Like many Black woman consumers, Emeka L. Anyanwu was among those dissatisfied with the number of options many beauty stores offered with it came to showcasing Black-owned brands and diversity in their advertising. After dealing with several negative shopping experiences, she decided to create her own store to help amplify beauty brands geared towards Black women.
Anyanwu is the founder of A’me-kə, an online retailer carrying exclusively Black-owned beauty brands for various needs. After launching in 2019, Anyanwu says she found herself receiving an influx of non-Black shoppers looking for places that highlighted Black-owned businesses as well as new brands trying to enter the market. Anyanwu says the concept for the company was to create a place where Black women like herself can feel comfortable and shop products designed for them.
“I was inspired to create a retail store dedicated to Black-owned beauty brands, because of shared personal experiences while shopping for beauty products, what I was seeing with Black-owned brands in the industry, and what I learned about the beauty industry from my own research,” says Anyanwu in an email interview with BLACK ENTERPRISE.
“Shared experiences like being told by employees that they are unable to assist us because of our skin tone or not being able to find products and brands that meet our needs on the shelves. Additionally, despite the plethora of quality Black-owned beauty brands and the success of brands like Fenty Beauty, many of our beauty brands are not being afforded shelf space in the same retail stores where we are spending so much of our money on beauty products.”
The entrepreneur has enjoyed much success, including being profiled in Forbes, where she revealed that the racial discord that permeated the country this summer fueled sales.
“It’s certainly unfortunate that it took a tragedy like George Floyd, for this moment to take place,” she said.