Sunday marks Juneteenth, and while the occasion serves as a celebration of the end of slavery in the United States, the holiday also brings a vast array of emotions. From grief to joy and everything in between, there is no right way to feel—or observe for that matter.
We want to take a step back to acknowledge and appreciate the strides Black entrepreneurs have made in both the fashion and beauty industries. And so, we’re holding space for nine Black beauty founders to share their feelings ahead of the second year of the federally recognized holiday, at a time when many of us don’t truly feel free and safe (think: how the coronavirus affected Black people at a disproportionately high rate and the long list of Black people killed by the police).
Below, the nine founders share what Juneteenth means to them and how they plan on celebrating.
Katini Yamaoka, founder of Katini Skin
Juneteenth is a special day recognizing our ancestor’s greatness, where they came from, and affirming who they are today. It’s a time to remember the rich cultural heritage, triumphs, and adversities that African Americans had to go through to make up this country’s history. The day is about freedom, gratitude, and the power in our diversity.
Personally I love to start the day by listening to music. As an artist myself, music is the universal language and a meaningful way for me to appreciate emotions words sometimes can’t express. Some of my favorite artists such as Sam Cooke, Ella Fitzgerald, and Nina Simone came up in such times of adversities, but through music were gracefully able to express their hopes, struggles, and dreams... As a brand, I want people to explore some of our incredible ingredients such as Baobab and Honeybush that are native to the beautiful content of Africa. I also want our customers to know that through our partnership with Black Progress Matters (BPM), a portion of every sale made at Katini Skin (always, not just for Juneteenth) goes back into funding other founders of color to create more Black ownership.