beauty products, and the entrepreneurs that produce them.
Highly sought after brands such as LAUREN NAPIER BEAUTY, ROSEN skincare, Vie Beauty, and The Honey Pot are among those being “amped” by the platform, making it easier to support Black women founders in a world that still seeks to discredit and derail their efforts. If you recall, when plant based feminine care brand founder Beatrice Dixon launched The Honey Pot in Target stores in 2020, white women flooded the products review section with negative and racist comments. Target has since removed them and made a public statement in support of Bea and The Honey Pot.
While more Black women owned neighborhood beauty stores are on the rise, Moore, Phillips and Lenise made the decision to tap into the global market with the help of the world wide web. AMP Beauty LA is a digital retailer carrying over 50 brands that cover hair care, skincare, nails, makeup, and bath and body.
With support from pop up shops, press placements, and their growing TikTok community, orders are pouring in from all over. But the road to AMP Beauty LA success has not been an easy one. The women behind the brand say they had to fight for funding.
“We’re not getting loans, we’re not getting investments, so it was really a challenge for us initially,” Lenise mentioned to NBC correspondent Priscilla Thompson.
“We got our first yes one month after we launched,” she continued. And who did that yes come from? Investor and Backstage Capital founder, Arlan Hamilton, a Black woman venture capitalist who Fast Company described as the woman who “muscled her way” into the Silicon Valley boys club.
Hamilton’s initial investment came with a six figure check that would allow AMP Beauty LA to begin stocking their digital shelves with products that supply their hundreds of thousands of Black women shoppers looking to get their hands on the goods. For more information on AMP Beauty LA and their founders, visit ampbeautyla.com.