Klarity Kosmetics is a fast-growing indie cosmetics company that opened in 2014. As a single mother, owner MarQuita Jones said it was important for her to create a handmade product that would be affordable for other women in her position. Klarity Kosmetics strives to cater to all ethnicities and skin complexions while remaining vegan and cruelty-free.
Rolling out had the opportunity to chat with MarQuita Jones about her thriving business.
Why is it important for women of color to lead and/or work in leadership roles and decision making capacities?
I believe that when women of color work in leading roles, it gives our youth a different light for us. I believe that it shows them that anything is possible if you really want something. I’ve always wanted the freedom to do whatever I wanted, and I wasn’t going to get that by working for someone else.
If you could thank any Black woman history maker for her contributions to society, who would it be and why?
I would definitely have to say, Oprah. I believe that she has paved the way for a lot of women (especially African American women). She has shown how you can go from having one of the biggest syndicated talk shows in the world to owning her own network. That is a huge accomplishment for a Black woman. And that isn’t even a portion of everything else she has put back into different communities.
How do you feel about the hashtag #CollaborationOverCompetition? What qualities or values do you deem indispensable in your business partners/collaborators?
I think the collaboration over competition hashtag and movement is a great thing. It gives businesses and business owners the change to connect and network with other brands. When it comes to qualities in business partners and collaborators, I look for good business practices overall. I look for people who can always deliver great customer service no matter what. Someone who is fair. Someone who sees that all women are beautiful who helped them get to where they are.
What are your thoughts on taking risks? Making mistakes?
Taking a risk in business is very important. Your business will never grow if you don’t. Going into business for yourself in a sense is a risk because you don’t know if you’re going to fail or not. That’s a very scary thing to think about when you have a family and kids that depend on you. Making mistakes is a part of the business and everyday life. The key is fixing the mistake and finding a solution that will minimize the likelihood of that mistake from happening again. Just gof or it and shoot your shot. The only regret you’ll have is not following your dreams.
What inspires you to show up at work every day?
I’d definitely have to say getting up and creating every day just brings a level of excitement to me. Plus, my livelihood depends on it and taking care of my family. Overall, it’s this indescribable feeling of looking on social media, or anywhere and seeing other women wearing my brand — cosmetics that I hand-crafted myself; cosmetics that sometimes have me creating until the wee hours of the morning.
How did you determine your career path?
Honestly, I was never into makeup at first. I was a lip gloss and go girl. As I started getting into makeup, I could never find products that were at a reasonable price, that wouldn’t break me out, and decent color ranges. I also always knew that I hated working for other people, as well. Every job I had, I would quit and even got fired from a few. I hated people having control over my life and my schedule. I hated asking for time off, especially after having my son. One day, I woke up and decided I couldn’t do it anymore. And Klarity Kosmetics was literally named and created that same day.
What are the do’s and don’ts for young women in business?
Do research everything. Take your time, go back to the drawing board as many times as you have to. If you are in business just to make money and not willing to do the proper research, your business will fail. Have everything business-wise in order. Learn from other business owner’s mistakes. I can’t tell you how much I browse other businesses pages to see how they interact with their customers and stuff so that I’ll know what not to do.
Don't: Never ever have bad customer service. Some customers will never be satisfied, but try every way possible to keep them happy without breaking your business rules. Never be rude. A customer will always remember how you treated them. Word of mouth is what helps every business grow and plays a key part in you staying in business. Be the brand. Be the business.