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HomeLIFESTYLEBEAUTY & FASHIONEmpowering Beauty & Beyond: Dr. Satasha Stephen's Journey with SOROR

Empowering Beauty & Beyond: Dr. Satasha Stephen’s Journey with SOROR

The journey of SOROR BY SATASHA STEPHEN, a makeup and skincare collection, stems from a deeply personal narrative intertwined with a mission to revolutionize the beauty industry’s approach to diversity and inclusivity. Dr. Satasha Stephen, the visionary behind this endeavor, shares her inspiration rooted in the challenge faced by women of color in finding makeup that not only matches their skin tone but also caters to their unique skin types. Named after her sister, Penny, SOROR symbolizes sisterhood, resilience, and the healing power of cosmetics, nurtured during moments of grief and bonding. Dr. Stephen’s commitment to crafting clean, cruelty-free products extends beyond mere cosmetics; it’s a testament to fostering self-care and empowerment within communities often marginalized by mainstream beauty standards. In this interview, Dr. Stephen sheds light on the challenges she has confronted as a Black woman entrepreneur in an industry marked by disparities, while also sharing her endeavors to uplift and empower through initiatives like scholarships and a dedicated Brand Ambassador program. SOROR BY SATASHA STEPHEN isn’t just about makeup—it’s a beacon of representation, advocacy, and empowerment for women of color everywhere.

 

Christina: What is your SwagHer? What makes Dr. Satasha, Dr. Satasha?

Dr. Satasha: My dedication to supporting women in self-care, self-empowerment, self-expression, confidence, and excellence. I try to make this evident in our thoughtful, wide range of products and our partnerships, sponsorships, and scholarship endeavors.

Christina: What inspired you to begin SOROR BY SATASHA STEPHEN?

Dr. Satasha: What inspired me to create SOROR BY SATASHA STEPHEN makeup and skincare collection was the challenge not only for me but also for many women of color to find makeup, more specifically, a foundation that matches our skin tone and works with our skin types. SOROR was created for all skin types, tones, and hues to accentuate one’s natural beauty and to provide a natural skincare routine.

Christina: Can you share the importance of your business name, SOROR BY SATASHA STEPHEN? 

Dr. Satasha:  The name SOROR means sister. I named this makeup and skincare line after my relationship with and love for my sister, Penny. We bonded over our love of makeup during our mother’s bout with cancer. When my mother passed, my sister Penny took on that void of a mother figure. Makeup was a source of support during my grieving and healing after my mother’s passing. Watching my sister do her makeup was our quality time together. That is why SOROR BY SATASHA STEPHEN, the health-conscious nature of our products, is especially important to me. 

Christina: How does SOROR BY SATASHA STEPHEN differentiate itself in the makeup and skincare industry, particularly in terms of catering to diverse skin types and tones while maintaining clean and cruelty-free products?

Dr. Satasha: SOROR BY SATASHA STEPHEN, the first makeup and skincare collection under Stephen Beauty and Cosmetics, leverages and relies on the integrity of our carefully vegan-formulated products. The SOROR collection offers affordable, inclusive makeup and skincare products that offer a solution to the challenges many women of color face finding makeup that matches their skin tone and works with their skin type. SOROR BY SATASHA STEPHEN makeup and skincare collection expertly carves out the makeup and skincare needs of individuals with a diversity of skin types and tones while creating products that are also health-conscious with their paraben-free, cruelty-free, and vegan-friendly formula.

Christina: What challenges have you faced as a Black woman business owner in the beauty industry? How have you faced and overcome those challenges? 

Dr. Satasha: Even though, in 2023, Black consumers spent approximately $9.4 Billion on cosmetics and beauty products (NIQ, 30 January 2024), Black business owners in the beauty industry only represented 2.5% of beauty brands (Mckinsey & Company. 2022). As a Black women business owner in the beauty industry, I have faced many challenges, from starting my business to marketing and brand recognition. Having a strong brand is essential to take your business to scale. Increasing brand awareness is crucial in building loyal customers who recognize and trust your brand and business to meet their needs. Finding new customers can be costly and challenging for smaller businesses without the same budget as larger, more popular companies. 

Another challenge for Black women small-business owners is educational tools that help with training to grow within your selected industry. The beauty industry is complex; you must know FDA product compliance, rules, and regulations regarding domestic and international sales and shipments and understand taxation at the state and federal levels. 

Lastly, many Black women business owners in the beauty industry face a considerable challenge, a lack of capital and funding. Being able to access financing is critical. The money allocated to women-led founders is subpar, and the funding that is accessible to women of color is even worse. The lack of funding and resources to research, develop, and expand products to take one’s business to scale can be a challenge, as capital is a lifeline to a small business. 

As a Black women business owner in the beauty industry, I am not alone in these challenges. This phenomenon has historically prevented Black Beauty business owners from achieving the same level of success as our white counterparts in a Beauty industry where we spend over $9 billion. How do we use the power of the Black dollar and invest, patronize, and shop Black-owned businesses, specifically Black beauty brands? The misalignment between Black consumer spending on beauty products and Black Beauty business ownership creates a huge void. However, it also creates an opportunity for Black Beauty brands, especially women entrepreneurs. I have faced and overcome these challenges by providing high-quality and affordable beauty products to better serve Black consumers, especially those looking for beauty products made for them by someone who looks like them.

Christina: In what ways does SOROR BY SATASHA STEPHEN aim to empower women of color beyond providing makeup and skincare products?

Dr. Satasha: SOROR BY SATASHA STEPHEN is the official cosmetic sponsor for the 2024 Miss Black USA pageant. This is the second year the company has partnered with the organization. SOROR makeup and skincare collection for the second year has sponsored a $1000 Scholarship Giveaway. The SOROR “Shades of Excellence” $1,000 Scholarship is a collaboration with the Miss Black USA organization and is offered twice a year. SOROR exemplifies diversity, self-expression, and confidence through its inclusive makeup for all skin types, tones, and hues. This made SOROR a natural fit for a collaboration with the Miss Black USA organization. The “Shades of Excellence” $1,000 Scholarship Giveaway is the first scholarship endeavor for SOROR BY SATASHA STEPHEN, but I hope that this is the first of other scholarship opportunities the company will offer in support of young Black women who have displayed excellence by making a positive impact or difference at their local or campus community. The Spring 2024 Shades of Excellence Scholarship Giveaway recipient was announced in February 2024. For more information about The SOROR “Shades of Excellence” $1,000 Scholarship Giveaway, visit the company’s official website at https://satashastephen.com/pages/scholarships

Christina: Is there anything else you would like to share?

Dr. Satasha: SOROR BY SATASHA STEPHEN started a Brand Ambassador program this year. We had a rigorous application and selection process. Five women who exemplify excellence in their respective fields were selected as our first SOROR Brand Ambassador cohort. SOROR Brand Ambassadors are at the forefront of our mission to positively impact women by promoting self-care, self-empowerment, diversity, self-expression, confidence, and excellence through SOROR’s thoughtful, wide range of health-conscious, environmentally conscious, and paraben-free products. SOROR Brand Ambassadors’ dedication and passion play a pivotal role in shaping the perception of our brand.

 

Connect with Dr. Satasha:

Website: https://satashastephen.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/satashastephen/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100088950497187

 

Read more by Christina here. 

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