The Big Apple might be the financial hub of the east, but the Peach State is giving it a run for its money in the south. Atlanta, Georgia is brimming with entrepreneurial spirit with the statistics to show for it. In the last two decades, Georgia has experienced one of the highest rates of growth in female-founded businesses in the country. In fact, as of 2017 there are over 520,000 women-owned companies in the state — and numerous initiatives to bolster success, including the Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative™ and Atlanta Women’s Foundation™ — making it the best state to live in for female entrepreneurs.
These businesses run the gamut from STEM to Spanx®, with a portion of them in the beauty sector. From mineral-infused makeup companies to natural hair lines, the entrepreneurs of Georgia are showing the rest of the country how they do beauty. In the name of Atlanta-based female founders and looking good, we’re highlighting four beauty brands with HQs in the Peach State.
The brand: Dirty Beauty™
The backstory: Samantha Dickey became enamored with natural skincare when she realized the same ingredients used in modern-day formulations were the same ones that her grandparents coincidentally grew on their South Carolina farm. In the early 2000s, she began experimenting with skincare product formulations using these ingredients and others — and has since launched over 100 products.
The key product: Dirty Beauty’s STRIP™ Makeup Remover + 1 Step Cleanser ($12) is an ingenious foaming oil-based cleanser that nixes makeup residue and the day’s grime.
The brand: The Doux™
The backstory: Maya Smith founded The Doux in 2011, a haircare line for “Smart Chicks with Real Hair.” Interestingly, the brand first gained popularity overseas, which caused an uptick in media attention in the states. Momentum hasn’t slowed down since. In 2014, Smith opened The Doux salon in Macon, Georgia and in mid-2018, Target® picked up the line.
The key product: Sucka Free™ Shampoo ($10) and Fresh Rinse Conditioner ($10) impart max hydration and nourishment via shea butter and sea silk. They’re friendly on natural hair, color-treated hair, and chemically-treated hair.
The brand: HollyBeth Organics™
The backstory: HollyBeth Anderson was raised in the beautiful Georgia countryside, where her grandmother would school her on the medicinal properties of plants that they came across on walks together. Years later, Anderson’s tenure in Europe would cement her love of plant life. In Spain, she learned about the curative abilities of herbs from local “healers,” and in France, she learned to embrace a more natural way of life. These converging influences are clear in her eponymous skincare line, which is devoted to Earth-friendly packaging and organic ingredients.
The key product: The brand’s best-selling product also happens to be its very first. The Eye Cream ($30) is a rich formulation that features a blend of jojoba seed oil, sweet almond oil, camellia oil, beeswax, and vitamin E.
The brand: Clove + Hallow®
The backstory: Before founding her brand, freelance makeup artist Sarah Biggers found herself dealing with a debilitating illness that doctors couldn’t diagnose. In a last-ditch effort to help treat it, she went the homeopathic route with the assistance of a holistic doctor who advised her to re-think everything she used. She swapped out her food, cleaners, cosmetics, and household goods for natural versions. Within a month, she began feeling better. This experience prompted Biggers to seek natural cosmetics, but they weren’t as accessible as she hoped. To fill the market gap, she founded her cosmetic brand, Clove + Hallow. The products are designed to be as clean as possible, formulated with natural ingredients and “safe synthetic” ingredients.
The key product: The award-winning Clove + Hallow Lip Glaze ($15) delivers vibrant color payoff while conditioning lips with olive oil, jojoba oil, and shea butter (with no annoying stickiness).
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