Beauty products and technology don’t typically go hand-in-hand. Web3, which entails decentralized online interactions, has largely been dominated by juggernauts such as Meta and Google. Breaking into this space requires intentionality, intellectual curiosity, and an eye for innovation. Yaminah Childress, the founder of YANY Beauty, has mastered all three. Reflecting on her ability to lead and adapt in the consumer product space, Yaminah shares: “When I started this beauty brand, it was innovative because I was trying to address a problem that Black women faced. There were not a lot of Black-owned beauty products for women of color. I started before inclusivity was a thing. When I think of innovation, I think of solving a problem that may be obvious for some people but not necessarily to others.”
Yaminah and her team continued this approach this year when they launched the YANY Crypto Beauties NFT Collection. NFTs, also known as Non-fungible tokens, are digital assets that people can buy and sell online. According to a leading NFT research firm, NFT sales in 2021 surpassed $17 billion, which suggests that it is a nascent but prolific space. The journey was not straightforward and Yaminah learned some valuable insights along the way.
Be in the Know
This may seem easier said than done, but building proficiency in current events, new trends, and interesting opportunities are vital. Entrepreneurs should leverage the copious amounts of information at their fingertips and understand the major developments happening in their fields of interest and beyond. Yaminah spends a decent amount of time researching different topics in the beauty and technology space. Describing her process, Yaminah expresses: “I’ve always been a tech person. I love everything about technology. So I started to think about NFTs and the beauty space. It was something that I have not seen before. Others are getting into crypto, the metaverse, and the NFT space. I didn’t see a reason why beauty couldn’t be in that space. We don’t just have to have one particular product or service.”
Surround Yourself with Naturally Curious People
Yaminah had a vision. Fortunately, this beauty business maven leads a talented team of folks who also wanted to explore the new frontier of Web3 along with her. Explaining her experience working with her team, Yaminah notes: “A lot of them were excited. I’m one of those leaders where everyone’s input matters. And I get really good feedback. The team has a lot of younger team members, so they were open to it.” With all hands on deck, the YANY Beauty team worked to launch the product line and pique their customers’ interest in the new offerings. In doing so, Yaminah found that the team’s efforts resonated with current customers. In addition, advertising efforts on platforms such as Discord helped attract new customers as well.
Acknowledge the Complexities of this Nascent Space
Yaminah and the YANY Beauty team work hard, remain resilient, and know the latest trends. Nevertheless, they ran into several challenges while working to launch their Crypto Beauties collection. Explaining her journey, Yaminah admits: “It was a lot more intense than I thought. I first thought the collection would be ten Crypto Beauties and would be very exclusive. But as I was doing research on OpenSea and different NFT marketplaces, I saw that people came up with a collection of 1,000 NFTs. So we had a process of sketching a Crypto Beauty and then having a member take different parts of the Crypto Beauty and then randomizing [different traits] to make new beauties. I thought we would launch it in a month, but it took us several months…. It was a learning experience.” In that same vein, Yaminah learned the value of bringing in external experts. Leveraging her background as a business leader and consultant, Yaminah realized that there were some gaps in knowledge that would require her team to spend hours learning. After arriving at this realization, Yaminah chose to hire someone with technical expertise to help with the launch. Those who plan to break into this space should enter the process with an open mind and a willingness to take chances, make mistakes, and pivot as necessary as Yaminah did.
Celebrate your Progress and Envision Next Steps
Yaminah has spent some well-deserved time celebrating her historic launch. As she looks back on her NFT experience, Yaminah enthuses: “Within NFTs, I feel accomplished in that we are the first beauty brand that has done it. Putting it out there was my success story. I didn’t care how many people bought it. It was something that I wanted in the world.” Honoring your progress is vital. But, Yaminah is not resting on her laurels. In fact, YANY Beauty is about to usher in a new era in its innovation journey. This time, the team is working on an app. In explaining her latest project, Yaminah reveals: “We are launching a beauty app for our brand. We are super excited. It is like Uber for beauty. YANY Beauty will have an app where people can look for the nearest beautician, nail tech, etc. and get services done on demand.”
Yaminah has already made history, and she clearly has no plans to stop this momentum. She continues to push limits and boldly navigate uncharted territory. The sky is the limit for this BAUCE. To witness this amazing journey, be sure to follow YANY’s Twitter and Instagram accounts.