They wanted to use online box delivery services to get their beauty supplies. But it just wasn't working out."I was tired of receiving boxes every month that didn't have a majority of products I could use," Jasmine Harris told CNBC.
"If it was makeup, the coloring would be off," she told MPR News. "Lipstick, the shades would be inappropriate for my skin tone, or [the] hair products were not made for kinkier textured hair, like mine."
Deciding to no longer spend money on subscription services that didn't have anything for them, the Harris sisters decided to launch a monthly delivery service of their own, called Huesbox.
"We were trying to think less about what was already out there, and more about what we would want," says Jasmine.
They were sure that other women of color would like a subscription service tailored to their skin tones.
And they were right. Huesbox has been in business for about a year, and Jasmine and Jenae have already earned $20,000. And they've shipped more than 2,100 packages to 49 U.S. states.Huesbox works just like other box services. Users complete a profile with the company, and the service crafts a customized product haul each month.
Each month's box costs $15 and includes four to six products, a non-beauty item (like tea) and a card describing the cultural background of the included products.
Small business owners themselves, Jasmine and Jenae have partnered with small businesses that produce the items for their boxes.
"As small businesses, we're not in a position to have the resources to partner with the major brands," Jen Rightler-Mahone of J'Elaine Cosmetics said. "HuesBox makes it very easy because they're willing to compensate you for your samples."
Buying from smaller companies gives Huesbox an edge, according to the sisters' mother because "what you'll see in our box you won't see in a store."Jenae, who is a lawyer, and Jasmine, who is a professor, are currently self-funding their business. They have, however, received offers from angel investors.
"We're running a little ragged at the time," says Jenae. "We'd love for this one day to be all we're doing."