Dermatology Care To The Underserved, with Blair from Gilded

Our main story today is about Blair Armstrong, the founder of GILDED BODY. They make luxury body skincare and are on a social mission to provide accessible dermatology care to underinsured women and girls.

It’s been gratifying to see her business gain a ton of exposure and grow rapidly with the Black Lives Matter movement, and Blair got some well-deserved spotlight.

They have been featured in prominent sources like Essence, Oprah, and Forbes. We hope it doesn’t stop here - our work of supporting black founders has just started.

Blair, take us from here.

🚊 WHY I STARTED GILDED

I was working as a dermatology physician assistant, and people would ask me for product recommendations for dry skin or body acne. That’s how I started thinking about creating the products that I'd feel comfortable recommending to others.

I want to elevate the conversation around body skincare and create a product line that’s designed to provide effective options for women to incorporate body care routines into their wellness practices.

There's also a lack of people-of-color in the luxury beauty space, so I wanted to challenge the status quo by creating a brand in that space. 

💡 WHY I CREATED A SOCIAL INITIATIVE

I'm passionate about providing care to underinsured women and girls in my area. And I keep going with the business because of that.

I trained at Emory University and encountered a lot of people who did not have access to healthcare. Dermatology is often seen as a luxury, and people have to spend months to see one and pay out of pocket.

We piloted our Care in Skincare initiative in the lowest income neighborhood in Atlanta earlier this year and are now offering virtual visits.

While most brands donate money to help communities, we want to go a step further by directly helping people in the most under-served communities.

💦 CHALLENGES I FACE AS A BLACK FOUNDER

First of all, much of the beauty industry is dominated by people with connections; I encounter that barrier all the time. I have no network of people who I can bounce ideas with, so I have to figure things out on my own.

There’s a lack of people-of-color in this space.

I once spent $5k on a trade-show and got the best booth; none of the buyers (all white women) came by my booth or even looked my way.

I'm hesitant to be the face of my brand because I’m worried that people will perceive it as a black brand.

That’s why I don’t put my pictures on the website.

 

 

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September 30, 2020 — Minette Yu