Francine Bahati is CEO + Founder of Queenfidence Cosmetics – an all inclusive line of cruelty free and vegan makeup brand based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She was one of the guest speakers at February’s Boss Babe Pyjama Party, and we wanted to share a bit more about her story on our blog.
I have been in business for 3 years. Specifically i launched Queenfidence Cosmetics in 2017.
At a very young age I developed the love for makeup by seeing my mom and aunt using it. I recall stealing my mom’s makeup to play around with it. As an adult I wanted to use makeup as a way to empower women and remind them how beautiful they are despite the beauty standard that has been set by mainstream magazines and society. I wanted to create a brand that is enhances natural beauty beyond just makeup. We always want to remind our customers that they are enough.
Prior to launching Queenfidence Cosmetics, I spent 2 years researching the right ingredients, the right people to work with and how to go about starting a beauty business. So I would say i went to google university lol. I have also attend some trainings to help me gain knowledge and experience. Reading books and and listening to podcasts helped me as well. And of course, the support of my family and friends has been a huge part of my journey.
The challenges for me has been raising capital to expand the line and build brand awareness. I know that building any successful business takes time and requires patience and hard work. I often revisit my WHY whenever I feel like giving up.
Seeing my customers love my products has been one of my greatest accomplishments. At the beginning of 2019, a major retail stores expressed their interest in carrying QC, that has not happened yet… but it to me was a major sign that I should keep grinding. Great things are still ahead!
Not everyone will believe in you or your dreams so you have to believe in yourself at all costs
Surround yourself with like minded people and keep learning
Trust God and your gut when making decisions
Representation and inclusivity really matter in every industry. It especially matters in beauty because cosmetics historically been known to set the standard of beauty in society. Seeing the rise of black female entrepreneurs in the small business world is very important because it empowers black young girls that they can do it too. My biggest goal when launching QC was to fill that gap and to challenge the beauty standard to create an inclusive brand where everyone feels represented, celebrated and are reminded how beautiful and enough they are.
Diverse communities continue to face barriers in accessing opportunities. Black women entrepreneurs in particular, encounter challenges and barriers when starting and growing their business. These challenges are plentiful and magnified for new black immigrants and women due to lack of funding, information, language barriers and race. My advice to fellow back entrepreneurs is that we should be each other’s cheerleaders and remember to pass on information to another Queen.
Yes, I am currently working on some awesome and exciting products…but I can’t say what they are just yet.
Trust the process and be patient. Believe in your brand and take rejection as fuel to motivate you even harder. Something greater is on the other side of your comfort zone. DONT GIVE UP QUEEN.
If you’re in need of some high quality makeup, check out Queenfidence Cosmetics and try something new!