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Brown Adorableness Co-Op will specialize in apple-pie adorableness for darker bark tones and accustomed hair.

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Kimberly Smith of Marjani Adorableness and Amaya Smith of the Artefact Junkie. All photography abode of Brown Adorableness Co-Op.

When Kimberly Smith and Amaya Smith talk about why they started their corresponding businesses, they both tend to use the aforementioned key word: frustration. Kimberly Smith is the architect of Marjani Beauty, an online banker that sells a curated alternative of skincare and architecture articles for women with darker bark tones. Similarly, Amaya Smith runs a start-up alleged the Artefact Junkie that helps women acquisition beard articles and accoutrement for accustomed hair. This winter, the adept friends—no relation—are teaming up to acquaint a new affectionate of abundance to Dupont Circle.

Brown Adorableness Co-Op aims to accompany a mix of skincare, hair, and adorableness articles for women of blush to a 1,000-square bottom abundance at 1365 Connecticut Avenue Northwest. The amplitude is slated to accessible in December and will affection abatement rose blush tones, evoking a Sephora or Bluemercury-style ambiance with able finishes. The brace are activity for a avant-garde attending that they feel are missing in today’s brick-and-mortar market. “We are not a adorableness supply,” explains Kimberly Smith. “We appetite it to feel comfortable and high-end.”

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Patrons will be able to browse a curated alternative of articles from advancing and accustomed brands at a array of amount points, all advised with darker bark tones in mind, including labels such as Marena Beauty, Hue Noir, Christal Cosmetics, and Joliette by Afrodeity. Advised to bigger serve and accompaniment darker complexions, these articles will ambit from high-quality foundation, to blushes, eyeshadows, and assorted lipstick shades. The abode will predominately banal accustomed and amoebic products, which are generally added arduous to acquisition for women of blush as well. 

Kimberly Smith and Amaya Smith are quick to point out that back they say “brown beauty,” it includes all bark tones and ethnicities, not aloof atramentous women. “We appetite to be able to serve a lot of added women who are underrepresented in the bazaar like Indian and Latino women,” they explain. “It’s important to accede there are a lot of agnate adventures beyond cultures.”

The bazaar will accept a salon amplitude for architecture appliance and beard tutorials, accessible for both accessories and drop-ins (so you can get a quick blow up on your cafeteria break). The founders are stacking up the agenda with alternating pop-ups and contest as well, accession the abundance as a association amplitude breadth women of blush can feel empowered. They additionally plan to serve as an incubator amplitude for absolute adorableness companies aggravating to get a ballast in the bounded market. The co-founders are acquisitive that the amplitude will ample a exhaustion in DC’s adorableness scene.

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“Having lived and formed actuality for the accomplished ten years, it has consistently aloof afraid me how culturally assorted it is, yet back it comes to beauty, I can still go into aliment and not acquisition articles for me,” says Kimberly Smith. “To me that’s absolutely unbelievable. It’s not like we are in average America. In this arena we accomplish up a huge percent of the citizenry at all altered levels of socioeconomic status.”

Kimberly Smith is originally from Philadelphia and Amaya Smith grew up in Silver Spring. Kimberly Smith has been active Marjani Adorableness for two years now, and Amaya Smith is aloof accepting the Artefact Junkie off the ground, but the accord was a accustomed fit. Putting all the articles and options beneath one roof was key: Rather than schlepping from specialty abundance to specialty store, they capital to actualize a Sephora-style hub, a one-stop boutique for all women of blush who attempt to acquisition articles that absolutely assignment for them or abode their bark accent in acceptable administration stores.

“I’ve gone to the indigenous alley in Target or CVS… and it is like anarchy and ball in there,” says Amaya Smith. “Women of blush accept consistently array of been relegated to this accidental alley breadth bodies are like acrimonious up cardboard towels and toilet paper, meanwhile, you’re aggravating to amount out what artefact works for you. We capital to actualize a abundance that said ‘this is for you.’ A amplitude that carries adorableness articles that assert you and absolutely accommodated your needs.”

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It’s not an aberrant experience, of course. Women of blush accept been blame for added inclusivity— and representation back it comes to articles like foundation shades—for years. The accomplished decade has apparent some advance as the appearance and adorableness industries assuredly assume to be demography babyish accomplish appear inclusivity and diversity, agreement that accept continued been accustomed lip-service but accept beneath generally apparent allusive realization. This year alone, we’ve apparent the ascendance of dark-skinned models like Eniola Abioro and Adut Aket, the ad attack ascendancy of British model Adwoa Aboah, the administration of Rihanna‘s Fenty Adorableness alms 40 shades, and an access in representation in the appearance industry—all auspicious signs of a much-needed about-face that accomplish Brown Adorableness Co-Op feel abnormally timely. “It’s not as white-washed as it was and we are starting to embrace altered complexions and tones and cultures actuality represented,” says Kimberly Smith. 

But the founders are absorption on accomplishing the assignment actuality on the arena in DC, bringing change to the breadth in a actual way so that women of blush can pop into the Dupont Circle area for architecture casework or a adorableness fix on their way to assignment and apperceive they will acquisition articles that assignment for them. It’s not aloof a amusing cause—they are allotment of a booming demographic of atramentous women-owned businesses acquisitive to accouter some of the estimated $1.5 abundance in atramentous spending power by 2021.

“There is the accent on atramentous women not aloof as a customer but as a disciplinarian of customer trends and dollars and additionally as a architect of acquirement as the better accumulation to alpha baby businesses. You accept this movement of ‘black babe magic’ breadth atramentous women are absolute at a lot of altered things—business is aloof one of them—but there is a lot of accent on how we abound atramentous customer brands and businesses and how we advance in them. We are at a absolutely appropriate moment with Brown Adorableness Co-Op and accomplishing a customer charge that I anticipate has consistently been there,” Amaya Smith explains.

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“The girls are absent it,” says Kimberly Smith, apropos to the women who accept been alien to the cast on amusing media and at pop-ups. “They are aflame for it because they charge it.”

Brown Adorableness Co-Op; 1365 Connecticut Avenue Northwest, Suite #100; brownbeautyco-op.com.

*Correction: A antecedent adaptation of this commodity listed the abundance abode afield as 135 Connecticut Avenue West.

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Assistant Editor

Hayley is an Assistant Editor at Washingtonian Bride & Groom and Washingtonian. Previously she was the the Style Editor at The Bounded Palate, a Southern aliment ability annual based out of Charleston, South Carolina. She currently resides in Bloomingdale. You can chase her on instagram @wandertaste.

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