Veteran cosmetic chemist, Ron Robinson, boasts more than 20 years’ experience in creating innovative, big-selling beauty products for leading beauty brands including Revlon, Avon, L’Oréal and The Estée Lauder Cos. In 2009, Ron founded influencer agency, BeautyStat, which helps both start-ups and large brands grow brand awareness, engagement and product sales. And in 2019, he started Beautystat Cosmetics, his own line of products. Ron, who is also a resident beauty expert for Allure and Refinery29, shares a bit about his own experience as a Black man in beauty, how BeautyStat Cosmetics is navigating the ‘now’ normal as a startup and how his company is giving back.

The past few weeks were tremendously upsetting for me. I was so emotionally exhausted that I found myself losing focus and not being very productive. I relived all the moments in both my personal and professional life where my race was an issue or blocked in me getting what I earned.  I am hopeful that we will see true, lasting change given the scale of this global movement.

As far as being more inclusive, the beauty industry can do a better job of having POC representing in their senior management teams, as well as in their vendor and partner base.  Especially given that POC over-index in beauty consumption.

Regarding the new normal we’re dealing with in the wake of COVID-19, BeautyStat is fortunate to be a direct-to-consumer (DTC) brand, so we were not relying on brick-and-mortar sales. And though we saw a slight dip in April sales, we refined our marketing messaging and now we are back on our strong growth track. From a day-to-day operations standpoint, like everyone else, we all work remotely and leverage Skype and Zoom to communicate with our team and vendor partners.

To cut costs, we immediately cancelled our co-working spaces. We no longer do onsite visits to our manufacturing facilities and instead use FaceTime to review and approve batches or packaging.  Travel expenses are now non-existent. We have fulfillment partners that are essential businesses, so we were able to ship uninterrupted throughout the pandemic.

More than ever, entrepreneurs need to make sure that their concept is strong and unique and that it has a solid DTC marketing strategy. Retail stores will certainly come back, but they may never be the same as before, so new brands should be more online-focused from the start. We are DTC so that’s been our focus, but we did double down on showing consumers how our vitamin C-based products are the perfect solution for caring and treating their skin while indoors and outside. Our new eye cream that combines our patented stable vitamin C technology plus CBD (called BeautyStat Universal C Eye Perfector) launched at a great time, as many people are seeing the signs of stress and inflammation on their skin. Our new treatment works to reduce the look of fine lines, wrinkles, dark circles and puffiness, as it soothes and comforts the delicate eye area.

During this time, many beauty publications have named our vitamin C serum, BeautyStat Universal C Skin Refiner, as one of the industry bests. These publications include Oprah Magazine, Allure, Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29, Women’s Health and Good Housekeeping, so we’ve been sharing this news across our channels to drive awareness and engagement.

For both the pandemic and for Black Lives Matter, we are focused on giving back. We have donated thousands of dollars of our products to front-line workers as our skin care products help to heal and treat their skin from the adverse effects of wearing protection masks all day. For Black Lives Matter, we are donating to a few organizations that are fighting for racial and social equality.