Online beauty marketplace GEENIE is expanding ‘with the help of our community:’ CEO

At a time of rising demand for products that come from businesses run by people of color, Chana Ewing launched GEENIE, an online beauty store and community of “culture-first brands.”


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“We launched right at the tail end of July, early August, and we launched at the time with just five brands and five lipstick SKUs. Since then, we’ve expanded to nine brands and have over 20 SKUs, and we expanded with the help of our community,” said Ewing.

Ewing tells Yahoo Finance that the company enables consumers to discover, shop, and share brands they believe in.

“So that’s including BIPOC, LGBTQ+, women-owned brands, but also sustainable clean, toxic-free [products],” she said. “Our idea is that you shouldn’t have to bounce around the internet to be able to find brands and source products from communities that you’d like to shop from that also meet the same sort of ethical and clean values that you may also be looking for as a consumer.”

Ewing tells Yahoo Finance that GEENIE has also created an app, “Geneva,” which allows shopping and enables members to have conversations on a regular basis. 

graphical user interface, website: GEENIE

© Provided by Yahoo! Finance

“We’re creating a space for them to share their love for beauty. … They’re recommending brands that we should follow and highlight. And they also helped us figure out which colors and which products to use for our new first set of brands,” she said. “They feel like they’re a part of this process of growing the business with us and also supporting the brands that are on the platform.”

Ewing says that makeup is generally “recession-proof;” however, since many people are staying home more due to the COVID-19 pandemic and wearing masks, GEENIE has transitioned from lipstick to eye makeup. 

“There is a focal point on the eyes, on the eyebrows; that makes sense for consumers because they can see that their eyes are going to be visible and people are going to be looking at them more so than their full face.”

Reggie Wade is a writer for Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter at @ReggieWade.

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