Valana Minerals (Afribaby LLC)
, California 92078
Tell us a little about your product or service.
Valana Minerals develops, and distributes all natural mineral makeup specifically created for people of color. The color palate is comprised of rich, deep colors that coordinate well with tan and brown skin. In addition to the diverse colors, our products contain no harmful ingredients and include completely vegan lip colors. The company philosophy encompasses not only great products but education regarding cosmetic ingredients and tutorials on cosmetic application. The compilation of each aspect of Valana makes our company a unique addition to the cosmetic industry.
How did you start your company?
I first began Valana by researching existing cosmetic companies. My motivation was fueled by largely disappointing, humiliating and frustrating experiences in buying cosmetics for myself and learning about what others, like me, experienced. I started using money from my savings account and credit cards and began learning how to make cosmetics. I’d made lotions and soap in the past but only for family and friends. Once I started making color cosmetics for myself, I found the quality was so much better than major market products; I wanted to share my cosmetic discovery with others.
What or who inspired you to go into business for yourself?
In addition to making mineral makeup, I’m a sociology professor and I have a degree in Fashion Design and Merchandising. I’ve never been so incredibly passionate about a product or concept. I’m inspired by learning about other cultures and my own and I love anything artistic which gives me a great deal of insight into the groups that I study as a professor and those for whom my makeup is created. My inspiration is all of the people with tan and brown skin who feel that most cosmetic companies ignore their needs. I believe they too deserve quality, healthful products and great customer service.
What were some of the startup hurdles you overcame?
My challenges in starting Valana Minerals are both money and time or the lack thereof. I’m a full-time sociology professor in addition to a new business owner. Because my business is new, any money that I earn goes back into the business and I haven’t figured out how to create more time. However, I can say that I have found amazing supporters and mentors who have helped me when there simply isn’t enough time or offer help so I don’t waste my much needed money. While, these challenges are typical, I must say that I am grateful to those who have helped me along so that the challenges become manageable.
How has LegalZoom helped you in starting up your business?
Given that money was (and is) a concern, Legal Zoom was instrumental in helping me set up my LLC at a price that was affordable. I will also use Legal Zoom for my company trademark registration. The money I saved was used to pay for attendance at a seven day event at which I will show and sell my cosmetics. Had I paid the typical legal fees for an LLC I wouldn’t have had the money to pay the attendance fees before the event application deadline. Because of Legal Zoom’s unique products, I now have Afribaby LLC and approximately 100,000 people will be exposed to my products at an upcoming event.
Valana Minerals offers superior quality all natural mineral cosmetics formulated for people of color. Our products are developed to meet the unique cosmetic needs associated with ethnic skin tones. Valana Minerals is one of the few companies to offer vegan lip gloss and lipstick in a deep rich color palate and contain no synthetic or harmful chemicals.