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How This New Marketplace is Creating a Community of Underrepresented Beauty Brands

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How This New Marketplace is Creating a Community of Underrepresented Beauty Brands featured image
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There are hundreds of thousands of skin-care products worldwide. With that number in mind, take a moment to think about the cult-favorite brands you use and how minuscule those products now seem. Now, think about underrepresented brands—the ones that aren’t sold in major retailers or who are black- or female-owned that don’t get the attention they deserve—in comparison to this number. They seem a lot more deserving of our attention, right? 

A new marketplace called Geenie is here to fix this underrepresentation by connecting independent beauty brands with shoppers who understand the power of purchasing with intention. “We curate a selection of “culture-first” brands from founders across the spectrum of diverse backgrounds and who offer inclusively designed, sustainably sourced, toxic-free, and culturally-impactful products,” says founder and CEO Chana Ewing. 

Her inspiration behind this company kindled from a brand she had started a while back. “Originally, I self-funded a subscription box company called GeenieBox that was catered to black women. This ultimately wound up being my path to developing Geenie. I saw an opportunity to create a shopping community for consumers looking to buy based on their values, while uplifting and spotlighting products and brands that are BIPOC-founded through a beauty marketplace,” she notes. But, there’s a catch.

There’s also a private community that lives outside the website, currently hosted on another platform (Geneva). “It was important to create a space where intersectionality could be centered and celebrated, and authentic conversations could flourish, says Ewing. “We keep this community private to make sure that we are providing a safe space for people to engage.”

In order to enter, applicants must take a short survey and, upon approval, must agree to a set of community rules designed to keep the separate platform evolving respectfully. “Anyone who is interested in shopping their values can join but the community is something different. We’re accepting folks on a rolling basis to ensure a safe space for introspection and thoughtful conversations.”

Incomparable to any modern social media sites we’re aware of, Geenie goes far beyond shopping. On the platform, users can discover new beauty brands, have first access to talks from beauty industry insiders and have the opportunity to chat with each other about beauty, culture and more. 

“For a brand to be featured on Geenie, they need to be what we consider ‘culture-first,’” explains Ewing. “So, these brands need to represent a multitude of identities and backgrounds and most significantly, use their business to move society forward.” This includes brands from a multitude of different identities: BIPOC, LGBTQ+ and female-founded and that offer both clean and sustainable products. The featured brands must have also made a substantial and ongoing commitment to social justice as part of their mission. 

For now, Geenie is launching with a carefully curated set of indie brands: Beaute Brownie, Fempower Beauty, Gold Label Cosmetics, Hi Wildflower and Kami Cosmetics. Geenie is available to shop and explore here.

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