Within our skin lies countless pages to the stories of our own image through every indentation, beauty mark, and fine line. It is our duty to keep these stories alive because they are simply what makes us who we are. Jasmine Lewis, the founder of Vie Beauty, holds the importance of living vicariously through our skin, no matter the circumstance, with Vie.
After graduating with a Bachelor’s in Biological Science, Jasmine decided to attended esthetics school and while pursuing her program, began to realize the connections between both biological science and beauty. Her passion for promoting skin roots within inspiration from her late grandmothers. While educating the community on all things dermis through her unstoppable entrepreneurship, Jasmine has left her mark with many outreach programs such as her “Vie Well” and “Love My Mis” campaign.
An emerging icon to black women in the entrepreneurial, skincare, and medical fields, Jasmine chats with BAUCE on how her skincare journey sparked her booming business, her strategy of navigating the world of being her own boss, and how she decided to create generational wealth for the promising legacy to come behind her.
As black women, our skin can be one of the most vital parts of our identities — as they hold stories, experience, and years of trial and error within the practice of proper care due to societal limitations and restricted resources from the beauty industry. What is the story behind your skin, and how has it written the pages of Vie Beauty’s debut in your life?
Jasmine: There are so many incredible black women who have changed the beauty industry — from makeup artists to entrepreneurs to scientists. These innovators set the standard that black women deserve quality products catering to our melanin-rich skin. The story behind my skin is similar to the beauty industry innovators wanting to see effective change. My skin story also represents life and that is how Vie Beauty was birthed. My skin is a representation of my late maternal and paternal grandmothers, who are both the backbone of my “why”.
Why I choose the path I have and why I continue to choose this path each day. Vie means “to be alive” in French, choose life in every aspect in any choices you make, be alive and fulfilled in all the things that bring you joy. Skin is the largest organ of our bodies and seemingly is what keeps us alive. This is why skin health and education on how to properly take care of our skin and being mindful we do not place harmful ingredients onto our skin is so vital to living.
You’ve stated before that the medical industry was something that has interested you since you were young. Did a specific role model or life-changing experience spark your desire to obtain your bachelor’s degree in biological sciences?
Jasmine: As early as age 9, I was ironically experiencing what would eventually spark my desire to obtain my bachelor’s in biological science. I was taking care of my paternal grandmother with my cousin who was fighting breast cancer. I was changing her urine bags, rubbing ointment on her skin, and ensuring she took her medication. I wanted to provide her with as much comfort as I possibly could, all until her last days.
My grandmothers and my love for children shaped my decision to pursue biological science. In high school, I volunteered in the labor and delivery unit, taking care of momma and baby at Northside Hospital with hopes of one day becoming a neonatal/family doctor. Health is wealth and I knew I wanted to help people and serve in a way that would leave a lasting impact.
When you moved to Atlanta after college, you started to dip your foot in the beauty industry, people can tend to think this is a huge transition in careers when in fact, the two industries intersect often. What is the correlation that you’ve seen and experienced between the Medical and Beauty world?
Jasmine: I made the transition from college to Atlanta with the intention of still pursuing my medical career. When I attended esthetics school I began to truly see the correlation between biological science and beauty. As skin is the largest organ of our body, what we put on our skin is a direct reflection of the changes within our body. Miseducation in skincare can cause illnesses in the body, also impact our mental and emotional health.
My maternal grandmother had diabetes but died of a sudden heart attack. Her passing is what prompted Vie Well Campaign with a local hospital. The goal is to help reduce hypertension in the black community to eventually decrease the death rate. Although this campaign is not currently in the works due to COVID-19 and other agreements, my hope is to be partnered with the right hospital to invoke change in our community when it comes to our health. Skin is the entry point and connection between the beauty and medical world. Often times, troubled skin leads to mental and emotional years of trauma.
Building in a new territory can be challenging, especially when you’re starting from scratch. How did you ensure that Vie Beauty was built on a solid foundation despite the challenges and roadblocks you’ve faced, and how does it feel to see your fruit come to harvest?
Jasmine: I knew Vie Beauty was built on a solid foundation because I had my grandmothers at the root. Anything worth obtaining in life; challenges and roadblocks are completely inevitable. The most important aspect of our journey is that it is unique to the individual, stay true to who you are, and trust your instincts. It has been incredible, at times surreal feeling to see my visions come to life. From the moment Vie Beauty location first opened to seeing so many people using and loving 30 Roses Hydrating Rosewater. I am in awe that I have this fulfilling opportunity to be a part of an industry that is so rewarding in many ways. I will forever cherish and appreciate these moments.
In an age of more and more young women finding passions in owning their own businesses or becoming their own bosses, what’s something within your story that young women can find beneficial in their journey to success?
Jasmine: I will say it’s so encouraging to see more and more young women having the courage to pursue their passions in owning a business. The most beneficial part of my journey is that no matter the circumstances I trusted myself. I would advise any young women starting a business to stay true to yourself, we may bend but we never break under pressure. Each of our journeys are unique to us and divine alignment ensures that, no one can take what is for you away from you.
It takes a lot of courage and discipline for each of us to do our part, step into our light and just go for it, in order for us to manifest our desires. The no’s will come but use each no to fuel the fire inside. I take every situation as a learning lesson. I say to myself “What is this teaching me? What can I take away from this? How can I be better?” It sounds so cliché, but you have to do the work. Your work ethic will allow you to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Also, don’t be afraid to make mistakes. I self-sabotaged on my journey a lot because I was so afraid of making a mistake. It’s the mistakes that make you better, more precise and keen in your next steps. Give yourself grace often and do not be afraid to say no.
Being that Atlanta is a HUB for all things black beauty and that more women are becoming entrepreneurs like wildflowers, what is one important aspect Vie Beauty brings to the table that others don’t?
Jasmine: The most beneficial aspect of Vie Beauty is showing women, especially women of color that we too deserve the luxuries of life. The same luxuries that have, at some point made generations before ours believe that only a certain race or class could benefit from it. I was very intentional with creating Vie Beauty 30 Roses Hydrating Rose Water. From the bottle design to the refreshing properties of the ingredients, down to how I package each order. I wanted to ensure that my product represented each woman enhancing their everyday rituals into luxury experiences. We all deserve to benefit from the luxuries of life, so why not start with our skin.
Can you tell us more about the “Love my Mis” campaign is, and how it came to light?
Jasmine: When I transitioned into the esthetics world I realized there was not much opportunity for estheticians and other beauty professionals to assist in the growth of our community. Love my Mis was created as a foundation dedicated to educating women and children on the importance of skin health.
Proper skin education and skincare is vital to an individuals’ esteem and overall health. After all, what we place on our skin is a direct reflection of the changes within our bodies. Through Love my Mis it was important to show women and children that proper skincare is possible on a low-income budget, skincare is about consistency and skin education. Beautiful skin builds confidence, boost self-esteem and promotes internal happiness strengthening mental and emotional health. Love my Mis embodies loving your skin. Every woman and child deserve to feel beautiful in every stage of their life.
After practicing and perfecting your craft and business, you decided to share your success via social-media to let others know of all you’d accomplish. Sometimes it can be hard to tell when to let out our “vision” to the world in fear that others may taint it. Do you have any advice when it comes to protecting your entrepreneurial peace from others, what is safe-sharing and oversharing, and if “perfect-timing” to release something truly exists?
Jasmine: I can admit maintaining a healthy balance between personal and business can seem fruitless but too much of anything is bad for anyone. Social media has connected us all to each other so falling into the trap of your business brand becoming your personal brand is possible which is why it is important to maintain balance between the two. When I post I’m intentional with keeping in mind that with every social media post, every bit of information I put out adds to or takes from, the value of Vie Beauty and my personal brand.
There are risk with oversharing, which can result in cheapening my brand but under sharing or self-sharing can share the same risk. People may find you non-relatable or impersonal when you don’t share what others deem as “enough”. It is so important for our mental health that we don’t fall victim to what others expect of us. My advice to protecting my entrepreneurial peace is trusting myself, staying in alignment with what is intended for me and giving myself mental health breaks and checking in with myself so that I don’t run the risk of developing an addiction to external validation. Perfect-timing is often not ours, everything meant to happen will happen just as it should, in the timing it’s meant to.
One of your goals for Vie Beauty is to build generational wealth and uphold a legacy for your family to share. Can you speak on the importance of creating those resources within our own family trees, especially within the black community?
Jasmine: What I know now and what I’m still learning to date, I didn’t have the same knowledge and resources growing up. As a black woman, with a black husband, we will one day have a black child and knowing that our society was not built and designed in our likeness. With this understanding, it’s important for me to take advantage of my resources in order to break the generational curses of my family and build sustainable wealth for my legacy. Knowledge is power and according to the Institute For Policy Studies, “wealth disparities between black and white families can take 228 years to close.”
We have a lot of buying power but tend to not have any wealth and oftentimes, it is just the odds are stacked against us dating back hundreds of years ago to today. The proper resources and consistent knowledge will give my family a hand up and a foundation to build on to succeed. It takes organization and partnership to create the building blocks to close and surpass the gap. It is essential to transfer knowledge from one generation to the next on financial literacy and tools and I have every intention to obtain this.
If an aspiring entrepreneur, no matter the field, was to leave this interview with only receiving one piece of advice as vital information — what would you tell them?
Jasmine: To any aspiring entrepreneur, one piece of advice I want to leave with you is success does not happen overnight. I am still on my imperfect journey. Consistency is the key to success. Have faith, trust yourself, and trust your gut, it will always let you know what’s right for you and what’s not. Take every no and create your own yes. Never make yourself small to conform to someone else glass ceilings or standards.
Make mistakes, just make sure you learn from them. Be a good person, treat people with goodness and respect, people will often forget what you did to them but will never forget how you made them feel. Lastly, nurture and give yourself grace, love for self will be the best love you ever receive. When we feel good about ourselves it is a reflection of how we treat others. It’s a reflection of how we mother, how we support, how we give in our partnerships which in turn builds a more confident society. Remember, we got this!