We had the good fortune of connecting with Kalauna Carter and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kalauna, every day, we about how much execution matters, but we think ideas matter as well. How did you come up with the idea for your business?
In 2016 after graduating from Tuskegee University, I found myself in this weird place of knowing the goals I wanted to accomplish with my degree, but I struggled to know which direction to take. I knew I wanted to use my degree in Environmental Science in a way that could be beneficial to my community in combination with my love of nail polish. I considered myself a nail polish connoisseur, everything from polish, gels, designs and dips. I learned early in college that painting my nails in college was such a stress reliever. Although I loved painting my nails, I remember having so many questions as an environmental scientist, why were most nail polishes filled with so many needless chemicals? And more importantly, why were there not more women of color selling beauty products made by them? I started making nail polishes in my kitchen after researching the chemical composition of nail polishes and learning about the adverse effects the chemicals have on women regarding their health, as many of the chemicals have been linked to cancers and other diseases. I believe that beauty shouldn’t compromise health and because of that I was determined to come up with a healthier nail polish alternative that could be beneficial for all women. At KolorsbyK, our primary focus is and will always be women’s health providing healthier alternatives to nail care and nail polish products.
What should our readers know about your business?
In 2016, I launched KolorsbyK Nail polishes after graduating from college. I had developed a passion for the environment as well women’s health and found a way I could combine the two and that was through nail polish. I began making nail polishes in my kitchen after learning the health impacts nail polish can have on your overall health, overtime. Desperate to make a change and fully understanding that I wasn’t going to be able to “reinvent” the wheel (when it came to nail polish), I decided to come up with my own. I believe that beauty shouldn’t compromise health and because of that I was determined to come up with a healthier nail polish alternative that could be beneficial for all women. At KolorsbyK, our primary focus is and will always be women’s health providing a healthier option for women to use. All KolorsbyK nail polishes, gels and dips are environmentally friendly, 10 free, (of Camphor, Toulene, Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resins, Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), xylene, ethyl tosylamide, parabens, phthalates and fragrances) cruelty free and vegan. As of today, I have handmade over 5,000+ bottles of nail polish. KolorsbyK collections are in nail salons nationwide, included in beauty boxes and featured in several publications. KolorsbyK has also received international recognition of having been internationally certified by The Leaping Bunny Program and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). KolorsbyK has been nationally recognized as the FIRST 10 free Nail Polish Company Owned by a Woman of Color! Would you believe me if I said this is the hardest thing I have ever done? I can admit when I started I didn’t think running a business would be so much work? boy oh boy, was I wrong.. You can have all the degrees in the world and you still might not be prepared for all the challenges that come with running a business. For me, my biggest challenge was finding the balance between business, school and work as my business grew and expanded. Being a full time student and working full time can be alot, but once I found my “rhythm” I was good to go. Through this challenge, I learned the importance of asking for help when I need it and a deeper appreciation for mentorship crucial. I wish I could get a bottle of my polish into the hands of every person on this planet. I believe in my products and from the support I have received thus far, I know skies the limit for KolorsbyK!
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
Ooo being that I am only a few hours from the beach, We would for sure be in route to Destin, soaking up some sun on the beach, grabbing some lunch at The Back Porch and of course stopping by the outlets for some shopping!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to shoutout my cousin Teresa Scott for encouraging me to start my own business and investing in my business. My parents and sister for always supporting, investing, sharing and purchasing KolorsbyK products. All of my friends who have purchased and been supporting since day one. My mentors Dr. Adrienne Stephenson for always supporting and putting me in the best position to succeed. I am forever grateful for all the opportunities you have given me. I am appreciative of Hakeem Holmes for always helping me make nail polishes and process orders! Thank you!
Nominate someone: ShoutoutMiami is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.