Picture of a phone with Shopify software

Start Your Business with Shopify

Try Shopify for free, and explore all the tools and services you need to start, run, and grow your business.

Build Black: Why Range Beauty’s Founder Created Inclusive Cosmetics for Reactive Skin

Founder of Range Beauty, Alicia Scott

Name: Alicia Scott, CEO and founder
My business: Range Beauty
Products: Plant-powered makeup for ultra-reactive skin
Year founded: 2018
Based in: Atlanta, Georgia

Why I started my business:

I’ve dealt with sensitive skin since I was a young girl and tried to bathe in my grandma’s Elizabeth Taylor heavily fragranced lotion and immediately broke out in hives. Since that day, I steered clear of sensitive-skin-triggering products, including makeup. I thought that was all I needed to do until one random day in college I awoke with a large, itchy, dry patch on my leg. Then more patches began to form, and I found out from a dermatologist that it was eczema. To make it a real party, cystic acne entered my life around the same time. 

I just couldn’t get with the makeup brands that were not only ignoring my skin tone but my skin conditions too. I wanted to create my “dream” makeup brand—one that didn’t compromise the color, care, or condition of my skin. 

How I made the leap:

I hopped on Google and started researching how to launch a cosmetics line, found my manufacturer, and placed my first order for $150 worth of ingredients. That’s how I created our first product, the True Intentions Hydrating Foundation. 

Product detail of a foundation by Range BeautyScreengrab of a skin quiz on Range beauty's website
A skin quiz helps customers discover the right product and shade on Range Beauty’s website. Range Beauty 

My biggest challenge: 

Launching a beauty brand without a background in beauty—I came from the world of fashion, and that was my path. I majored in it in college and solely worked fashion jobs post-grad. I didn’t even wear foundation! I felt so far removed from the makeup aisles, but I pushed myself to get comfortable with an industry that always made me feel uncomfortable. 

How I pulled through:

A lot of what I’ve accomplished is in large part due to my incessant need to research everything. I also credit the network of founders I’ve met along the way who have filled in the knowledge gaps for me. Applying to accelerators was also a great help! Receiving mentorship and expert advice from these programs is significant for any founder in my shoes. 

What the future holds:

I’m excited to introduce Range to retail! This will be huge for us, as we’ve only been an ecommerce brand with in-person activations here and there. To physically have an in-store presence is going to be a game changer for us and the future of Range. Our top three goals over the next five years are to expand into retail, launch skin care, and become the go-to makeup brand for reactive skin.

Build Black with Shopify was developed to create one million Black businesses with partner organizations like Operation Hope. Its aim is to provide tools, resources, and education to remove the traditional barriers to Black entrepreneurship. Join the Build Black program to connect with other entrepreneurs like you.

Learn more

Advice I’d give to an aspiring entrepreneur:

The best piece of advice I’ve heard was: your path is your own. It’s very easy, especially in these times of over-sharing, to compare your progress to another founder or brand. Staying true to your path and letting it work out the way it’s intended is much more effective than comparing or trying to align your path to someone else. The best thing you can do is start and work hard at it from there. 

I have the power to prioritize Black women, specifically in a space that has always tried to box us out.

The legacy I want to leave:

Only 3% of dermatologists are Black, which leaves our odds for accurate health care in this field pretty low. I hope to speak beyond beauty and change this drastic disparity. Recently, I launched the Range Impact Fund to bring awareness to the lack of care for Black people from most dermatologists due to them being untrained in how to diagnose skin conditions in melanin-rich skin.

Two side by side panels showing headshots of two different women
By featuring a wide range of models and skin tones alongside before and after testimonials on product pages, Range Beauty’s customers gain purchase confidence without having to try the products. Range Beauty

What it means to be a Black business owner:

Even through all the challenges, I love being a Black business owner, because I get to create with my community in mind every day. I have the power to prioritize Black women specifically in a space that has always tried to box us out. There’s truly nothing like having a brand by us, for us. 

Being a Black business owner is certainly not for the weak, though. We have to work 10 times harder than our counterparts to get even a smidge of the market share, to be seen as an industry leader, and most importantly, to be seen as viable enough for investment. 

The social platform I use most for marketing:

Recently, TikTok

@realrangebeauty Love a sheet to medium foundation but also want more coverage for your blemishes, these two will give you just what you need. #foundationhack #makeupforacneproneskin #foundationfordryskin ♬ original sound - :)

How I leverage the power of social media/my platform to grow my business: 

It’s all about meeting your customers and audience where they are instead of trying to be everywhere at once. Instagram was and still is our largest social platform, but we recently discovered TikTok allows for a more casual approach and conversation with our audience. 

We have used TikTok most recently for sourcing out content creators, and influencers for gifting and paid partnerships. The ability to grab their attention is much easier than on Instagram. Since TikTok doesn’t require as much “perfection” as Instagram, we’ve seen a quicker turnaround from creators and influencers in posting about us. This leads to more “Beauties” finding out about us and growing our community.