Where most of us come back from vacation with some spices and maybe a few antiques, Jamilla Pipersburg came back from her trip to Morocco with the idea to build her own company based upon the ancient clean beauty principles rooted in North African.
Enamored by the ways in which Moroccan people used 100% pure Argan oil that felt different than anything she'd ever gotten at her local hipster markets in Brooklyn, Jamilla started using the product on her own skin and saw an incredible difference in her skin. Friends began asking what her secret was, and that's where her clean beauty brand, Realm Concept Market, was born.
Diagnosed with PCOS several years ago, Jamilla struggled with acne for many years, which is why her brand of pure Argan oils, shea butters, and facial mists are all PCOS-friendly. Realm Concept Market is the first and only brand of its kind made for and by women of color with PCOS. See below for a conversation I had with her about how she came up with the idea to start the business, the challenges of being a minority business owner, and for some of my personal favorite products from the brand.
What is the story you hope to tell with Realm Concept Market?
For a lot of women when you get the news that you have PCOS, it can be really scary, but I want to make people feel a little less alone about PCOS. It can be an isolating diagnosis. There came the idea for Realm.
I want to elevate women with PCOS and tell them, "You are a Queen".
I want to capture a collective feeling of purity, luxury, and fabulousness all at once.
How do you go about fostering a community for women who feel isolated by their various skin conditions?
We are really actively trying to talk to people who suffer not just from PCOS but also from dry skin and eczema to make them feel as fabulous as anything you could find from a luxury brand can.
It's all about creating content people identify within a space in which people with other expertise can share their opinions.
I want the community to feel comfortable with new faces and new ways of thinking when it comes to their wellness journey and how they take care of themselves.
Everything goes back to wellness and health and it's never just about my perspective.
What have been some of your challenges as a minority entrepreneur with PCOS?
As an entrepreneur, you're told to keep rolling with the punches, but the road can be very lonely both as a woman of color and as a woman with PCOS.
As a woman with PCOS, my energy levels are impacted heavily. I have to be very honest with and kind to myself about my to-do list. It's ok if sometimes I have to move something to another day or just sit a day out.
As a woman of color, there are not a lot of people I can talk to in order to bounce ideas off of. Luckily, through social media, people have become more accessible.
What keeps me going is receiving reviews and feedback from our community.
We heard from someone who had pretty bad acne till she started using our body butters, after which their acne significantly decreased. Seeing things like that gives me fuel and fire.
How does being from a minority background influence your business decisions?
As an Afro Latina, I often think about my culture.
As the brand grows, I want to make sure that no matter your socioeconomic background, you still have access to our products. I have natural hair, so I don't even want to get started on the amount of money I've put into my hair while being mindful of the amount of chemicals I put in it.
I make strategic partnerships so my products can be accessible and affordable to everyone who wants to invite us into their beauty or skincare journey.
From the day I got started, it as about reaching as many people as I could to say our products are truly affordable eco-luxury.
You can buy our products for as low as $4 a month so that you don't have to break the bank to have high-quality skincare.