We had the good fortune of connecting with Jacqueline Carrington and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jacqueline, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
In early 2019, I was inspired by my daughter Monroe (who was 3 at the time). When her and my son would spend the night at my mom’s, Monroe would always come home with her nails painted. Her new interest in nail polish rekindled mine, and forced me to think back to my childhood. I didn’t wear nail polish growing up because I played basketball, and I realized I never saw nail polish shown on brown hands.
I thought to myself, “what if someone made a nail polish brand that picked out colors to complement the various shades of brown skin from all over the world, and celebrated People of Color?” So I did! I wanted to create a nail polish brand that was not only inclusive, but whose main focus was celebrating and representing People of Color through the nail polish colors we chose and showing them on all shades of brown skin tones.
The brand name People of Color was a literal representation of that vision, and it also has a double meaning because we all live in a world of color. That’s where our slogan, ‘nail polish for People of Color and those who live in color’ came from!
What should our readers know about your business?
It’s been a journey to get to where we are business-wise! We launched in May 2019 and have been able to scale into two major retailers, Urban Outfitters and Kohl’s, during that time–in addition to growing our e-commerce, salon, and small boutique partners as well. The biggest challenges have been learning social media marketing, Facebook/Instagram ads, and inventory/financial constraints while growing. When you don’t know something, you have to take the time to learn it! That’s exactly what I had to do with social media marketing and ads. I still don’t consider myself an expert, but I’ve tried to implement some of the key concepts I’ve learned and will continue to build on them. As far as inventory/financial constraints, reinvesting sales played a key part in being able to buy more inventory. In addition, finding a larger manufacturer that allowed us to lower our costs was monumental in being able to scale.
All big businesses started as small businesses! Enjoy the journey, learn the lessons, never give up, and believe in your vision. These are just some of the lessons that I’ve learned along the way.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Being that my best friend is from LA, I wouldn’t have to show her around, lol. However, for a good time, we would do a late morning workout and climb the Culver City Steps and take in the amazing city and ocean views. After cleaning up, we would grab brunch at Post & Beam in Baldwin Hills and some local shopping at Sole Folks in Leimert Park. Next, we would head to the beach for some relaxation, then grab a late afternoon snack at my favorite place, Happy Ice. To end the day, I’d treat her to a Lakers game, and maybe a small bite to eat across the street at LA Live! Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to give a special shoutout to my friend and business bestie, Alexis, the owner of Hour X Hour Bath. She was my very first customer after launching People of Color. After learning she was local to me when shipping her order, and finding out that she was a small business owner as well, we started talking and became business friends. As time passed, we became business besties because we were both just launching our brand and were in the same place, dealing with a lot of the same struggles trying to grow our businesses. She has been a huge impact on my life by keeping me motivated, focused, and pushing me to continue when things were hard trying to grow People of Color. We chat everyday sharing ideas, talking through our thoughts, learning new things (especially social media marketing and ads), and so much more!
In addition, my family and my best friend have kept me going and been in my corner rooting me on and celebrating me as the brand has grown.
Zay Monae Photography, Demi Moore, Adelina Luna, Natalie Rosario