Founder and CEO of LAMIK BEAUTY
This weekend I had the opportunity to speak with the talented Kim Roxie, the founder and CEO of Lamik Beauty, a makeup line made with vegan, natural and organic ingredients. As soon as I started talking to Kim I noticed how her enthusiasm and optimism were truly contagious, and her positive outlook refreshing yet synonymous of an innate entrepreneur.
Kim started Lamik Beauty fresh out of college, at the young age of 21. Her love of makeup actually began when she was a student and started a part time job working at a makeup counter at her local mall. She quickly fell in love with how makeup made women feel so good about themselves, although she clarifies that Beauty is Revealed, Not Applied.
Kim ran her store in Houston, Lamik Boutique, from 2014 to 2018. In 2018 she decided to focus on e-commerce and was accepted into the Sputnik ATX Accelerator, and raised $100,000 in funding.
In the past Kim talked about the intersection of beauty and tech, in fact she was supposed to present on a beauty and tech panel at South by Southwest (canceled because of the pandemic). The conference would've provided a unique opportunity for millions of people to try on her products. In a masterful pivot, Kim (together with AlgoFace) launched a virtual try-on, allowing users to try new products before ordering.
What inspired you to start Lamik?
While in college I started working as a makeup artist at the mall just as a part time job. And from that part time job I realized how much I enjoy making women feel good about themselves. And so when I got ready to graduate from college I didn't know exactly what I wanted to do, but I knew I was the top sales producer at the makeup counter where I worked at, and my manager said to me ‘you’re good at this... Why don’t you start your own makeup line?’ I didn’t even know how to get started with that, but I ended up sort of looking it up and figuring it out as I went along… I started looking for a manufacturing company, but ended up meeting a chemist and he was able to help me create a natural ingredient makeup line, free of a lot of toxins, that could fit my skin tone, dark skin. That’s where I got my start.
You mentioned you had trouble finding a manufacturer, but what were some of the other first obstacles you had to overcome?
Besides finding a manufacturer, kind of having that faith to just go ahead. I decided to open up a store and didn’t think twice about it. I just did it, and I ran my store for 4 years. That’s what I did at first, but I’m happy I did because it gave me so much insight into my customer, it was so satisfying. I found out first hand what she needed and how she needed it.
I’m so glad, I guess you had that unique experience of one on one contact with your customer and knowing what they wanted. And what about funding?
KR: Yeah, I'm still on the road with funding. I’ve done a crowdfunding campaign with ifundwomen, and we were successful in doing our raise on that. That was great. But we’re still on the funding road. That kind of is a continual thing.
Do you have any advice for fellow entrepreneurs?
Good advice that pertains to entrepreneurship was given to me by my mentor Cathy Hughes, she told me: don’t tell people who love you most how tough things are. Nobody wants to see you go through hard times, so she makes the point that sometimes if you do, people tell you “don’t hurt yourself, make it easy for yourself, don't put yourself in that situation”. This particular mentor, she slept on the floor of her first business, and your family doesn’t want to see you do that.
And finally, what are you looking forward to today?
I’m looking forward to so much! I’m looking forward to people finally realizing that when you’re making makeup for women of color you’re making makeup for all women! Because every woman comes out of a woman of color shade. There’s no other way to look at it. So I’m just here to make that known, clean up the beauty industry I'm looking forward to so much! Accomplishing these things that make the industry a more equitable and suitable place for all of us