Note from BW of Brazil: As one can easily surmise from the huge quantity of cosmetic surgeries done and beauty products sold, Brazilian women go to great lengths to look as beautiful as possible. But even with an obsession for attaining a certain attractive look, there still remains a hidden reality that affects a large proportion of the Brazilian population. Mulheres negras, the combination of pretas (black women) and pardas (brown/mixed race) make up more than half of the country’s female population but they still find it incredibly frustrating when it’s time to shop for beauty products that suit their skin tones and hair textures.
Stepping forward to fill this void are four young entrepreneurs, Élida Aquino, Bárbara Vieira, Graucianna Santos and Saulo Batista, the founders of Afrô, an enterprise that seeks to reach this long ignored parcel of Brazil’s female population.
Afrô BOX: Company launches “Beauty Box” with exclusive products for black women
By Carol Lee – Edited by Solange Reis
Answer quickly: have you ever regretted buying a beauty product that in the store’s showcase seemed ideal for your skin tone or hair type, and using it at home, the result was not what you expected? This answer seems obvious, doesn’t it? And in thinking about this scenario of the mulher negra brasileira (black Brazilian woman) that Afrô has brought to our reality caixas de beleza (beauty boxes), which are clubs of cosmetic subscriptions, where boxes with little new products novelty in the miniature size market – and in some cases, real-size – are sent, and gives us the opportunity to try them before buying. Remember that the Beauty Box by Afrô is new in Brazil, for containing only products specifically for mulheres negras (black women), because the Brazilian market already has dozens of beauty boxes destined to the universe of mulheres brancas (white women).
The fabulous initiative came from young entrepreneurs Élida Aquino, Bárbara Vieira, Graucianna Santos and Saulo Batista who, with the support of the NGO Think Olga and ONU Mulheres (UN Women), make Afrô Beauty Box a company that, until October 1st, 2016, is in phase of collective funding at Benfeitoria, which is a resource mobilization platform for projects of social impact.
Financiamento coletivo (crowdfunding) ?? What is it? Oops, explain! It means the traditional expression “vaquinha” (donation pool), but that, for the seriousness and importance of the projects in the practice, is translated to offer something that is interesting to a group of people and receive resources from this group in order to make a project happen.
And in addition to “everything is cheap” to try several various little products that no one knows yet, for brand name businesses the purpose of the boxes is the direct consumer feedback about understanding what we like, what we don’t like, what interests and doesn’t interest us! So the idea is to cool on both sides. The new deal works like this: the customer enters the Afrô site, fills out a form with their characteristics and preferences and, from there, the company sends the registered products that fit the profile of the people and sends to our houses, a box with up to eight item samples and even samples of the products in actual size to try out. A beautiful thing, right? I already want it!
Interested or curious to know a little more work about how Afrô will work? Do you want to help publicize the project, or contribute to dim dim (dinheiro/money) something more, get gifts at home, information and a preview of things to come? Then let’s peep the video by the cuties of Afrô explaining the D-E-T-A-I-L-S and of the project, and how we can contribute to take this idea literally out of the box! Watch the video and to support the project, click here.
Girls and boys of Afrô, congratulations! Just those who are “the people’s people” think of the people, hehehe!
Afrôbox: Canister full of products for black women
By Silvia Nascimento with additional information from Globo
Subscription clubs have become a fever in Brazil. For an affordable price, you can receive at home samples, miniature or full version (original) products ranging from beer to spices, from books to exotic teas.
One of the most successful classes of this type of service is the cosmetics. However, as much as the prescription services try, they fail to meet the specific demands of black women. I myself have a subscription to Glambox and already I have received crème clareador de pele (skin whitening cream), makeup totally outside of my (skin) tone and several shampoos for cabelos cacheados (curly hair) (and mine is crespo, meaning kinky/curly).
In the US, Essence magazine, a publication made for black women, released its box of beauty, with specific products for this audience. Finally our turn here in Brazil has come, by way of Afrô.
This start-up, founded a year ago, arose from the difficulties that three black women had in finding products for them within these subscription services.
Élida Aquino, Bárbara Vieira, Graucianna Santos and Saulo Batista head up the Afrô brand that has come to beauty market presenting the AfrôBOX service, boxes by subscriptions designed for black women and women with the most different types of cabelos crespos and cacheados.
Graucianna, the communications director of Afrô reveals how companies don’t seem to believe that black women are consumers and that this group of women often comes in last in the considerations of big makeup companies. Santos has often heard that she has such smooth and beautiful skin, leading to questions as to why she would want to use makeup.
Being a journalist as well as a makeup artist, Santos understands how difficult it is in finding the right base tones for the various skin tones of the black community. She reveals how she’s often had to compromise by buying brands that don’t match exactly match her skin tone or pick up imported brands shipped to Brazil but that don’t offer products for darker skin tones. She’s even seen certain foreign brands reduce supplies of skin tones for specifically black women because they don’t move enough product.
Graucianna remembers questioning a makeup artist in a certain store about products for black women and being told they company stopped producing them because not enough people were buying them. Due to such a lack of choices, many potential customers simply give up wearing makeup because they are led to believe that they simply don’t exist in the universe of makeup.
In her own interactions with other black women, Graucianna reports that many don’t have a sense of vanity in their appearance because of all of their frustrating experiences with makeup options. Often times when being made up by professionals, the available products left their skin with a grayish tone or an inadequate shadow was used. For Santos, the objective of promoting the box is to give black woman the opportunity to experiment with the products so that they can avoid buying a product that they would later regret having purchased.
Berenice and Makeda are a few of the six brands participating in the project which should be released in November.
The purpose of the business is to boost consumer awareness, increase visibility, generate self-worth and facilitate the process of finding the most appropriate cosmetic products for needs and personal tastes, from makeup to body care.
Public funding to boost the project
Research by the American magazine Wired shows that only 0.2% of startups founded by black women receive financial support, even if these enterprises move up to 34 billion per year.
Imagine this number in Brazil? Because of all this trouble with financing, the brand invites the community to invest in the project through donations. The campaign is being made through the Benfeitoria site and offers many cool rewards. The goal is 6 thousand reais.
Interested? Click on the links below: