As sisters Jenae and Jasmine Harris watched their subscription boxes full of disappointing, unused and expensive cosmetics pile up, they realized something: All the mainstream beauty box services they'd been ordering were aimed at white women, not African Americans like themselves, or other women of color.
"If it was makeup, the coloring would be off," Jasmine explains to MPR News. "Lipstick, the shades would be inappropriate for my skin tone, or [the] hair products were not made for kinkier textured hair, like mine."
Frustrated, the sisters decided to do something about it. Last fall, they launched HuesBox, a subscription service "by people of color, for people of color — not just African-Americans," their mom, Robin Harris, who is also involved with the company, tells MPR News.
The Harrises are tapping a huge but under-served market. According to Women's Wear Daily, black women alone spend $7.5 billion a year on beauty products. They spend 80% more on cosmetics and two times as much money on skin care as general consumers.
"We were trying to think less about what was already out there, and more about what we would want," Jasmine tells CNBC Make It.
Subscribers fill out a profile and HuesBox customizes the monthly product haul. But HuesBox doesn't send customers big brand products — instead the Harris sisters hunt down the best finds from small businesses run by people of color.