Now more than ever, it’s imperative that we (meaning everyone) find more ways to actively lift up Black communities — not just as a means of protesting racial injustices that are happening right now, but as an active shift in habits to enact change for the future. One of the easiest ways to do that is by identifying, buying from, and donating to Black-owned businesses, whether they be national or local. Or, if you’re Lashify founder Sahara Lotti, you can use your platform and income to do something big, like investing time, money, and resources into an upcoming Black-owned business.
In a statement posted to a private Lashify Facebook group, Lotti announced her plan to invest $100,000 and what she calls “intelligent capital” to a member of the Black community that has either just started a beauty business and or has an idea for a beauty business and needs help getting started. “I’m giving someone in the Black community up to $100,000, and we’re going to build a brand together,” the statement reads. “I want nothing in return. I’m investing in the brand’s future and what you learn from me, you pass it on. That’s all I ask.”
Lashify reposted Lotti’s statement to its official Instagram page and included some additional information in the post’s caption. As the brand states, the business owners selected will work directly alongside Lotti, Jia Liu, Lashify’s general manager, and Justin Joyner, Lashfiy’s marketing leader. “All of the money will be invested directly in marketing and production,” the Instagram caption further clarifies.
As Lotti tells Allure, she created this program because she felt it was necessary to use her business acumen to assist Black business owners in a tangible way. “It’s pained me that the Black beauty market is so massive but hardly any of it is owned by the community itself,” she says. “Helping aspiring entrepreneurs is something I’m also really passionate about; I believe in order to truly help anyone, the best thing you can do is give them the tools. Combining the two honestly just seemed perfect.”
As she points out, now is a paramount time to support Black-owned businesses by opening your wallets and spreading the word. “If Black communities’ money goes right back into the community, which then creates more jobs, there will be a major shift in economics,” Lotti explains.
Lotti’s initial Facebook post about the program states that she is prioritizing hair-care brands “because there’s a lot of room for innovation,” but any good beauty-related ideas are welcome to apply, too. And as the brand’s Instagram states, the submissions are already rolling in fast. “We might even pick a few brands depending on how much capital they need,” the brand writes.
Here’s how you can apply for the program if you’re eligible: Contact Lashify via email at [email protected] and send them a link to your business, your name, Instagram handle, or a short biography. If you have an idea to pitch, the brand states on Instagram that it will provide a mutual non-disclosure agreement for both parties to sign before moving forward. If you know if a Black-owned brand that you would like to nominate for the program, you can simply tag it in the comment section of this Instagram post.
Lotti doesn’t intend for this to be a one-and-done kind of thing, by the way. She says this is a project she’s wanted to launch for years and that she would love to expand upon it going forward.
“If girls are getting their nails done routinely, it’s usually not a Black-owned salon; if they’re going to the beauty supply store, it’s rarely a Black-owned business — that’s not right,” Lotti says. “We have to give the community a push right now so they can rise up and take back what’s theirs… whatever it takes.”
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Originally Appeared on Allure