Four local entreprenuers held the grand opening on July 3 of their latest project, BSW Cosmetics, a new cosmetics store at 2050 Ridge Road in Homewood.
The family-run business is owned by Katrina Brown, Tiara Jackson, Kim King and Latanya Tharpe. Jackson and Tharpe are Homewood-Flossmoor High School graduates.
BSW stands for Beauty Starts Within. Jackson said the business, open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, is filling a need that often is not adequately met by mainstream cosmetics companies.
"The vision and the goal for this was built upon a need for a space in the beauty industry for woman of color and Black women," she said. "Black women and women of color make up a large percentage of consumers in the beauty industry; however, many companies kind of view us as an afterthought.
"We wanted to make a space that would be inclusive of everybody not praised by the mainstream media, which is most people."
She said the products the store offers are all nontoxic and some are vegan, which are products that contain no animal-derived ingredients.
"People care a lot about what they are putting in their bodies, as they should," Jackson said.
The store has typical women-oriented cosmetic products for lips, eyes and skincare, along with a few products for men, including cleansers, after shave and moisturizer.
The store's signature line is a CBD-based skincare collection. Cannabidiol is extracted from cannabis plants and is credited with having anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and pain relief properties.
Jackson said the owners' values emphasize inclusivity, diversity, positivity and philanthropy. The company recently partnered with the Chicago Foundation for Women on a fundraiser to benefit the Englewood Women's Initiative, which helps single mothers with job placement, training and financial literacy.