In an interview with Byrdie.com she opens up about why she decided to start and building a beauty business.
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On her inspiration for starting Ami Cole
“For a very long time, I didn’t know beauty outside of this bubble,” she says. “The idea of my mother’s shop was to transform someone into their most beautiful self, and that’s what I saw. Girls would travel to our salon with their cut-outs and Hype Hair magazine and that was our pinnacle of beauty. It wasn’t until I hit the ‘real world’ where I realized that wasn’t represented.”
On her industry experience (as a social media strategist at L’Oréal and on the product development team at Glossier)
“We were afterthoughts, even in terms of formulation,” she shares. “Many vendors catered to the same people and brands. So out of habit, distributors are creating products in a certain shade range (catered to light skin), and then throwing in a darker shade to accommodate a ‘woman of color.’” N’Diaye adds, “The formulations didn’t have us in mind from the beginning. I always felt like I was being squeezed into a space. There wasn’t much thought about how we influence culture or how we influence spend.” “Many times, I was the only one on a team of 50, or even 100, having to explain why the brand’s key messaging or particular imagery was not appropriate for us. I am black, yes. But, I don’t represent every single experience. I felt very tokenized in some instances, but also felt the need to also be an advocate for all of us. It was a tough space.”
On why she started Ami Cole
“People want their skin, but better.” Her initial collection is set to provide a skin-enhancing tint, an illuminator, and a lip treatment. “I thought it was important to offer these products because there aren’t a lot of options. I loved Laura Mercier’s Tinted Moisturizer, but they didn’t offer my shade until two months ago. Brands weren’t giving me the tint I wanted. Each of the products are going to have a skincare first approach.”