Too often, the best beauty stories are not told, purely based on a person’s skin color, religion, gender expression, disability, or socioeconomic status. Here, we turn the mic on to some of the industry’s most ambitious and talented voices so they can share, in their own words, the remarkable story of their birth – and how they use beauty. to change the world. world for the better. Next: Roshanne Dorsett, cosmetics formulator and founder of beauty brand The Glowcery.
I guess I was an entrepreneur before I knew what the word entrepreneur meant.
Before starting my business, after graduating in law and criminology from university, I was determined to become an international human rights lawyer. I did two years of internship, including a few months in an association for the defense of human rights. Come to think of it now, my time as an intern at a law firm was a full-time job, but I was just paying my expenses. It was complete and I was managing my own files under the supervision of an amazing legal consultant.
Then I found a paid job in the same role at a law firm in East London. I was working on criminal and public law cases, including joint venture murders, and it was a heavy and emotionally difficult task. I remember going home to my mother and sister saying, “I don’t know how I do this”, casually talking about the number of corpses I had seen in the files or trying to appease a mom because she couldn’t accept the fact that her teenage son had been locked up for a murder he didn’t commit. I was always exhausted from the long trip to the city every day. Being constantly confronted with these emotions was intense. On top of that, I couldn’t save any money, and I know it’s not about the money, but it’s the reality, and I just wasn’t happy. I couldn’t save time for myself because of traveling, and I couldn’t even spend money on things outside of work. I remember coming home one day, I burst into tears and said to my mom, “I can’t do this.” Something had to give and it was that job.
Over the past few years I have started working on myself in an ongoing effort to find out more about who I am, what I like, what I don’t like and my personality traits – I know now that I’m an empath so that makes sense. why I found it so difficult to disconnect and detach from the heightened emotions that came with working.
When I made the decision to hand in my opinion, I didn’t know what I wanted to do next, I just knew I didn’t want to make any law anymore. So I reached out to a friend of mine who had worked in Ibiza who told me how much money to save, how to apply for worker housing and how to prepare to find a job – that’s exactly what I did. I said to my mother, ‘I’m going to work in Ibiza for the summer’, and I remember her looking at me like, ‘My daughter was on her way to becoming a lawyer and now she’s going to work in a bar in Ibiza. ”
During my notice period at the law firm, I did loads of side work on the weekends to save extra money. I was a promo girl selling designer perfumes in a department store and clothes on eBay. In addition to my full-time job, I had saved enough money and packed my suitcase in May and left for Ibiza.
In Ibiza I was doing PR and serving in a bar until October, and it was the best experience of my life. It also made me realize that there was more to life than the 9-5 rat race in London; Ibiza had a lot of freedom. This is when I started to think about how to take more control over my life and at this time. I knew I had to put steps in place to start my own beauty business.
I started researching how to create natural skin care formulations to make my own natural skin care products because I was constantly experiencing allergic reactions to some of the well known brands. This was at the start of the days when people were starting to blog, especially DIY blogs, and I came across a blog on how to make lip balm at home using three ingredients: l coconut oil, beeswax and lemon essential oil. I started experimenting with ingredients by making body scrubs, natural toothpaste, body butters, and facial oils.
It was actually my sister – aka my product tester – who encouraged me to turn my passion into a business, but I knew at the time my skills weren’t up to par and I didn’t not scientific or cosmetic knowledge as a foundation. If I was going to sell products or create a beauty brand, I knew I had to take an accredited formulation course, so that’s what I did. Returning from Ibiza in 2017, I had saved enough money to enroll in a skincare class. I studied Formula Botanica’s International Organic Skin Care Entrepreneur Program.
Classes taught me everything I needed to know about making face oil, serums, body butter – a whole range of products – both scientifically and safely. Besides learning everything I needed to know about advanced cosmetic formulation, it also taught me how to create a beauty brand. Every day I am thankful that I found the diploma course because it really made me think that I am good at it and that I can do it.
On the back of that, I started my Cocolem brand. The name came about because the main ingredients I used in lip balms were coconut oil and lemon oil. I worked on everything: the labels, the logos, the website and getting the brand name. Two weeks before the launch of the site, I received a cease and desist letter from Chanel because the brand had registered the “coco” brand. I honestly thought I was punk at first because I never thought there was a similarity between their brand and mine. In the end, I had to give up the name. I was drained because of all the money I had put into investing in Cocolem, all the effort I had put in over the five years to get the business to this point; he had accumulated to nothing.
It took me about a month to figure all this out. Deep down, I knew I wanted to own a beauty brand, so I had to compartmentalize the Chanel situation and move on. Thinking about it now, it was a blessing in disguise as it forced me to adapt and rethink. I started annoying my mom and sister by coming up with lots of new business names and asking them for their advice every day. At the time, I didn’t know what it would be called, I just knew the name must have ‘glow’ somewhere because it reminded me of what healthy skin looks like.
Where I live there is an area with fruit and veg stalls outside the stores and I think it was divine intervention because I remember seeing a sign saying ‘Green Grocery’ and suddenly it came to me: The Glowcery – I knew it was that one. I remember saying to my sister, “What do you think of The Glowcery?” And I think she was so tired from the weeks that I just kicked her brand names, she said, “Yeah, it’s okay.” And I was like, “Okay? This is it, honey. You better get used to it because that’s what we roll with.” I had the trademark name and logo and remember feeling so excited – it was mine.
At this point, I was working on The Glowcery and had quit my job at a bar and entered the world of Amazon, working in the bookmaking department (printing the cover, cutting the books, then binding). I was working from 7:30 am to 6 pm and noticed my skin was breaking out a lot. My skin was dull and oily and dirty from the air conditioning, paper dust all over the place, and the lack of natural light. This is how I came up with the idea for Clean Greens Superfood Serum.
While working at Amazon, evenings and days off, I researched different skin benefits of different vegetable oils, fruits, vegetables, and nuts. From this research, coupled with my now herbal lifestyle, I came up with the idea of creating a skin care regimen. A line of superfoods that nourish the skin with all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients it needs to look and feel healthy, while protecting the health of the planet. It was a lot of trial and error; a total of 27 attempts to get Clean Greens perfect. From there, I created our Sweet Orange Long Lasting Moisturizing Lip Balm and Invigorating Coconut Scrub.
It’s definitely about trusting the process and bringing the people and things that were meant for me into my life.
I was fired from Amazon a few days before Christmas 2019 and launched The Glowcery three months after March 11, 2020 – a few weeks before the UK was locked down. The trip so far has been a bit of a whirlwind; I can’t believe I have had a business for 1 year plus hundreds of people who love and support me and The Glowcery. Right now I’m working on new products that are also powered by plants and I’m going to launch The Glowcery’s first lifestyle product soon, which is very exciting.
Being a sustainable brand was really important to me; it just made sense. Why would I create a natural skin care brand that doesn’t help the planet and Mother Earth, where I find my ingredients? The Glowcery is a small brand that steadily evolves into larger sustainability initiatives, but we use as many green materials as possible and our suppliers are ethical, cruelty-free and fair trade – one of our suppliers sources in shea butter and cocoa. of a women’s cooperative in Ghana.
With The Glowcery, I really found my goal, which is to create products and be of service to others. This journey is definitely about trusting the process and knowing that the people and things that were meant for me will be brought into my life when the time is right. It’s a mantra that I encourage myself to live, especially as a solo entrepreneur because I doubt myself and sometimes suffer a bit from impostor syndrome.
We have the most amazing community and I am truly grateful to each person who in their own way has shown their love and support by liking a social media post, shopping with us, and recommending to a friend; it all means a lot to me. Clean Greens won the Women’s health beauty award for the best face oil of 2020 and Sweet Orange was selected for the best lip product by Sunday style beauty awards; it’s really humbling and it’s really amazing to know that it’s not just me who thinks our superfood products are great.
Image Source: Roshanne Dorsett