Juvia’s Place had no ordinary beginning. Chichi Eburu channeled years of frustration and sadness with beauty standards into something beautiful and inviting.
Necessity Becomes Inspiration
Chichi Eburu had spent much of her life feeling discouraged by the makeup available to her. She shopped everywhere from drug stores to specialty shops and couldn’t find cosmetics that worked with her deep skin tone.
Their muted tones grayed her out, detracting rather than enhancing her natural hue.
Despite the fact that beauty companies have a diverse group of people supporting them, it seemed they were intent on maintaining a narrow shade of beauty, while excluding those who didn’t fall into those shades.
Chichi Eburu Rejects Industry Messages
As a small girl growing up in Nigeria, Chichi Eburu never ever saw images of women with deep skin tones in advertisements. So when she looked at her own skin, it was hard to see beauty. The beauty industry had shaped what beauty looks like, and she was not it.
But as little Chichi became adult Chichi, the teachings and support of her mother and aunts began to take root. She realized she was a part of a community and nation. She had a lot to be proud of.
And there was nothing wrong with her. There was something extremely wrong with the Western world’s exclusive view of beauty. But rather than just complain about it, she knew she wanted to be the change.
Niche Market Underserved
The beauty industry is monolithic, controlled by a few powerful brands, and it’s hard to break into the industry.
But Chichi Eburu was certain that if people could just see her passion and that they had options, they would flock to her more inclusive line.
She didn’t have any money to compete with big brands. No Angel investors were beating down her door. So, with just $2000, she got to work in the 2-bedroom apartment she shared with her daughter and son sleeping in nearby rooms while she worked.
Starting from Nothing
To enter a competitive industry, she began making cosmetic tools. This allowed her to begin building her brand and make money to launch her cosmetics brand.
She made a vision board with likenesses of Queens Cleopatra and Nefertiti, who used makeup to not only enhance their beauty but to showcase creativity.
Through passion and focus, she saved the money she would need to transform into a cosmetics brand.
Chichi Introduces the World to Juvia’s Place
She combined her children’s names Juwa and Olivia to create “Juvia” of Juvia’s Place.
Her first product was an eyeshadow called The Nubian. It bore an image of Queen Nefertiti and quickly went viral.
With that momentum, she was able to launch a full line of cosmetics for all skin tones from dark to light.
She knew she didn’t want to be non-inclusive, as the lack of inclusivity in the beauty industry had stoked her passion for changing the industry and delivering a product to people who had few options when it came to enhancing their natural skin tones.
Makeup lovers of all shades rejoiced that they had finally found makeup that enhanced their deep skin tones. And from there, Juvia’s Place would go on to become one of the most beloved Black-owned makeup brands in the world.