Young Nimi stared at her reflection in the mirror, feeling panic. At the last minute, the seventh-grader’s hairstylist had canceled her appointment, and what was worse, Nimi’s mom had to go out of town. School pictures were in only a few days. Without help, she’d look horrible! But what could she possibly do about that now? Her pictures would be ruined.
Then her older sister Bimi blew through the door, carrying a veritable toolbox of gifts from the beauty gods. Sit down, Bimi said -- and promptly went to work.
The memory sticks out in Nimi’s mind, even after decades. “That’s who Bimi is,” says Nimi, now the founder of bimonthly beauty kit The Beem Box. “She is the sister that would help you out in any beauty, hair or fashion pinch.” Bimi -- who is also a businesswoman -- is the namesake and “main inspiration” behind The Beem Box.
It’s a sweet -- and fitting -- tribute for a small business on a mission to make beauty more accessible to those who are underrepresented by the mainstream industry. “I recognize the struggle women of color have when it comes to makeup and selecting products that works for us,” Nimi says. My motto is ‘Beem from within!’ because I see makeup as a tool to emphasize the beauty [that] we women of color have within us.”
Her first goal in launching this California-based business is simply to recognize the place that women of color have in the makeup and beauty industry; “to let them know,” as Nimi says, “they are not an afterthought.” Her second goal is to support and promote independent beauty brands by other women of color by featuring “at least one women of color-owned business” in each bimonthly kit. Through these efforts, Nimi hopes the mainstream beauty industry will take more notice of their customers of color. To influence these brands “to begin to create colors, shades, and pigments truly intended for a wider range,” she says, would be to achieve her final and highest goal.
As a result, Nimi is extremely intentional when it comes to product sourcing and curation, working with other women of color to select beauty products and shades that complement a greater variety of skin tones. To begin, she regularly attends “trade shows, conferences, and beauty networking events to find out what are the latest and greatest products within the makeup community.” Once she identifies a potential brand to work with, she considers seasonality and the brand’s mission to determine if it is the right fit for The Beem Box. “My objective is to ensure I select brands that align with my goals,” Nimi says. To do so, she reaches out directly to companies for sourcing. “Being that my box is bimonthly, I try to select colors, shades, and products that will go with the season. Bright pinks, and blues for summer months -- and yellow and red shades for the cooler months.”
Ultimately, the most important thing to Nimi is that her customers see themselves reflected in The Beem Box’s bimonthly beauty experiences. Those women “who love makeup subscription boxes,” but find that “the typical beauty box sends products that are too pale, ashy, or grey for your skin”?