Fashion Fair CEO urging people to support Black businesses

The beauty executive attended the National Urban League ‘Women In Harmony’ event during Essence Fest

Desirée Rogers is the co-owner and CEO of Fashion Fair Cosmetics, and the CEO of Black Opal.

Rolling out caught up with Rogers during the Essence Festival of Culture weekend in New Orleans to speak with her about reinvigorating the iconic brand and her role in the multi-billion dollar Black beauty industry.

Rogers enthusiastically shared what led her to become a beauty executive and aspiring tips for those interested in doing the same.

As a CEO, can you tell us a little bit more about your day-to-day?

I believe so much is happening in the world, such as what happened recently on affirmative action. One of the things that we do in the beauty industry is spend seven billion dollars, only of which 0.5 percent goes to companies that are run by people that look like me. So I’m asking, what’s Black in your bag? It doesn’t have to be Fashion Fair, but let’s buy Black. Let’s make certain that we’re supporting Black beauty companies around the country and let’s get some of that money back into our neighborhoods.

What led you to become a beauty executive?

I just know that we spend so much money on beauty, nails, hair, makeup, shampoo, curls, and all of this stuff. I just feel so strongly that we have an opportunity to have some of that money coming back to us. We’re also delighted to support the Urban League. Ten percent of our sales [went] back to the Urban League during Essence Festival weekend.

What influence does the fourth annual National Urban League Women In Harmony event have on the Black community?

When we can support and salute our own, it’s always a wonderful thing. It’s always a wonderful time to be together sharing. There are so many people that have come up to say they wanted to help us in the work that we’re doing. We want to help others in the work that they’re doing. It’s just an amazing ability to … talk, chit chat, tell stories, and be supportive. We all need to support one another, especially [with] how the world is changing so quickly around us.

What are some tips you can give to those aspiring to work in the beauty industry?

The first tip is you have to want to do this … it is not easy. There’s a lot of work involved for any entrepreneur, whether you’re in beauty or something else. You have to be passionate about that work and you have to know that there are going to be times when things don’t go great, and there are times when things go amazing. So, you just have to keep at it.

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