My BrownBox Founder Brittney Marshall Talks Black Beauty Brands and Entrepreneurship
By Rachel George
For most young girls growing up, our first introduction to beauty and makeup comes from watching our mothers in the mirror gently blending their Lancome foundation or blotting their Estee Lauder lipstick to make it last all day. However, there weren’t many brands that catered directly to black women at the time. When Brittney Marshall created My BrownBox she wanted to change that by creating a brand that included black women all over the world.
More than just a monthly beauty subscription, My BrownBox was designed to create a shared experience where unapologetic black women commune, connect, inspire and celebrate womanhood with other #BrownBeauties around the world.
After noticing the lack of representation within the beauty industry, Marshall officially launched My BrownBox in 2013. She sold out in just 30 minutes. Back then, foundation formulas didn’t cater to black women. Images in commercials or brands hadn’t quite caught up to what we now call the Fenty Beauty effect.
Each themed box includes a variety of products including makeup, skincare, nail care, hair care, and lifestyle products tailored to your liking for only $20/month. Seasonal boxes are stocked with winter products to maintain your hair’s moisture and body butters for dry skin. They also include a handwritten note from Marshall.
“I’ve seen it evolve over time, especially with more black-owned businesses appearing and filling in that need for black women to have different beauty products–foundations, concealers, lipsticks–that not only match our skin tone but also our skin type,” she said.
Previous boxes have featured samples and products from popular brands such as Curls, Rahau, Sheaterra Organics, Valana Minerals, The Lip Bar, and handcrafted Aye ‘Shanti Notebook.
“Those brands are starting to take up shelf space, and it definitely wasn’t like that when I first started My BrownBox. It’s wild to see them evolve and grow, but I’m extremely grateful,” Marshall said.
Self-care and mental health are vital messages Marshall wanted to integrate into My BrownBox so she includes daily self-love affirmation notes and shirts with positive messages of black women.
Marshall advocates for pulling up a seat at the table but strongly believes in making your own when it comes to the realms of black entrepreneurship and business. “I always encourage people to make their own tables because too often we just kind of get caught up in the mode of working for other people, which is not an issue, but if we’re working for other people and we may feel we’re not getting an equal opportunity. “
Marshall also hopes to instill young girls with the confidence to pursue their dreams and to know they can do anything they diligently work towards. “I want young girls to know they are beautiful, even though there are different industries and there may not be a lot of representation of us in the room.”
Be on the lookout for the return of My BrownBox subscription in Spring 2020. In the meantime, you can purchase daily affirmation notes and black woman tees at their online shop.
Follow My BrownBox’s blog for self-care tips, healthy recipes, healing, relationships, holiday gift guides, and more.