Buy Black: The Butter Bar
Houston native Kimberly-Chloe Wilson had no business plan in sight when she left her stable, but unfulfilling accounting job back in June 2014 to launch her all natural cosmeceutical skincare business, The Butter Bar.
Equipped with little more than grit and a vision to create holistic skincare products specifically for women of color, Wilson decided to take the road less traveled and turn turn her budding side hustle into a full-time career.
Fast forward to present day, and the risk proved to be the right decision. In just two years, The Butter Bar has reached meteoric heights, and has even received a nod from R&B singer, Lil’ Mo, recognition in Allure magazine and a feature in the OnyxBox.
In a JET exclusive, Wilson candidly discusses the upheavals of creating a brand from scratch, details her facial and skincare line and offers some much needed advice to African-American women looking to break into the industry.
JET: Was entrepreneurship always in the cards for you?
Kimberly-Chloe Wilson: Not once did I think of myself as being employed by anyone else. So whether I knew what an entrepreneur was at the time, I definitely always had an entrepreneurial spirit!
JET: What’s been the hardest barrier to overcome while establishing your business and making the transition from corporate America to entrepreneurship?
Kimberly-Chloe Wilson: I think that trusting yourself is the hardest transition. Working in corporate America, you often have so many people to answer to and have to ask their opinions before making a decision. You learn to not trust yourself. In business, you must trust yourself, or you will be paralyzed.
JET: Why do you think it’s important for more Black women to be leaders in the skincare business and how does it feel as an AA women to lead this upward movement?
Kimberly-Chloe Wilson: I think it’s important for us to lead in this industry because in all realness, nobody else is listening to the needs we have as African-American women! We saw this with hair care products. We cried out for products that worked on our natural hair that would address the specific needs of African-American textured hair. We were met with silence from the hair care industry, until we decided to do it ourselves.
JET: What was your “Ah-ha” moment? You know, the moment when you realized that you had made the right decision?
Kimberly-Chloe Wilson: My “Ah-ha” moment was when I was doing fairly well in sales and the name was beginning to take off. I received an order from THE Lisa Price of Carol’s Daughter. I was shocked she would spend money on my itty bitty brand. She ordered again and this time, I wrote her an additional email thanking her and telling her how much she influenced me to start my business. She wrote back and told me she had found me on Instagram, and that she liked the first products she tried. She also told me that The Butter Bar reminded her of her products starting out, and that I should keep going. That was like, my Oprah moment! Lol.
JET: How does it feel to be able to support your family (your husband being able to quit his job and join you) and still be aligned with your passion?
Kimberly-Chloe Wilson: It feels so GOOD! I’d love to act all humble and stuff, but truly I feel like a badass coming from my beginnings and all the highs and lows in between!. It feels good to finally realize my potential, live in my purpose and make other people’s lives better in the process. It’s a blessing. A true blessing! I’m not stopping until I reach the top, change the face of this industry, and give back to my community who has been supporting me from the very beginning!
JET: What advice would you give to other Black female entrepreneurs breaking into the beauty industry or industries that are typically not dominated by them?
Kimberly-Chloe Wilson: I would say, Be YOU! I struggled at first with trying to find my true voice as a business owner, and as the face of my brand. I was afraid that allowing myself to be seen would limit the amount of people who I could reach and that would buy from me. It was the exact opposite. When I began doing live video and adding behind-the-scenes footage of myself at work on social media, people rallied behind me both Black and White! I have now become a staple in my business, and everyone knows me by name!