Business of the Beat Podcast

Mean Ole Lion Media

Kendra-Bracken Ferguson, 3x Founder, Brand Builder, Mom, talks to Founders and senior executives of color who are revolutionizing the Beauty and Wellness industry. Every Sunday, Kendra sits with industry entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs to talk about their personal journeys, lessons learned, beauty trends, and the new and next. We explore themes that include BIPOC identity, diversifying the industry, the steps of building a brand, choosing the right funding channels, and redefining the influencer role.  Join us each week on Business of the Beat to engage with the authentic stories of multicultural leaders impacting the future of the industry. Leave us your reviews! Your voice is important to us.


“Speak it into existence”
5d ago
“Speak it into existence”
This week, Connie Lo—Co-Founder of Three Ships Beauty, an effective sustainable sourced natural skincare brand—dives deep into key learnings as a first time founder: don’t grow too fast, be careful with hiring, care about efficiency first and foremost, and block dedicated time for fundraising!  Connie also dives into her co-founder’s health scare that caused them both to adapt to a new way of working and a new mindset of ‘working smarter not harder’ along with a ‘no hustle culture’. She shares that when they opened themselves up to life outside of work and their company, they actually achieved greater success and drove an increase in revenue and repeat customers.  Bio: Founded by Connie Lo and Laura Burget in 2017, Three Ships Beauty set sail creating handmade formulations in Connie’s apartment with the intention of stepping into the shoes of consumers and crafting the most natural, effective, and transparent skincare products. At Three Ships, Connie spearheads strategic partnerships, vendor + retailer management, brand strategy, and sales. When Connie is not focusing on Three Ships, you can find her traveling the world, hitting up the hottest restaurants and bars, practicing healthy living, and spending time with her husband, Jason. Follow @threeshipsbeauty and @itsconnielo or visit a really big believer in manifestation and visualization. Part of it is speaking it into existence and telling people that you’re interested. Speak it into existence.” Tune in to learn more from Connie Lo and Kendra! See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Pursuing the Vision
Sep 25 2022
Pursuing the Vision
This week, Dafina Smith, Founder and CEO of Covet & Mane—which she thoughtfully refers to as “the Chanel of hair extensions''—shares how she is delivering quality, hand-tied hair featuring proprietary cut-point wefts along with the magic of in person experiences.   Dafina candidly talks about the importance of advocating for your brand, how growing up in her parent’s beauty supply store gave her hands-on training, and how her career in business development and real estate gave her a 360 perspective on the business of sales, margins, trends and storytelling.  Dafina shares that the hardest part of being an entrepreneur is risk and social isolation, and how she has overcome both to actualize the vision she set out to create over 15 years ago.  With stylists at the forefront of her business, Dalfina talks about her love for putting on a show, her mission to help people dream bigger and her plans to expand globally.  Bio: Dafina Smith is changing the hair industry through innovative products with a thoughtful touch. Her passion is personal. With her parent’s influence and history behind her, she has turned what once was a demoralizing trip to a beauty supply store into an empowering experience. Smith graduated from Georgetown University with a degree in social justice, served in AmeriCorps and lived in DC’s Housing projects where she worked to improve literacy for at-risk children. After college she leveraged her love of beauty, business and people to pursue a successful career in sales and branding. In 2007, Smith opened Atlanta’s flagship location of Sunny’s Hair & Wigs which quickly became a fixture of the beauty community. Known for providing the industry’s highest quality extensions, wigs and hair products, Smith’s signature concierge-level service really set Sunny’s apart. It became a trusted name with celebrities such as Jennifer Lawrence and Nikki Minaj and was featured on shows such as The Real Housewives of Atlanta. In 2019, Smith disrupted the market by launching Covet & Mane, the world’s first line of customizable hand-tied hair extensions which offer stylists unparalleled color with unique patent-pending cut-point wefts for a seamless, luxurious and natural look without the complications of traditional application methods. Smith innovates both color and texture while staying true to her roots by focusing on comprehensive, hands-on, peer led education through the brand’s carefully cultivated “Covet Collective.” This exclusive group of professional stylists allows Smith to focus on the brand’s signature method while empowering stylists to invest in their own success.  Follow @covetandmane or visit vision was there. The actualizing the vision was such a windy road.” Tune in to hear more from Dafina Smith and Kendra! See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
“I Want 100% Formula Ownership”!
Sep 18 2022
“I Want 100% Formula Ownership”!
This week, Sherrel Sampson, Founder and CEO of Canviiy shares her journey of building a legacy, creating wealth and scaling her business to over 2,500 retailers. Canviiy isan innovative, organic-based health & wellness brand and pioneer of the ScalpBliss™ Collection proven to offer the most long-lasting (hours to days) organic-based scalp irritation solutions on the market today.  Sherrel takes us through the previous work experience that led her to fall in love with the beauty space while also allowing her to see everything that could result in a costly mistake. When she set out to create her own brand, her first requirement was to have 100% ownership of her formulas and intellectual property.  Sherrel talks about the responsibility she felt after discovering a feminine, fertility-impacting ingredient in some of her haircare products. She goes in depth about the benefits of being a marketer by nature and how to always think strategically on growth. Sherrel encourages listeners to always value their ideas. She did! Bio: Sherrel Sampson is the Founder & CEO of Canviiy®, an innovative, organic-based health & wellness brand headquartered in Tampa, Fl. Sherrel has led Canviiy's growth into over 2,000 retail locations including CVS, Sally Beauty and JCPenney Stores. Sherrel has been featured by renowned media outlets including Forbes, Allure, Vogue, BET, ESSENCE, Black Enterprise, AspireTV, and Well+Good with special mention of her leadership in developing official partnerships with Moffitt Cancer Center®, USF Health®, Tampa International Airport® and Orlando International Airport®.  Follow @canviiy or visit want 100% formula ownership…I knew I had something special.”  Tune in to hear more from Sherrel and Kendra!See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
A Passion to Learn
Sep 11 2022
A Passion to Learn
This week, Makeba Lloyd, CEO and Founder of Butter by Keba, quality handcrafted aromatic personal care products and moisturizing fragrances discusses how she stepped into the world with confidence.  It is confidence Makeba says that has guided her to follow her intuition and gut throughout her journey of creating Butter by Keba and staying focused on developing a holistic approach to fragrance. She further shares how doing your best and being a student of learning will enable you to dominate the spaces you can and  have continued success.    After an educational tour through Egypt, Makeba Guilan Lloyd became inspired to learn about the art and process of perfumery and aromatherapy. She pursued her curiosity in the classrooms of the New York Open Center, New York Institute of Aromatic Studies, Pratt Institute, and the School of Lost Arts. With a focus in Natural Perfumery, Aromatherapy, Classic Perfumery and Ancient Egyptian Perfumery, she has earned multiple certifications.  A member of the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapists, Makeba created Butter By Keba, NYC. Butter by Keba offers quality handcrafted and unique aromatic personal care products and moisturizing fragrances. In the spirit of the passionate chef, Butter by Keba blends using the process and technique of perfumery, from the perspective of a certified aromatherapist.  Butter by Keba has been featured in Essence and Hellobeautiful.    Follow @butterbykeba  or visit   "Take little bits of what you learn and make it fit."  Tune in to hear more from Makeba and Kendra!  See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
A Bond to Culture
Aug 28 2022
A Bond to Culture
This week, Michelle Ranavat, Founder of Ranavat, a luxurious skincare collection proven by science and rooted in ritual, talks about being the educator in the richness of Indian culture. Ranavat is the first Indian Brand in Sephora and paving the way for more education on the richness of ingredients such as Saffron. Michelle talks about her long term waiting game and saying no to get to the moment she manifested in her vision board for the brand and being one of the few bosses that sees her company as a true training ground for her employees. Michelle also goes in depth about the pros and cons of hiring her first team member four years after launch!   Michelle Ranavat leverages her expertise in the pharmaceutical industry and her background in engineering to create a line of beautiful skin and hair treatments that honor her South Asian heritage. Each formulation is composed of the highest caliber Ayurvedic ingredients for transformative skin and hair care results across all skin and hair types. Distinguished Ayurvedic and adaptogenic cutting-edge actives such as Saffron, Ashwagandha, Turmeric, Manjistha, Amla, and Bakuchi are hand selected for real results. The luxurious collection is proven by science, and rooted in ritual. Founded in 2017, RANAVAT recently launched into Sephora with 8 of their best-selling products. The brand proudly donates 1% of proceeds to Desai Foundation, a non-profit organization in India that empowers women and children through community programs to elevate health and livelihood in India and the U.S.   Follow @ranavat  or visit   “Being between two cultures is truly what inspired the brand! I’m so in love with the brand.”   Tune in to learn more from Michelle and Kendra!See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Abundance Mindset
Aug 21 2022
Abundance Mindset
This week, Jasmine Lewis, Founder and CEO of Vie Beauty, an esthetician-led luxury beauty brand curated to simplify skin care shares memories she’s kept of her late best friend - her grandmother, who is her inspiration for the brand. She dives into the importance of family and freedom and how she built Vie Beauty by being consistent, showing up everyday, and merging the perfume experience with skincare.   Jasmine Lewis is the founder and CEO of Vie Beauty, an esthetician-led luxury beauty brand curated to simplify skin care and find effective solutions for dry, sensitive and dehydrated skin often caused by underlying conditions that disrupt the skin barrier. The Houston native attended the prestigious Clemson University earning a degree in Biological Sciences with a pre-med focus.    Vie Beauty is a hub for skin education, beauty services and curated experiences. Inspired by her late grandmother's first hand experience with damaged skin barriers due to chemotherapy and diabetes and her own battle with skin, Jasmine set out to create a brand and product, 30ROSES, she felt would have been beneficial when caring for her grandmothers and would change the trajectory of how we approach our personal journeys. 3ROSES, a hydrating luxury rose water, elevates the skincare experience and makes dry, sensitive and severely dehydrated skin more permeable in order to increase product effectiveness by infusing the necessary hydration into the skin.   Since its launch in 20202, 30ROSES has made its mark in the beauty community- even the beauty queen, Mariah Carey, is obsessed! They have since been featured in HelloBeautiful, CNN Underscored, Essence, Marie Claire, Black Bride and more.   Follow @iamjasminelewis and @viebeautyx or visit   Tune in to learn more from Jasmine and Kendra!   See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Building the product of my dreams!
Aug 14 2022
Building the product of my dreams!
This week, Ciara Imani May, CEO, and co-founder of Rebundle, the first proprietary braiding hair made from a non-toxic, biodegradable plant, discusses the steps she took to extend the zero waste lifestyle she desired for herself into the hair product of her dreams. Leaning into her own scalp sensitives to truly get to the root of what causes irritations to the hair when using synthetic fibers and solving a systemic problem that has been overlooked for decades. Ciara also shares more info on her historic $1.4M raise to grow her company and the future plans for Rebundle.    Bio: Ciara Imani May, CEO, and co-founder of Rebundle is creating space for Black women in clean beauty with the first U.S -made plant-based braiding hair brand. Ciara's combined passion for sustainability and understanding of health disparities in personal care products inspired the vision for Rebundle's first product, braid better. Before launching Rebundle, Ciara earned her bachelor's in business management from the University of Missouri-Columbia and her master's in social entrepreneurship from the University of Southern California. Ciara is committed to providing women with more comfort and less waste through eco-friendly and non-toxic hair extensions that we deserve.   Follow @_cizn and @rebundle.co or visit   Quote: “People are still excited and have given us grace to get it right!”    Tune in to learn more from Ciara and Kendra! See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nine year old Hannah would be proud!
Aug 7 2022
Nine year old Hannah would be proud!
This week, Hannah Diop, Founder and CEO of Sienna Naturals, the first dermatologist-tested, responsibly sourced suite of products specifically designed for textured hair, talks about the moment she realized catering to her hair wasn't a her problem but an industry problem, the amount of iterations she worked through to nail consistent best sellers, and the significance of leaning into her customers’ reviews as the absolute best lifeline to designing products for the future.  Hannah and co-owner Issa Rae are approaching textured hair care through scalp health and creating a process that’s changing clean care with their proprietary Rooted Technology.  Bio: Founded by Hannah Diop & co-owned Issa Rae, Sienna Naturals is setting a new standard for clean, plant-based performance in the textured hair care industry, one that is focused on hair and scalp health. It is the only dermatologist-tested and approved hair care line made specifically for textured hair. Just like a skincare regimen, Sienna Naturals products create Wash Day Rituals that keep textured hair and scalp healthy, enabling customers to see immediate improvement and wear their hair in all of the magnificent and diverse ways people with texture choose - without compromising on ingredients. The brand has won 6 haircare awards, including: Cosmopolitan Magazine Holy Grail, Essence Best in Black Beauty, and the Byrdie Eco Award. Follow @siennanaturals and @hannahdiop or visit   Quote: “Performance is paramount”  Tune in to learn more from Hannah and Kendra!See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Discover Your Glow
May 29 2022
Discover Your Glow
This week, Stephanie Bell, Founder, Step Up & Glo’ and Partner, Franklin Wellness Partners (PIPCBD) shares how her “glow” was inspired by her mother, her mantra around Movement Toward Improvement, and the experience she’s had over the last 15 years learning, creating and implementing effective and customized strategies that produce long-term growth. As a business development executive turned business partner and founder, Stephanie advises on relinquishing control, going with the flow, and the benefits of CBD for overall wellness.  Bio: My name is Stephanie Bell and I serve as a brand partner and business development consultant to Franklin Wellness Partners/ PIPCBD. I originally started using CBD products after the loss of my mother to manage the increased anxiety and stress I was feeling. I was a single mom working as a pharmaceutical representative which was very demanding. Long story short, I still had to handle my responsibilities through the pain and CBD gave me some relief.  Once I became introduced to PIPCBD, I was extremely excited about this particular brand based on some unique features. The packaging was very eye-catching but most importantly the products were organic and extremely effective. The company was still in the start up phase with this new line of CBD products and we were selling online only. They brought me in as a PT sales rep to gather feedback and work the ATL territory. I quickly transitioned into a partner and over the last year, I have had a hand in every aspect of business expansion from product rebrand, to refreshing social media presence, to product placement in retail stores and more!  Follow @PIPCBD or visit  See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.