Kim Roxie: On Beauty Entrepreneurship, The Audacity of a Dream, and Having Crazy Faith
Kim Roxie spent hours studying the piano, but although she didn't make music her career, she has called on that discipline in her work as a beauty entrepreneur. Kim founded Lamik Beauty, a clean beauty brand for women of color, and opened her first store in Houston, TX, shortly after graduating from college.
"It must have been destiny that landed me in this role. I think that's a great thought. Do you think the discipline of being a pianist has helped you to apply to be an entrepreneur? Yeah. I think the same type of attitude and skillset. You have the same type of discipline and mindset because when you play an instrument and anybody listening knows if you ever played an instrument or either, you know, your voice, it might be, but you practice all the time. When I played the piano growing up, I mean, I practiced every day for a certain amount of time. There's a huge amount of discipline and work that you've put into a piece just to play it for recital or just to play it, you know? And so not getting tired of doing the same thing over and over just to get better. I think, is a discipline that I'm definitely using an entrepreneur.
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With the odds stacked against her, Kim relied on her ability to connect with women, her belief in a new category of beauty, and her faith to succeed.
I had someone say to me, Kim, you just got crazy faith. And I said, okay, that's what it is. I remember being in my senior year and we had to have our senior project. And if you didn't pass the senior project, they would hold you for another semester. And I remember being in my senior project and finishing up and then saying to my professors now I hope this was a great project. I did. I said, but if you need any convincing, let me let you know. I've already taken a lease out on a space in the mall in Houston. And I have this company that I want to launch in two months. And I was like, so if the project isn't worth passing, just from what I did, can you at least look at my future goals and pass me because of that?
When I opened up my store, I had no money left in the bank. I had figured out my budget, but I didn't understand budgets back then and financial models. So I only had the money saved up that it would take me to open up the store. I didn't have any money for next month's rent or for inventory. I didn't have that money when I opened up, that was it my bank account with zero. So when I opened up my store, nobody came in when I opened up the gate, I'm in a mall and nobody came in and I was like, that was like the first 30 minutes. I was like, Oh, so people don't just walking in when you say open. Okay. And so I went down to the food court to go get customers. And that's how I built my clientele was walking down to the food court, walking a person, talking to the woman all the way to my store and started in the business.
But then her dream expanded and decided that reaching more women required her to change her business model from brick and mortar to e-commerce, incorporate technology, and learn a new way of business. So she decided to close her store.
I wrote a letter to my customer base and I agonized over that letter, just being able to explain, but I was so convinced. I was so convinced that this was the right thing to do. Because I felt this huge calling the same calling I felt to open up that store, the same calling. I felt to do it at a time where it wasn't even popular. Like I felt that same calling towards who are more tech and doing the things that way. So I've actually just taken our customers from our store on the ride, with us and I've explained to them and when things have taken longer, you know, I told them I'm going almost like back to school in a way where some people would go to like business school.
Find out how Kim has incorporated tech into her new business model and more when you listen to the entire episode.