This Black-Owned Skincare Line Is an Expression of ‘Love for the Earth and Humanity’

©R&Arie

We here at GOBankingRates want to help get our nation’s small businesses back on their feet after the COVID-19 pandemic. To do that, we’re highlighting readers’ favorite small businesses around the country and shining a spotlight on what makes them special to their customers and their towns.

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In this edition of our Small Business Spotlight series, we’re featuring R&ARIE, a skincare company based in Portland, Oregon. Owner Reeba Daniel creates unique intentional self-care products and small business collaborations to provide themed gift boxes and holistic life support. Here, we chat with her about how losing a job inspired her to strike out on her own, the barriers she has faced as a Black entrepreneur and her unique vision for the future of her company.

Was there a particular moment or experience that inspired you to start your business?

In November of 2019, the company I worked for closed unexpectedly. With encouragement from my ancestors, family and friends, I decided to launch my company. I started with dropshipping while I finalized my SHEA + skincare line for release. Once released, brand offerings increased quickly as my skill sets grew.

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Read More: How Small-Business Struggles Hurt All Americans

What did you take from past experiences or jobs that you knew you wanted to be a part of your new business?

I knew I wanted to create a diverse, equitable and inclusive culture where ideas are discussed respectfully [and] where policies honor lived experience over traditional corporate culture.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of being a business owner?

I no longer feel like a fish trying to climb the corporate ladder. I have found a way to share my love for the earth and humanity creatively and show others the path through a connection of having the same.

How has the pandemic affected your business?

The pandemic and social justice movement continues to impact my business. In the beginning, shipping delays for months was the encouragement needed to start my own line of products to better serve our customers. I also did local delivery porch drops. Although there was more funding for small businesses, much of the criteria excluded micro- and solo-entrepreneurs. I also produce CBD products, which excluded me from necessary grants. Receiving the NuLeaf grant and small EIDL was the lifeline I needed to scale as the business grew. The pandemic also made it glaringly obvious the barriers Black women have to secure grants and affordable funding. It is an ongoing issue I face to this day.

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How can people continue to support your business during this time?

We are all about building an intentional community based on authentic life connection and increasing the resiliency of earth’s members. Join us by sending an email of what support you can offer and need. A larger increase in B2C and B2B sales will allow us to expand, hire and provide sliding-scale pricing. Access to farmland and unused spaces to grow ingredients will allow us to continue the vision of increasing food sovereignty and provide BIPOC healers with sliding-scale pricing for ingredients needed for their products. Following us on social media and sharing the vision with others is so helpful and vital to this cause.

Discover: Best States for Small-Business Owners

What advice would you give to someone who wants to start their own business?

Do your research. Does it resonate? If not, let it go. If so, get proper licensing. Launch and get support before you need it. There are many resources to find a mentor and like-minded creators. We are here to help.

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This interview has been edited for clarity.

About the Author

Gabrielle joined GOBankingRates in 2017 and brings with her a decade of experience in the journalism industry. Before joining the team, she was a staff writer-reporter for People Magazine and People.com. Her work has also appeared on E! Online, Us Weekly, Patch, Sweety High and Discover Los Angeles, and she has been featured on “Good Morning America” as a celebrity news expert. 

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