I grew up in a gritty and colorful Spanish Harlem. My parents (a former party promoter and transit worker) split shortly after my birth. So I spent weekends with my paternal grandmother in a cultured Orthodox Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn. We lived in a brownstone and were one of two African-American families on the block. A good day in Harlem was playing on the stoop and getting an overpriced milkshake from Mr. Softee. A lucky day would have been me catching De La Vega laying down some chalk. In Brooklyn, I went to church, drank tea, and learned how to garden. In Harlem, let’s just say I wore Reeboks and an excess amount of gold. Both parents instilled a love of reading in me, often patronizing the Schomburg Center with my mother and the Brooklyn Public Library with my grandmother.
In elementary school, a characterful substitute teacher that often derailed from the lesson decided that he would educate us on the Jordan brand, discussing supply and demand and shedding light on child labor. It was a conversation that was too complex for us, but I was fascinated. Being an entrepreneur is in my blood, but this sparked my interest. He recommended I join the Entrepreneur’s Club and the rest is history.
I eventually got accepted to a local performing arts school that really fostered community. I started to carve out my identity and develop lifelong friendships. I would cut class to go the Science, Industry, and Business library. I remember the first book I borrowed was The Accounting Game: Basic Accounting Fresh from the Lemonade Stand. This book has served me well today.
This loan is special because:
More about this loan
A love of luxury, skin behavioral science and our Founder’s connection to brides sparked research on how our skin communicates when met with avoidable agents like stress or the sun. Founded in 2015 the belief that no bride should have to sacrifice her beauty during the stressful wedding planning phase and established as the first skin care formulated especially for brides, our skin care disrupts external factors (extrinsic) that accelerate premature aging. Since then we’ve expanded our research making it beneficial to any woman who desires a remarkable skin care system.
We’re mostly known for our gorgeous, innovative packaging that features FSC certified luxury paper, beautiful inks, a proprietary branded hashtag, and pre-dated format to fill in your wedding date.
I’m committed to better brand values, sustainability, and supply chain transparency. My advanced formulas are free of pesky parabens, sulfates, phthalates, gluten and made with safe organic ingredients. Since my last round of funding, PETA has labeled us both vegan and cruelty-free. I’m currently seeking to stand as a B Corporation to strengthen our accountability and corporate giving initiatives. I initiated our “1% is Not Enough” campaign where we donate 5% of proceeds to organizations that advance contemporary causes like Girl Boss Foundation, Girls Who Code, Charity Water, Opus 118, and the Door.
Due to lack of resources, I employed my tax refund, savings, and initial crowdfunding funds to finance our launch. I am seeking a second loan to sustain our growth. Years of feedback from my tenure as a Beauty Expert proved fruitful, applying gained insights to develop the most superior skincare line to date.
I oversee all aspects of my operation from concept-to-creation, including spearheading product development, design, sales, marketing, public relations, and technology applications. I hope this a testament to my work ethic and strong commitment to excellence.
What is the purpose of this loan?
Since I’ve obtained my initial loan, I secured top-tier agency representation, joining the ranks of indie beauty high-fliers like RMS Beauty, French Girl, and Philip B. As a startup, Kalosophie facilitated this major feat by recognizing our sound business case, unique positioning, and consistent branding. Access to $10,000 in capital and Kiva resources would support our retail rollout, mostly funding additional SKUs as required to develop a complete, sellable line, and fund inventory for purchase orders/PR outreach. The order increase from my supplier will drive cost down, creating a buffer to accommodate prime retailers request for discounts and ensure profitability in our new wholesale model. This loan will merely subsidize these costs as a retail launch of this magnitude requires a size-able investment. Kiva financing would maximize my personal investment of equal value guaranteeing my motivation to succeed.
Our larger run will reduce costs by 49.15% creating healthy gross margins, doubling or even tripling our gross profits. The beauty industry has sustained ample margins despite other trade declines. If I get fully funded, I will also be able to participate in the coveted Indie Beauty Expo in New York to build brand awareness, retail, and garner press. The booth fee is $1500.00.
With access to funding, I can continue to build traction for my business and become sustainable. Profits will help me move our operations to a local facility in East Harlem and conceivably hire our first full-time employee. As a single mother and female entrepreneur, it can be hard balancing personal and work responsibilities with limited resources. I am working tirelessly to make sure future generations of my family and community are not impoverished. This loan will help me fulfill my purpose. Thank you for you support!
Years in operation: 1 year – 3 years
A loan of $10,000 helps Janine compete in the booming indie/green beauty space with a national retail rollout and PR campaign.