Lip Esteem | Small Business Revolution: S6E3

Lip Esteem | Small Business Revolution: S6E3

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Salesforce is committed to helping small businesses tackle big challenges. We're proud to join Deluxe in the Small Business Revolution as they help Black businesses in Minneapolis and St. Paul grow their businesses in a world filled with change. To learn more, visit All right, so this is kind of fun, right? Tameka is a startup trying to build something really special through Lip Esteem.

I could see her in every store by the end of this process. That's dope. What do you know about lipstick? Oh, red, beige, blue, green.

You're just naming colors. Tameka! Oh my gosh. Hi Amanda. So good to see there.

Hi, this is Baron. Hi Baron. Nice to meet you. Hi Tameka, heard a lot about you. Such a pleasure, such a pleasure. - It's so good to see you all. - I'm excited.

I'm not gonna try nothing on but-- I don't judge. He's very good at just making up words. Oh great.

I have a couple of colors that I want you to look at and tell me what you think. Let's go, come on in. Let's turn it up. So this is Rondo. Rondo for the neighborhood.

For the neighborhood. Always. One time.

You already know. This one is called No Drama. Because we don't do that. Not when you put that on. No no no.

Ain't anybody with that, okay. No drama And this one I was choosing between, should I have this color or this color? Can a person have too many reds? No, not at all. No. So I decided to keep it, but now I really need help finding a name.

Okay, there's no wrong answers in brainstorming. All right, you go first. Language. This Is Me. Stop Playing.

Stop playing. Own It. Ooh. This is classy.

You know what I mean? You get it. You know what I'm talking about? You get it. Lady boss. Mm, I like that. Lady boss is hard. It says it all.

She like the name, she likes my name, she likes my name! Lady Boss is hard. Small businesses across the country are fighting for their survival, with the odds stacked against them. But what happens if we join that fight? If we put a little money, a lot of experience and thousands of hours of work into the entrepreneurs who are striving every day to see their businesses and their communities thrive. For years, the team traveled from one small town to the next, putting a main street make-over into action and building a movement that is millions strong, But 2020 changed everything. And no one was hit harder than Black-owned businesses in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

It was time for the small business revolution to come home. Now Amanda Brinkman and her team of marketing experts at Deluxe are rolling up their sleeves, doing what they do for millions of small businesses every day. And they're not alone. NBA All-Star turned entrepreneur Baron Davis will help chart a course for success while a whole cast of experts and partners line up behind some of the twin city's most important Black-owned businesses.

Every episode we'll be working with a new small business to see if we can change the odds. If in a moment, unlike anything this country has ever seen, we can keep the revolution alive. (upbeat music) Yo, this is Tim Wilson coming to you live from Urban Lights Music in the Midway. And this goes out to all the boss ladies across the city.

In the darkest of fields when there was no sign, no path or clearing that brought us closer to the light. There were the faces of our babies. For some of us, it was the faces of our siblings, cousins, parents, and elders. Eager, desperate and true believers in us who when the brights of their eyes drew us in and we saw our own brilliance, could we get up and say, here is where I take the first step. Every step after becomes one of passion of survival of a fire meant to burn what this world said a black woman could not do. And then that debris, what so many would consider the rubble are the ones we love.

The ones we've worked for, mirroring our faces, in awe at the light, being the esteem that they all feel for us. - Growing up, I was always teased about my full set of lips. I used to try to figure out ways to hide them. And then eventually I was like, oh my lips aren't bad. I don't know what happened, but I embraced them. So, that's why we do Lip Esteem.

I was working at our local retailer, that houses many cosmetic companies. And now I can see the micro aggressions that people express daily. I kept trying to play the role of educator instead of human resources snitch, because my parents were diversity consultants, but it's hard to teach someone not to be racist because if you're not empathetic, you're not trying to get it. So it's like a lot of wasted time.

And then when COVID hit, it was like, I got a break. I didn't have as much anxiety. I noticed that I was peaceful. I noticed that I was sleeping better. And then Memorial Day, my daughter called me.

She said, mom, I just saw someone getting arrested and it didn't look good. It looked like he couldn't breathe, found out the next day that it was George Floyd. And that he died.

Soon after, my job called me and said, Hey, you ready to come back to work? I said, have you done any racial training, any diversity? What have you done? And they said, we have some things in the works. And so, it was my time to get on the road, Jack. I've always been a chemist in my mind. So I'm like, oh, I will make the line. So let me show you.

This is how I make Lip Esteem lipsticks. I purchased the broiler, the pigments, the oils and the waxes, and even the molds, but all of my recipes were wrong. Okay? And my sink was ticked off at me because I kept putting all that oil and wax down it. So I had to go to my plan B which was to find a manufacturer who could make plant-based, cruelty-free, gluten-free lipsticks.

And I'm so happy I did it. You don't have to wear makeup to feel beautiful, but just a little extra color here and there makes a whole lot of difference. The fact that she's a successful entrepreneur and she happens to be an African-American and she happens to be a woman, "spark", is that the word? Spunky? Spunk, spunk for sure. When I first ordered, I took my own savings and I didn't want to invest in too much product because I wasn't sure that it was going to work, but I sold out probably 200 tubes in two days.

I got the impression that I might be in the right field doing the right thing. My true vision is I want to be an international brand. I just don't know how I'm going to get there. E-commerce was the first thing I thought about doing, but then someone from church said, have you ever thought about selling at the farmer's market? I'm their director. And I'm like, farmer's market? So this is my spring collection.

Some bright, vibrant colors. - Neveah is great because it takes it from brown into being like a blue undertone. - Okay. - I like to think of what colors can all of my friends wear. So for me, this color is a nude because I am almost the same color, but for a lighter skin person, this would be more dramatic. So I purchase for everybody.

Vitamin E Stick is actually one of my best sellers. - It's so good. - So if you see people with chapped lips, send them my way. - Yes, yes, yes. We will.

- Thank you. I think I needed to be at the farmer's market because especially with the trauma that the African-American community had been in, I was not aware that there were people in the community that had our backs. My daughter's name is KiJana Monet Jones. She helps me at the farmer's markets when she can.

And she is my best friend. I also have a lipstick named after her, Monet. And then, Kamani Nevaeh was my youngest daughter and Nevaeh is heaven backwards, right? And the truth of the matter is, that's where she is. And so I think about her life, two days old, that was it. I really realized that life was really short.

If you're miserable, find a way to get out that mystery because you never know if you're gonna wake up the next day. And I think that was part of my reasoning for not going back into that corporate situation, because I knew I really was miserable. You don't carry a baby that long and then just act like nothing happened. So Lip Esteem has given me the opportunity to carry her name. And I'm grateful for that. There are so many reasons to invest in Tameka, her charisma, her instincts as a marketer, the power of her story, all that plus a scalable product makes her a good bet.

but growing a business is hard and you're never more vulnerable than you are in your first year. We need to get an idea of the startup landscape in Minneapolis to form a picture of what lies ahead for Lip Esteem. So Tameka, Baron and I are heading to Lake Street to meet up with Renay Dossman and Natalia Hals from the Neighborhood Development Center, the organization behind Minnesota's most famous incubator. This is the Midtown Global Market.

It truly is a place of hope and inspiration. So the Global Market has about 45 vendors. About 22 different cultures. So it's kind of like in one space, represents Lake Street. Talk to me more about, you know, what this street means to, you know, Minnesota. It's made up of small mom and pop businesses.

That's just the fabric of this neighborhood. This community right here is what helped Lip Esteem go to the next level. I had just launched when somebody invited me into the Midtown Farmer's Market. What do you see in the future of Lake Street? If you could paint it. I want more mom pops. Like I want people that don't have an opportunity to have an opportunity and thrive and grow.

Lake street is a testament to the power of small business, but the more we talked with Renay and Natalia, the more we started to understand that the success of the Midtown Global Market lives alongside another truth. Typically for a lot of the entrepreneurs that we serve, they're forging a path that many in their families have never went down. It's a heavy undertaking. Lake street has always been this place where entrepreneurs have felt welcome to come and start up a business.

But probably about half of our businesses are sole proprietors. There's a pretty big leap for entrepreneurs generally, to get to scale so that they can really have the kind of financial success that they want to have. Every business owner is an entrepreneur, but every entrepreneur is not a business owner. Building a business it's bigger than paying your bills.

It's bigger than just, my product is in one store. We don't stop at that, right? The difficulty is the lack of access to opportunity. Without proper access to capital. It's just almost impossible, okay, to grow your business. Only .00006% of venture capital has been invested in startups founded by black women.

The capitol was one piece, but there are also the skills of being able to grow a business because if they don't have the tools, giving them the capital is not really the answer either. You've got to have both of them. These systems have been structured in a very specific way to benefit those that are easiest to support.

- Black and indigenous people have been disproportionately left behind. So in order to level that playing field, there needs to be a disproportionate investment in those communities. - America's face is changing.

And there's no question that we becoming blacker and browner, and that's gonna continue. Now mindset needs to be one that says I'm going to employ the resources that are needed to make a real shift. - I've often said to big wall street, why are you looking all over the world for emerging markets? They're right here in urban America.

- This is the moment to make Minnesota that place of creativity and innovation that it was when General Mills and Pillsbury and Cargill were being created and started here. We can be that again, be that Mecca for Black owned businesses and startups. Nothing is impossible, when it comes to the human beings, they can make changes if they choose to. The issue is choice. So this is our work, help Tameka build a path to scale. And given all that we've learned, we've gotta be smart about it.

There are a lot of different ways for a beauty business to grow. Do you work toward a brick and mortar location or stick to e-commerce? Try to build a relationship with a major retailer or pursue partnerships with other small shops who promote the brand? Or some combination? Growth involves risk and for a startup, getting this kind of strategy wrong can be fatal. We need some good advice.

Luckily, the chair of the Deluxe board has a pretty cool day job. Cheryl Mayberry McKissack co-owns both Black Opal and Fashion Fair, two of the most iconic skincare and beauty brands for women of color in the entire world. She flew in to meet Tameka at the headquarters of Lunar Startups in downtown St. Paul. And to round off the conversation, our partners at Salesforce introduced us to one of their favorite customers, Shonnah Hughes, bringing both her experience as a founder and her expertise in using technology to grow a business.

So I think the most important thing before we talk is what do you see yourself doing as the next step to grow in your business? Right now I feel like I'm at a plateau. It's still moving, but it's not growing. The next step I think is get to the salons so that I can continue to make revenue without me being there.

And then eventually I want to do department stores. The only reason you want to go into a department store is if you've got volume, it's a volume play. Without the volume, you know, the margins are just not gonna be there for you. Right.

The whole world has changed now. Department stores that are not necessarily, you know, going to be, certainly not the only way. And in a lot of cases for different products are not going to be the best way because now that people have been at home and have started to buy in different ways, they're not going to go a hundred percent back to what they did before. It'll be a hybrid, okay? And you want to find those gaps in that hybrid that you can take advantage of. So for example, there are a number of companies that take companies like yours and basically curate those, okay? And women go to these sites because they know there are gonna be products that in lot of cases are from women of color. And they know that they're gonna have great ingredients in it.

I think you want to figure out, where can you partner? - Exactly. And speaking to that, you can look for people who are local, who are influencers, because right now what you're doing a lot, is the one-to-one. When you have an influencer, they're touching so many people and then you're bringing them along with you on that journey so that you guys can partner together and grow together.

Because your community is there to support you. And I'm telling you right now that your personality, it shines. It just shines through. Minneapolis. St. Paul has a lot of really great networks of women business owners who can have other ideas you can bounce things off of and develop that network here, locally. Cheryl and Shonnah didn't disappoint, In one meeting, Tameka steered away from a potential big box pitfall while identifying two paths to scale that make the most sense for her.

E-commerce and partnerships with other local retailers. Back at the Deluxe creative lab, we're getting Tameka's brand and online presence ready to support both of those strategies. This is gonna be super cool because we're starting from scratch, right? So we get to define who we are. And we always say in sports, what's your DNA, right? She needs to understand who's buying and what is making them buy.

There's so much that she can do when she starts to collect data in a way that is meaningful to her business and having a customer relationship manager, to be able to really, you know, engage with her customers. It's, it's going to, it's gonna change the game for her. So when we think about growing her business, what does that look like beyond the farmer's market? What she loves about the farmer's market is the talking with the customers and making a connection. And like when you meet Tameka, like that totally makes sense, right? But I think you need to help her think a little bit differently about how big this business really could be.

- I think she's got a great opportunity to be successful because in the beauty business, only one to two percent are actually owned by women of color, but we are the consumers of the product. And so that's a major opportunity for entrepreneurs like Tameka. It's a good business thing. It's not just a nice thing to do. It's a good business. There is something about who Tameka is as a person that makes you want to be a part of what she's building.

It's an unteachable skill, which has allowed her to seek out support and expertise at every stage of her young business's life. Next in line to join team Lip Esteem is Kelly Darden from our friends at Lenovo. Getting to work on a tech package that will allow Tameka to compete in a crowded online marketplace. - One of the things, when I was looking at your website, I noticed that you do virtual consultations. Yes. So, you can build something from that.

- This is my webcam. She's very fragile. She likes to fall, occasionally.

Are you able to zoom in, and get, you know, some more high quality visual? Honestly, my zoom is like putting my face all in the camera. That's all we do. Look, we got to do what we have to do, okay? A hundred percent, I understand.

- Tameka's online sales will be built on a solid tech infrastructure, but they'll thrive off a perfectly executed e-commerce site based on an understanding of how people behave when they're shopping online. We got about maybe 15 seconds or less for them to respond, right? So when I go and look at your site, the loudest thing is probably chat with us. Would you like for someone to come and chat with you first? No.

Probably not. I got 15 seconds to be able to, to grab your attention and let you know what I feel the most important thing for you to know at this time, what can we put here, right? You can take advantage of the space. So that's the principle. - We have a more logical setup going on. We have, you know, products, we have merchandise.

Then also, Harvard brand is going to be her expertise. So we're going to have a makeup tutorial session to-- - On top of all that user experience strategy, we add a layer of design that communicates the same level of polish you get from the top brands in the world, which means being ruthless about every image, word, and detail on the site. - That's really like essentially the hero images, like the why I want to buy this.

The product images are "what am I buying"? because if you already got them at the why, then they're interested in the what, you know? I get to some of these collections and there's inconsistencies, right? Yeah. They're all different photos. They're great photos.

But my eyes want them to be the same image. Then all like if it was a lipstick, then they would all have the white background. And that would be what the customer sees when they click.

With the web team hammering out design, the product team is getting to work, bringing that same rigor to both packaging and Lip Esteem's swag. Little key chain pouch, open it up. You've got your lipstick, you got your credit card. And I love that they're velvet, like that, just as such a different texture to that.

But before we get too excited about product possibilities, we have to figure out what we're going to be putting on all that new merch. And that means a final decision on Tameka's logo. So we took this mood board and we came up with a variety of logo explorations. So these are kind of the five logo interpretations side by side. - I'm automatically like attracted to number four.

I love number four. It makes me feel some type of way. Which is what you want a logo to do, right? Yes, definitely.

So now what we have been continuing to talk about is your original icon. You have a lot of meaning in this illustration. And one of the goals you gave us was to create something that really appealed to all women, so that all women can see themselves in this brand. I think sometimes this icon might make it feel like it is intended just for African-American women.

- And that's what we're going to have to get away from as society, is as looking at that and saying that that's a black brand. There's been many times in my life where I bought things where the person on the front of the packaging did not look like me. God, you're so right. And so.

Yes. Yeah. So we've got to move away from that. And so this is not an exclusive photo or a logo. This is very inclusive to just a jazzy, sassy woman.

You can, all of us can put ourselves there. And you're absolutely right. Forever, you know, there have certainly been iconography and imagery that isn't representative of all. And everyone, we've been asking people to see themselves in that. So, great point.

So she stays? She stays. So there we go. Are you all right? - You all are doing such a great thing for me that I don't want to seem ungrateful, but at the same time, I don't know if everybody's catching my vision. And that is very frustrating for me.

- And rightfully so. I mean, a business is a very personal thing and I think, can feel like you're losing control of this thing that you've built. It's all about amplifying your voice. If you don't like it, nothing wrong about saying, I don't like it. - I'm not used to being able to say that and not have repercussions.

That type of a thing. And I'm now, I'm in a position to be able to say that. And I'm just like, I don't know how comfortable I am with expressing myself. - Your team does grew by 30, right? Some of the issues that you're feeling now are issues that are going to happen when you scale. Now that is definitely a true statement.

This is a lesson in scale just with this experience in itself. And your voice and who you are is what sets you apart from every other makeup line that's out there. That's the true value of Lip Esteem, is Tameka Jones.

- With Tameka's leadership, we landed in the right place. And yes, from a purely calculated marketing standpoint, some people might look at the Lip Esteem logo and assume that the product isn't for them, but maybe those aren't Tameka's target customers anyway. And how can you expect that consumer behavior to change, if we keep accommodating them? She was right. And on the heels of selecting her new logo, Tameka surprised us with another big decision for Lip Esteem. We were on a call with Tameka and all of a sudden she said, I'm ready to lease an office space.

And we're like, what? - How did you find this place? This was my parents' first office. Like literally the--? Building. Oh building.

Uh huh. It just made sense. - That's another added expense. And that's a monthly one. It's not one that's going to ebb and flow with her sales.

So the pressure's on. When you're running a product business out of your home, if the business starts to take off, it's going to take over your home. She just kind of need to separate church and state. You know, if I had like a small business in my house, like my cousins would probably be stealing like some of our product. - New expenses are always scary, but it's almost impossible for a business to grow without taking them on.

For small business owners that often means making bets with their own money. But there are ways to make those bets truly informed. And that starts with knowing your numbers. So we're sitting down with Nadine Seivert from US Bank to open up Lip Esteem's books. - Tell me a little bit more about perhaps some of the goals that you have set for the business.

This current year, I would like to at least make $75,000. And you want to take home $75,000, not have the business make it, like that, it really. That really is, yes. That's the truth, yes. Good, you deserve it.

And right now, as far as packaging goes, I'm making these things. And so now I want to get to the point where I have someone else do it because that takes a lot of time and I want it to be more polished. - How much do you think you'd want to pay this person? I would say around $40,000 a year. Okay, fantastic.

So as we're looking at your PNLs, we are going to just assume $25,000 is what it's going to cost us to run your business. From each sale of lipstick, how much do you actually make from that? - Let's just say that the tube is $18. I would bring home about $14 off of each tube. - Okay, fantastic. So the industry standard for gross margin is 60%, but you're doing a lot more than that, which is so great to see in here. So when you add up all those numbers, $140,000 divided by the $14 means we'd have to sell 10,000 tubes of lipstick, right? - Okay.

- So that is a great goal for us to set and to work from. - I think 10,000 tubes is achievable. It's going to come down to things like the website and getting into these other retailers and salons.

So let's get started. If you're a retailer out there and you would like Lip Esteem, call me. Actually people are calling Tameka. And that includes the National Association of Women Business Owners, where Tameka's new membership is paying immediate dividends. I am heading in to the NAWBO Awards dinner, Julie from Deluxe got me plugged in with awesome, awesome women so, let's see how this goes. I come to NAWBO for my first event and I run into a friend from high school.

Hi! Tell them about what you did. Okay, so I said Tameka, I'm hosting two tables and I need lip color for all these gals. So she helped me pick out colors for every single one of my guests, 22. 22 lipsticks. So I'm going to have 22 really happy ladies. Between networking, selling, combing through finances and overseeing a brand overhaul, Tameka is also managing the total redesign of her new office space.

Deluxe is able to cover the cost of the renovations and 3M is helping take those dollars even further by stepping up to wrap the place in Lip Esteem's iconic brand colors. Meanwhile, Lenovo had been building out a tech package that's tailored to Tameka's needs. So we're meeting up at the historic Penumbra Theater for a first look at Tameka's new gear. We're really excited for you to see what Kelly from Lenovo has for you. I know you guys been talking a lot about technology needs.

Hey Kelly! Hey Amanda, how are you? Good to see you. It's great to see you. Tameka, what's up girl? Good to see you, like face to face.

- Exactly, right? I had to get my face done and makeup, you know, everything Okay, yes. to make sure I look the part to meet with you. Looking good! - Yes, good to see you. - Good to see you too.

- Yeah. We know that a makeup brand is big on visual, right? Our Think Smart camera here transforms the expectations that people have. You have a 4k camera and because artificial intelligence is included, it will track your movement within the shop it's a hands-free experience with Think Smart cameras.

So she can be showing a new color of lipstick and like, and it would just zoom right in when she's holding it? - Exactly, it's no longer, I'm buying lipstick. It's like, oh, this is what I look like after I purchased from lip esteem. I'm getting the goosies. Oh well look, it gets better.

We not done yet. Oh. Tameka has a spirit that fills any room that she steps into.

You can tell that she's passionate about her business. You can tell that she wants to transform the lives of the customers that she has. You mentioned before that you traveled to the farmer's market, right? So this is our ThinkBook Yoga. So it is a tablet form factor. Or when you're going back into the office, now you have a traditional laptop here.

Amanda, this is so exciting. - I know. - I love it, thank you. From a technology standpoint, Tameka is ready to hit the ground running.

And on the marketing front, the team at Deluxe has fast tracked a few items that will allow her to start connecting with local retailers who could carry her product. This is the lipstick line that I've been telling you about, Lip Esteem. And so this display has nine different holes for the lipsticks. Of course, Lip Esteem has more than nine colors, but you would choose which lipsticks you think that your customer base would like. - So we have a couple of colors to choose from. We have Lady Boss, which our lady boss here, is wearing.

- Oh, very nice. Lady. We have Monet, which is a bright pink.

What are you wearing? I have on our liquid matte lipstick called Bougie. And let me tell you something, my dad named that lipstick Bougie. I said, dad, do you know what bougie even means? He was like, no, but I liked the name. Bougie's very nice, looks good on you.

It would look good on you. Yeah, I want it. - Marketing, finances, operations, tech, sales, the crash course is almost over. We just have two more things to cross off the list before the grand finale. And these are fun ones. One of the things we love about you is that on your own kind of journey, around self esteem and self actualization and confidence, you really want to pay that forward to other women and help them realize and own their space in the world.

And so we're gonna give you $5,000 to pay it forward to either another community organization or a small business that you want to bless the way you're blessing women with this message around esteem. Amazing, I love that. I know an excellent organization that has helped Lip Esteem throughout this journey. And it's called The Black Women's Wealth Alliance. Tt those times where I didn't have enough inventory or I didn't have enough packaging, all of a sudden I'd get an email saying that there's a grant available. And not only that, but during Christmas time, they opened up a marketplace.

And when I looked at my website, most of my sales came from The Black Women's Wealth Alliance. So I would love it if we could give back to them. - Kenya was one of the first people that we talked to, starting to work on season six. So we love what she's building.

I love that that's who you selected. You can't say anything though, it's top secret. Okay, okay, I won't, all right.

And the last item to cross off the list. Well, we'd been encouraging Tameka to partner with social media influencers to help grow Lip Esteem's following. So we're heading to the local Boys and Girls Club to jumpstart the process, with a little help from some friends. All right, so look. Like you can't be on a phone right now.

Sorry. - My all-star co-host Baron Davis and the winning-est WNBA player ever. Five time champion, Rebecca Brunson of the Minnesota Lynx. When she retired from the WMBA, Rebecca and her wife started their own small business. Shout out to Sweet Troo Vi's insanely good waffles and cookies.

So she was happy to show up for a fellow Minneapolis entrepreneur. Hey man, when she get ready to come off, you get real serious, you go like that. Let's go.

Pick and roll, pick and roll. It like the end of the day, last shoot. We're supposed to direct a commercial with Tameka. Davis, let's go, hurry up. We're all just kind of like dead tired. And Tameka takes the ball and you won't believe me, but this was the first take.

Lipstick, isn't just makeup. It's a movement. So get on our team with Lip Esteem.

- That's right. (yelling and cheering) - Lip Esteem! You see what happened? Lip Esteem! You see what happened? - That bucket kind of summed it all up, over and over Tameka has put Lip Esteem in a position to succeed. And when the moment arrived and she got her shot, Tameka didn't miss. I have never felt that kind of adrenaline in my life. Get your Lip Esteem.

So while Lenovo got new tech up up and running at the fully renovated office and the marketing at Deluxe put finishing touches on the brand and website, we got to watch the view count on that video, shoot up into viral territory. As our work draws to a close we're getting ready to make one last trip to Lip Esteem HQ, it'll be Baron and Cheryl's first chance to see the new space we designed and our chance to introduce Tameka to the full slate of Lip Esteem brand 2.0. Welcome to the new and improved Lip Esteem. It's amazing. The last time we were together, we were in your home office and in just a few short months, I mean, this is incredible.

It looks fabulous. This place makes me feel really good. And like, even these chairs, Baron, please. Please, may I? Woo, don't that feel good? All right.

I tell you there's gonna be some magic happening in here. All day, every day. So this is the office. Thanks to Lenovo, I have all new computer equipment. I have a brand new laser printer so I can print my own labels instead of sending it out to be resourced somewhere else.

I'm so excited because I can think bigger because I'm not, You're not in your house. I'm not in my house. Yeah, this gives you like this is your workspace. You are entrepreneur. You have your own, you know, your own office. You know, when we say we, you gotta get out the blocks to get the start you on.

I love this place. Thank you. Do you want to take a peek at your new website? - [Tameka] Of course I do. - Oh I can't wait to see this. - Let's do it! This was your existing logo, when we started working together and the icon was very important to you.

And this was the new logo that we landed on. Very cool. I like the fact that they made the circle thicker and of course the letters are amazing. It looks like that could have been written easily in lipstick. It's just perfect now.

So are you ready to talk website? Yes. All right, this is your new website. Ooh, I feel some type of way. I like it.

First and foremost, we want to make sure that we see that great new logo up in there. I like the fact that it centers me on something like keep smiling, keep shining. You know, it centers me on those words. And those words tie back to your brand. It's clean, but it still has personality at the same time. This is one of your call to action, kind of billboard areas, if you will, if you think of it that way.

This can be the space on your website, where whenever you have something kind of new, you want to talk about, we want to make sure that people can find you, you know, have a location. We want to encourage gift card purchases and we want to brand those gift cards. Those are cute. And then also, instead of just listing all of the products, we have created a selection engine for you so that customers can filter through based on what they're looking for.

My customers are going to love you for all this. Everything about it is like I would purchase this for sure. We're also including a recommendation engine as well. This is really cool. So because you bought that or because you looked at that. No.

Yeah, yes. You might also like that. Ohh. I think the website is kind of behaving like you, right? Yes.

Let me hook you up, girl you need this. That's exactly it, thank you. You just hit the nail on the head. This site is going to increase sales for Lip Esteem.

Oh, no doubt. By making sure that we're including keywords throughout the site about things like makeup tutorials that we're capturing those searches right away. We're gonna see, you know, book a makeup session after they hit submit, it goes right into their cart so they can't book until they-- Yeah, get that money! Give me my money. All right, so all about Lip Esteem. So let's tell Tameka's story.

So this composition is almost kind of like a magazine page. We wanna be honest about the fact that, you know, in the face of great adversity, in different points in your life, you have persevered through and built a business. - I would like for everything that deals with my lipstick to be what stands out. Now, I am a Black-owned business, that is a given and I am a woman owned business, that is a given, but how does that affect my brand? - That is part of who you are. And there's certain things you're going to bring to the table that someone who doesn't have your background just can't and vice versa, right? So to me, it is absolutely a tool.

I appreciate that. I appreciate that. - You know, as an entrepreneur, like soon as you start to be willing to let your brand fly, you start to see how your voice, right, has more impact and more power than you ever imagined, because now people are buying into your vision. I guess, you know, I think I'm learning in this whole thing. I'm just learning that it's okay for Tameka to have a voice and these people on the web development team heard me. And I appreciate that so much.

I really do. And remember Tameka has always had a voice. That's why there is a Lip Esteem. Hey, hey, hey, okay, cut, please.

Hold on. Come on back over here and cry. So you can sell some more lipstick.

Tameka's website will ensure that the e-commerce piece of her business is on point, but the roadmap we've drawn also includes influencers, farmer's markets, networking events, local salons, and retailers. And that means putting Tameka's brand to work in the real world. Rose gold. Oh really? All right, so first and foremost, Oh, that's cute! It's what you asked for, it's your birthday. So we're exactly what you want. We have another great branded moment, but it's not your average pop socket.

It is, look at that, a mirror for applying your lipstick. I like the uniqueness of it. That is really-- I think that's why you're going to get people wanting to use it. If a hundred people decided to put that on their phone, that's a hundred brand impressions that are walking around and other people are seeing.

Here's some great postcards. It is the perfect size to fit into your product packaging. Yeah, perfect.

Because I usually have to get my paper cutter and cut my cards down. Let's not do that anymore. - We have these great can koozies, they're velvet. Wouldn't this be a great giveaway at the farmer's market? The farmer's market people would love this. And then speaking of farmer's markets, Devon has a little surprise for you to make sure we're branding your farmer's market experience, so-- Ooh.

Look at my little family. That's nice. How does it all feel when you see it all.

- It feels good. It feels good, it feels consistent, it feels professional. I'm grateful to be going at my one year anniversary to be going to the next level. Wow, one year? Yeah, one year.

This is pretty impressive first year for any entrepreneur. This is amazing. Yeah.

Yes. It fits my style. And that's what I like about the process with the website, with the logo. It's my style. So I don't know how people figured out what my style was, but the Deluxe team got it. And then all of a sudden having a team of people to support me, it allowed me to see past the small vision that I had for Lip Esteem.

Now I can just see it growing into the next level. I think the only thing left to do is to go pay it forward. I would love to. - Good evening ladies, thank you so much for taking time out.

This is actually our first time doing anything since COVID that's, you know, a gathering, so everything has been virtual. So it's really nice to see real people again. We're gonna talk a little bit about economics and public space and how it shows up for Black women. But before I get into that, I wanted to turn it over to Ms. Tameka, who's the owner, CEO, founder of Lip Esteem.

Thank you, it's so good to be back in this space. And I also want some of my friends to come in and say thank you too, so-- I just want to say that on behalf of Lip Esteem, we are giving The Black Women's Wealth Alliance a $5,000 check. New Caption For the Small Business Revolution and Deluxe to just say to me, give is so important to me because that's who I want to be. The person that you are is the person that I want to be. So I think you.

Well, we got a couple grants now. - Black women entrepreneurs make up the largest percentage of Black businesses in this country. And so we have the greatest opportunity to shift the economic trajectory of the Black community. And there's a responsibility to invest in her because the nation rises no higher than its women. She's going to support humanity.

That's what she's always done. That's who she is, who we are. An investment in her is an investment in the Black nation, but truly the whole world. And certainly this country. Stay tuned for scenes from our next episode. - Deluxe is passionate about supporting small businesses and we are honored to bring the Small Business Revolution home to Minnesota.

For over 100 years, we've gotten to play a small part in the stories of entrepreneurs across the country and everything our team does on this show, we do with thousands of businesses every day from brand building and payments to payroll and data solutions. We have the tools to help businesses big and small be at their best, because at Deluxe we believe when you champion businesses, entire communities thrive. To find out how we can help your small business go to At US Bank, we believe small businesses are central to the culture, flavor and personality of our cities and towns.

They create jobs, foster economic growth and are critical to our community success. Our passion for the small business community is why US Bank is excited to partner with Deluxe on the hit series, Small Business Revolution. Taste of Rondo is a brand new restaurant in the heart of the historic Rondo neighborhood. It was time to either make moves or die trying. But having opened during a pandemic, there's no such thing as normal for these first time restaurateurs. That building has so much historical relevance for Rondo, but it's just, they lack resources.

Can the Deluxe Small Business Revolution team helped make them a mainstay? - You were hitting on all the cylinders. It's just a little bit of refinement on each of them, and this place is just going to sing. On the next episode of Small Business Revolution.

2021-11-11 10:49

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