Meet Maryam Basir; she is a U.S. model, actress, and entrepreneur. Basir’s career started as an actress although she has always aspired to be an entrepreneur. According to her, acting “found” her after she graduated from college and moved to New York to figure out what she wanted to do, particularly in the area of entrepreneurship.
“When I came to New York, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do, I just knew I wanted to own a business and be an entrepreneur,” Basir told Afro.com.
She recalled how a security man approached her in a bank and asked if she was an actor or model. When she answered in the negative, he encouraged her to consider taking up a career in show business. Inspired by the words of the security man, she got an agent and started acting and modeling. Her entry into the acting field saw her secure several television projects but she soon discovered that actors and actresses do not make as much money as society thinks because jobs are few and far between.
“One job may need to last us for six months,” said Basir.
Her challenge in the acting field was also compounded by the recent strike in Hollywood. This led her to focus on Maryam Beauty, a beauty brand she started less than a month before the strike. She created the brand in fulfillment of her entrepreneurial dreams and to generate additional income as the strike continues.
According to Afro.com, Maryam Beauty offers the brow stamp skit and brow-perfect pencil kit. They come in black, dark brown, medium brown, and blonde with a matte finish, and they are cruelty-free.
Venturing into the beauty industry was influenced by her acting and modeling career, after seeing how makeup had a transformational effect on people.
“I saw it in myself and all the other actors and models around me,” said Basir. “I just saw the magic that makeup could do and how it can really help enhance people’s beauty.”
Basir brought some of her products on set for makeup artists to test. One of them is Tameka Elliott, a licensed esthetician and professional makeup artist whom Basir met on set while she (Elliot) was serving as the head of the makeup department for a television project.
Per figures, more than 11 percent of all beauty customers are Black, however, Black brands account for only 2.5 percent of the $60 billion beauty industry. Basir is among the few Black beauty brand owners hoping to make a difference.