Whether Darika Marie Williams does your nails or eyelashes, she’ll spend the session raising your energy with the hope you’ll spread “good vibes” to others once you leave her chair.
“My goal is to rekindle every strong woman’s high vibration using beauty, mind and soul,” Williams said. “Because when you feel so beautiful, you can make somebody else feel beautiful too.”
Long eyelashes are her signature look, people constantly stop to ask her where she gets them done.
“You know when you love something how you can talk about it so passionately?” Williams said. “I realized every time somebody would ask me about them, I was selling them.”
So the 25-year-old from Battle Creek earned her esthetician license at the end of 2019. She worked third shift at CVS pharmacy as she built a steady base of clients for her beauty services.
Then, the COVID-19 pandemic hit Michigan.
“I ended up losing my job, which was totally fine because it was just to like, keep me afloat,” Williams said. “You know, those jobs entrepreneurs have just to keep it going, although it’s not fulfilling you.”
Williams embraced being laid off and decided that she didn’t want to work for anyone but herself. She moved in with her mom and helped her siblings with their online schooling.
“They motivate me, I’m the oldest of seven,” Williams said. “I was like the stay-at-home sister school teacher, and then I was running a business. But it was okay, because it gave me the security of knowing they were safe.”
As the pandemic stopped her salon business, which she had conducted at home, Williams shifted her focus to launching her line of lip gloss and charm bangles.
She makes her custom lip glosses from mica powder, a natural stone mineral with shiny flakes. The colors are inspired by crystals, such as Mookaite jasper.
“I love that she produces new lines and ideas, so nothing gets boring and we can always be on the lookout for something new to try,” said Kayla McCarthy from Battle Creek. “I also really love how empowering the whole brand is, I think Darika does a phenomenal job of sharing who she is as a human and that makes it easy to connect and want to buy from her.”
The name of her company, She Pharaoh Beauty, comes from Williams’ lifelong fascination of ancient Egypt.
“Pharaoh is very strong,” Williams said. “I put the ‘she’ in front of it because I wanted women to understand they’re as powerful as the Pharaoh.”
Above the She Pharaoh Beauty logo is a drawing of Queen Nefertiti done by her 23-year-old brother DaTerrell Williams. The name Nefertiti translates to “the beautiful one has come.”
Today, Williams makes her products from her apartment in Battle Creek where she lives with her dog, Egypt. She is booking only a small amount of private eyelash and nail appointments until the pandemic subsides.
Her vision is to one day own a salon and spa. Until then, Williams stays engaged with her customers, whom she calls her “pharaohs,” through Instagram, Facebook and TikTok.
“I have (a customer) in the Bahamas,” .Williams said. “She participates in my giveaways and everything. So I was like, this is so freakin’ cool.”
This month, she is launching an IGTV series called 28 Days of Black Beauty, celebrating Black history month.
“Being a darker skin tone, we understand the importance of making sure we feel beautiful, because sometimes, you don’t get that in the world,” Williams said.
She Pharaoh Beauty products are available for purchase on her website, which she designed with her 18-year-old brother, Daijour Williams.
Alyssa Keown is a visual journalist at the Battle Creek Enquirer. Contact Alyssa Keown at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @alyssa_keown.