Bloomberg Businessweek

Black Beauty Brands’ Mixed Blessing

Six years ago, Lauren Napier founded her namesake beauty company with her tax refund check and American Express card after she was denied a $50,000 bank loan. Today, Napier is suddenly fielding hundreds of emails and Instagram DMs from venture capitalists and retailers who once wouldn’t take her calls. The financiers want to hear about her line of makeup wipes, and the retailers want to stock it; it’s a rapid reversal triggered by the violent murder of George Floyd in May that ushered in widespread global calls to “Buy Black.”

Beauty retailers, long the arbiters of a feminine ideal that

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