Tashia Hogue Data News Weekly Contributor
Bea’s Bayou stands out by harnessing the power of probiotics and bayou herbs, offering a natural and effective solution for those seeking relief from persistent itchiness. Named in honor of founder Arielle Brown’s maternal grandmother, Beatrice, this form of natural skin care ties a personal narrative into the rich cultural fabric of the Big Easy.
“Being a Black entrepreneur is about living the dream of our ancestors. It’s about creating legacy and being their best self. I can be in the moment that I’m in and hopefully inspiring others to do the same,” said Brown as she encouraged Black college students to take up entrepreneurship on Nov. 30th.
Bea’s Bayou is where the History of the Bayou meets the Science of Skincare and where Brown shared, she is carving out her own lane in the cosmetic industry. The Lafayette, LA. native started the company in 2020, creating innovative products that cater to individuals experiencing eczema-related skin concerns, acne, and for hair care treatments ranging from dandruff to scalp irritation.
She was inspired to find a line of natural products for women, after dealing with her own diagnosis of Seborrheic Dermatitis as a teenager. The condition creates both scalp irritations and hair thinning, and after years of trying medicated shampoos and creams, Brown decided she would create a product that would treat such conditions while keeping hair healthy.
Since her skincare line launch, she has raised over $170,000 in funding from organizations that invest in Black women entrepreneurs, and she is currently raising over $1 million to scale her business. In 2022, she participated in the New Orleans’ Idea Village Program that supports startups created by people of color. Brown also shared the pros and cons of owning her own business. She emphasized the importance of mental health in navigating the process for scaling and expanding a brand and getting investors to see the value and worth of a product.
“Sometimes it takes being the salesperson to go out and pitch the retailer. That to me was a challenge because you don’t want to let your friends and family down, but sometimes I’m like I’m tired and you have to be able to say no,” Brown said.
Brown earned a master’s degree in Social Work from Southern University at New Orleans. With Bea’s Bayou, she hopes to be among a small but growing group of Black women entrepreneurs who are entering into the beauty business, which unfortunately today, is still heavily dominated by companies owned and run mostly by men.
“Seeing a Black woman, like me, express herself and reach her goals while I’m in college struggling, and hearing her say ‘go through college and do what you really want to do while taking risks,’ redirected me to stay focused on my studies,” said Cambria Carey, a business, sales, and marketing major at Xavier University of Louisiana, who attended Brown’s talk as part of the “Lunch with a ‘Trep,” a series coordinated by Xavier’s Entrepreneurship Institute.
Mark Quinn, a Professor in the Division of Business at Xavier, said that it is necessary to host these events where potential connections can guide young people in the right direction on what it takes to create a start-up, scale it, and to remain passionate about an idea.
“We bring entrepreneurs in person here on campus to meet informally with the students and share their stories, give some insight as to what motivated them to start their business, their successes, and their challenges, all with an eye towards showing the students that entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship is not something that’s unattainable,” Quinn said.
“We think that everybody is an entrepreneur at some point in their life. You know, we’re just trying to show students that entrepreneurship is accessible and that there is a lot of help here on campus as well as throughout the city and throughout the nation,” Quinn added.