The sister-duo behind Afro-Latina beauty brand LUNA MAGIC shares their entrepreneurial story and how they built a successful business during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Afro-Latina and Dominican-American sisters Mabel and Shaira Frías couldn’t be more different, however their shared passion for beauty and lifestyle brought them together to create their very own beauty brand that celebrates their mutual love for their multicultural heritage.
Founded in Los Angeles with a mission to introduce high-performance cosmetics, bold flavor, diversity, inclusivity and vibrancy to the beauty industry, LUNA MAGIC draws inspiration from Latin culture, creating bold products that embody the phrase “in living color.”
“We’re inspired by the rich cultures and music of the Caribbean & Latin America, the hustle and bustle of NYC and the glamour of Los Angeles. Luna Magic is a women-led and Afro-Latina owned company,” the sisters say.
Mabel and Shaira began their entrepreneurial journey in 2019 with the launch of their UNO Palette, Matte Liquid Lipsticks and lashes. Makeup lovers themselves, the sisters had noticed there was a lack of representation while shopping for cosmetics in retail stores. Combining Mabel’s background in e-commerce retail and Shaira’s background in makeup artistry, they decided to create a brand that could represent the underrepresented.
“We know from industry data that the multicultural customer (especially Latinas & African-Americans) spend a sizable amount of money on makeup and beauty products, but there needs to be a better way for beauty companies to speak to this consumer base in an authentic way, and that is where our company comes in,” they say.
LUNA MAGIC promises to serve their diverse customers by offering quality products that complement a range of complexions, at prices that are accessible to all. The sisters are excited to interact and engage with their customers both on social media and in real life. Seeing how much customers love their products and their company’s message makes them feel proud of how far they have come to bring their vision to life.
“Being the first beauty brand with Afro-Latina co-founders, for us we are in a space where we can evolve the narrative on what it means to be beautiful and shape our vision along with the input of our amazing customers and community.”
As the sisters reflect on their journey so far, they also note some of the challenges they have faced and overcome. One of the biggest challenges they faced was launching their company during a global pandemic.
“When we first started LUNA MAGIC, we were hungry, eager and excited!” they say. “What many people don’t know is that we launched the company during a global pandemic. We are proud that we were able to weather the journey of launching in Walmart and Target, and continue to have the drive and motivation to champion for our customers and still achieve success in such a disruptive time, is what continues to give us the motivation to keep growing our business.”
Another challenge they faced early on was figuring out how to work together as business partners.
“People also say don’t go into business with family, which at the early stages of launching our company we quickly understood why,” the sisters share. “This is our first time working together as business partners and although we are only 15 months apart, we are both so different in every sense of the word.We had to sit down and see what complimentary skills we each brought to the table and be honest about our strengths and weaknesses.”
In the end, their business partnership has only strengthened their sister-bond, making them better communicators, listeners, and friends.
“We learned to be committed to listening to each other and focus on finding solutions when we hit roadblocks. We’ve learned that having multiple ways of thinking about something is actually a competitive advantage; as they say two heads are better than one.”
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Now, having learned from their own experiences as new entrepreneurs, the Frías sisters want to give back and offer some words of advice to aspiring women entrepreneurs just starting out.
First, they encourage all new entrepreneurs to “surround yourself with like-minded business people and create a community.” Networking, building business relationships, and finding mentors will help you go far.
“Use others as a resource and knowledge-share, but also know how you can contribute. The more you expand your network, more opportunities come to you and knowing how to create win-win partnerships.”
Their second key piece of advice is to take advantage of grant programs and business accelerators that can help grow your business.
“Apply to as many grant programs as you can,” they say. “Programs like Target Accelerators, Glossier Grant Program, Chase for Business Small Business Owners Program have elevated LUNA MAGIC and ourselves as business owners. These are lifelong relationships that we will continue to come back to, and that truly believe in helping minority and women-owned businesses.”
To learn more visit lunamagic.com