Offering you a wide range of organic fruit and plant-based beauty treatments and products, Color Me Beauty Bar is the premier nail and skin care boutique to lavish you with exceptional beauty experiences. Co-owners Kim & Dr. Jackson believe in prioritizing the safety and health of their technicians and customers and therefore use products with ingredients that are natural, toxic-free, cruelty-free, and environmentally friendly. They look forward to becoming a 100% vegan-operated salon soon.
With two different backgrounds, beauty and similar visions have brought Kim and Dr. Jackson together to birth Color Me Beauty Bar. The Beverly community can look forward to Color Me Beauty Bar continuing to offer the best services and products the beauty industry has to offer. MADE caught up with these ladies to talk their newest venture and what’s in store for them…
MADE: How did you come up with your idea/concept for the business?
Kim: I have always wanted my own salon. I promised myself once both of my kids finished school, I would take that leap of faith. I worked on the concept for years before finding a location. I knew how I wanted people to feel when they walked through the doors. I created a vision board just for my salon and would add different ideas to it often. So, I was able to bring that vision to life once I found a location.
Dr. Jackson: I got into the beauty industry early in college, with a foresight of owning my own spa one day. Connecting with Kim was a blessing because she already had the blueprint started with the nail salon concept. I was able to join forces with her and expand the business from nails to a comprehensive skin care bar. It is a blossoming partnership.
MADE: Why is it important to you both to become a 100% vegan-operated salon?
Kim: One of the main reasons is because a little over 5 years ago I started to have reactions to certain products I was using. So much of a reaction that the skin on my hands peeled and cracked resulting in my doctor ordering me not to work for three months. At first, we really didn’t know what was causing the problem. I was referred to a dermatologist who diagnosed me with a form of dermatitis, a condition that results when your skin is over exposed to harsh chemicals for a long period of time. So, it made me think about if this happened to me how harmful will it be to my clients over time. Over the last three years, I have researched and found products that are vegan-based. I’m very excited to say we are working to become 100 percent vegan friendly by the end of this year.
Dr. Jackson: Many products contain toxins that are endocrine disruptors, making them harmful to our endocrine system as well as our environment. We want to be game changers by educating our clients and intentionally using and manufacturing products that combat toxicity, ensuring a healthy future for generations to come.
MADE: What sparked your interest in entrepreneurship?
Kim: I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit. Being blessed enough to work in some of Chicago ‘s premier salons and spas gave me the opportunity to learn the business more intimately which made the transition easier.
Dr. Jackson: I have owned a children’s gym, and currently still own an after-school mentoring program and a social and emotional greeting card line for girls of color. Each of these businesses were created to cultivate a “beauty within” growth mindset. Owning and operating my own salon was a natural and organic progression for me.
MADE: What challenges have you encountered as women of color in business?
Kim: There have been many challenges… one that stands out the most is not being taken seriously sometimes. I feel that when people of color employ other people as color, we tend to treat the job and the superior with a less than extraordinary effort, I feel this same sort of behavior is not consistent when working for Mr. Charlie, if you will.
Dr. Jackson: For me, I think the challenges have been trying to combat typical stereotypes that businesses of color encounter, like poor customer service for instance. So, we set the bar high when it comes to our customer service experience. Superb customer service is integral to survive in any business and especially as women of color.
MADE: What factors have played a key role in your success?
Kim & Dr. Jackson: There have been a few factors. Referrals from clients and social organizations, such as the Moms of Beverly, word of mouth and social media outlets. Again, great customer service, a knowledgeable and supportive team, and lastly, past failures.
MADE: What has been some of your most valuable lessons as entrepreneurs?
Kim: The most valuable lesson I’ve learned is to not fool yourself in believing you can do everything yourself. Be honest with yourself about what your limitations are because you will be reminded!
Dr. Jackson: There are many days when I think I may want to throw in the towel; so, I’ve realized that prayer, staying focused and reading about and having other successful entrepreneurs around you have been valuable for me. Additionally, having a business partner as a yin to my yang.
Kim: Let’s define friend-Angie was not someone I initially hung out with or spoke to on a consistent basis, although she was someone I admired from afar because of her style and how she carries herself. I can say that this process has helped us create a wonderful friendship because we spend so much time together that it has became more than just work. The transition has been organic.
Dr. Jackson: Kim and I were more so acquaintances in the past, but I always felt a kindred spirit with Kim. I have come to love Kim like a sister now, so I can say we are more like family than friends. Heck, I can even say she is more like my wife, lol, cause this business is a marriage. We can separate the two because we keep business first but always find time to nurture our friendship, even at work, Color Me Beauty Bar brings out the sisterhood in everyone.
MADE: Dr. Jackson—how has your background in education equipped you for entrepreneurship?
Dr. Jackson: My background in education has prepared me for this on so many levels. First and foremost, having a terminal degree has given me stellar research skills. As a result, I make sure we stay abreast on current knowledge and trends as it pertains to the beauty field. Additionally, the stamina it took to acquire my degree has been a catalyst when I face obstacles. Secondly, my educational leadership background as an assistant principal and reading coach has given me the knowledge and fortitude to communicate with people from all walks of life. Lastly, my experience in dealing with the social and emotional baggage many students encountered on a daily basis has given me the ability to help my clients maneuver through life trials and tribulations.
MADE: Kim—what excites and scares you the most about opening Color Me Beauty Bar?
Kim: Everything about it excites me …I can’t say anything really scares me about it because I have always been a risk taker, I don’t believe in playing it safe. I feel like when everything is on the line you fight hard to win and if you don’t a wonderful lesson is learned. I remember being told that difficult roads lead to beautiful destinations and Color Me Beauty Bar is certainly turning out to be one of those Beauty destinies-it even has beauty in the title, so I feel this is a sign that I am on the right destiny track.
MADE: What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out?
Kim & Dr. Jackson: Time! Never underestimate the amount of time you will put in. We have not had a real “off” day in weeks…. even on Mondays we come in to clean up, make sure everything is in order, etc. I know that will change as we get more acclimated. It can be frustrating at times, but we are not complaining. Newcomers should know that owning a business is NOT a 9a-5p venture, especially if you LOVE it! Also, employ people smarter than you with a variety of skill sets so that you can continue to grow and to eventually work smarter and not harder-but as of today-we are working smart and hard, lol.
MADE: How can our readers connect with you both and Color Me Beauty Bar?
Dr. Jackson: Your readers can connect with us on social media, by phone, and email. All our contact info is below:
Address: 1810 1/2 W. 99th St, Chicago, IL 60643