Many girls dream of owning a business and becoming a #boss. Sixteen-year-old Brayden Graham never imagined that a Christmas shopping trip would lead to her becoming a CEO.
Brayden Graham created B Graham Beauty after being disappointed with the ingredients listed in bath bombs that were allegedly “all natural.” As if having harmful ingredients that she could not pronounce wasn’t enough, she saw that these “natural” products were marketed with images of women who looked nothing like her.
Brayden says the inspiration to create her own line of body care products jolted her from her sleep in the middle of the night. She rushed to her mother’s room to tell her about her big idea. However, as most mothers who are woken up at 2 a.m. do, her mother told her to go back to sleep. This did not deter Brayden, who later brought up the idea again, experimented with recipes (featuring real and easily-pronounced natural products) and launched B Graham Beauty in January of this year.
We recently spoke with Brayden about B Graham Beauty and the importance of natural skin care products.
The Lighthouse : Brayden, what types of products does B Graham Beauty offer?
Brayden Graham: Currently we are offering the Bryant Line, which are men’s products. The line consists of beard balm, beard oil, men’s moisturizers, unscented and tasteless lip balms. We offer unisex body butters, bath bombs, lip gloss, solid cologne and perfume. We are actually preparing to send some skincare products into the lab to test, and that will be released in the early fall.
TL: Why do you believe it is important to use natural skin care products?
BG: When I was in middle school, I had horrible acne. I had body acne, and my skin was just a mess, and I started using these really-bad-for-you big-brand products. They cleared my skin up at first, but then I realized I had extreme and prolonged damage from microtears* in my skin. I was like, ‘I would not have all of these problems if I used natural products on my skin that were actually healthy’. … I only use products with ingredients that I can smell and pronounce, rather than fatty alcohols and dangerous exfoliants.
TL: You recently used some essential oils on your Instagram. What are some of your favorite essential oils?
BG: I love lavender and frankincense because they are really good for acne and clearing up discoloration. They also smell amazing.
TL: How important is it for women and girls of color to find affordable, high-quality natural products?
BG: It’s important for me because I broke my piggy bank looking for natural products and the companies were basically pandering to women of color but not create products that catered to our hair or skin. They would throw in one token person of color, and I was like “that’s not good enough.” I need to see more than that. It’s also important for our young girls to see themselves and say “oh I can use these products and other girls who look like me can use them, too.”
TL: What advice do you have for Black girls and young women who aspire to become entrepreneurs?
BG: Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t run a successful business. Don’t let people discourage you or make you feel like you’re too young to do this or too old to do this. Just remain steadfast in your ideas, create a plan and you can accomplish it.
Brayden hopes to become a dermatologist in the future. She said that it has been fun getting to meet other girls and women and teach others how to take care of themselves without breaking the bank. Her vision for B Graham Beauty is that it becomes a household name for beauty and self-care.
You can check out her products at bgrahambeauty.com.
*Microtears are microscopic tears or cuts in the skin that are not visible to the naked eye.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.