You can thank this woman for the multimillion-dollar black hair and beauty startups we have now

Abu Mubarik June 13, 2022
Germaine Bolds-Leftridge. Photo: Linkedin/Germaine Bolds-Leftridge

Meet Germaine Bolds-Leftridge. She is a leading player in the hair care and beauty industry. She has spent over 30 years helping other entrepreneurs make it in the ethnic hair and beauty market.

Bolds-Leftridge now plays a major role in the manufacturing industry dominated by men owing to her position as the owner of IKNOW Skincare. According to Forbes, she is making strides at a time when many women are being blocked out.

“It has been proven that women can break into any industry,” she told Forbes. “A great example is Katherine Johnson, the mathematician, who broke into the male-dominated arena at NASA. It takes perseverance, self-awareness, not easily deterred and a greater understanding of your higher source to integrate into any space where the majority does not look like you.”

According to Bolds-Leftridge, the impetus for IKNOW Skincare came from watching her mother’s transition from cancer in 2020.

“My mom always had beautiful skin and stressed the importance of taking care of it. I wanted Black women over 50 to have a different kind of relationship with their skin and to continue to become their best selves. I don’t buy into youthful-looking skin or anti-ageing marketing. I am into embracing #RealAge.”

She is hoping her latest product will attract Generation X and Baby Boomer Black female consumers.

Bolds-Leftridge first ventured into the beauty industry after noticing the little role Blacks play despite being major spenders of beauty products. She founded a Maryland-based sales and marketing company, GBL Sales. The company provides sales, advertising and marketing services and has turned many brand founders into multi-millionaires. She has supported diverse beauty brands like Oyin Handmade, Curls Dynasty, and Mielle Organics.

Prior to that, she founded The Ubiquitous Women’s Expo, the largest event in the Washington, DC Metropolitan area dedicated to empowering, uplifting and inspiring multicultural women. In addition, she serves as Chief Creative Officer and a major stakeholder in Ambi Enterprises LLC, the investment group that acquired skincare brand AMBI from L’Oréal USA.

“When I started GBL Sales, I wanted to become a major player in the beauty space. However, to make a difference, I had to create a new business model which built more creative and authentic brands. The main goal was to make small brands into household names. I knew if I could help smaller brands to grow that the larger brands would soon know my name.”

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: June 13, 2022


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