After spending years shaking hands with men in the boardroom, and owning her place in corporate America the Bossy Cosmetics founder’s heart yearned for more. The beauty businesswoman Aisha Dozie describes herself as a "lipstick junkie" and never imagined that she'd start a global beauty brand when she started her career years ago. She worked for several years as an investment banker in the US, UK, Central and South America, and Sub-Saharan Africa. Keeping her commitment to empowering women to become the CEO of their lives, Aisha launched Bossy Cosmetics for all business savvy women. Her mantra is, you can be the CEO of your life whether you’re an executive of a company or a teller. Her makeup is tried and true from our beauty team but her story will inspire you to go out and buy each product. Keep reading to find out how she created the beauty brand, her bestselling products and more.
Bossy Cosmetics' Founder and CEO Aisha Dozie
HOLA: What made you want to start Bossy Cosmetics? Did you see a hole in the marketplace?
Aisha: "The vision for Bossy Cosmetics came from my own life journey and that of so many other professional women I know. I didn’t see that we were adequately represented in the beauty industry given the highly stylized imagery that focused on perfection. I wanted to see more of myself in the world as someone to be admired and emulated. Not a ton of makeup and definitely not perfectly applied. Many women need to go out into the world and conquer the corporate ladder and/or side hustle in order to support their families. We don’t have time to look so perfect but we do want to look great and use products that are ethically made."
Be sure to shop these luscious, long-wearing cruelty-free colors this season
Can you speak to Bossy Cosmetics philosophy?
"At the core of our DNA, is to give. We want to give working women a platform to look, feel, and do good in their own way. Given that women are incredibly busy with their jobs, families and self-care, I thought it would be great to combine a completely indulgent but necessary purchase like lipsticks with contributing to society at large. I didn’t want to just create another lipstick business. I wanted to create a global beauty brand that was truly inclusive and understood working women at its core and gave them products that they loved to use in order to go out into the world and be their best selves. We decided to partner with a few organizations that had the same philosophy of social advocacy at their core. We specifically wanted to center on issues affecting women and girls, especially those from vulnerable communities. It’s been a wonderful dream to implement and we really hope that our customers appreciate and believe in our mission.
Bossy Cosmetics works different organizations to help those in need
Creating lipsticks isn't as easy as people may think. What are a few things you learned during your beauty business quest?
"I’m still learning! I don’t think I’ll ever stop learning about the beauty of beauty. I think that people don’t see what we do as “real.” They think it’s a hobby! Lipsticks are deeply personal to women and we specifically chose lipsticks so that we could begin the journey of developing a relationship with our customers. We wanted to create great colors that were long-wearing and hydrating. We really wanted women to feel beautiful when they wore our products. I can’t overstate the passion that we felt in creating a launch collection that allows women to look great, feel great, and do great. We needed to find the right partners who have experience in the industry and understood that we wanted to work with products that never touched animals in any part of its lifecycle. Developing that “blacklist” of what you won’t have in your products is key and then standing by that list is also important. We were relentless in focusing on the customer and I spoke to hundreds of women to understand what type of product/service affected their daily lives."
The founder of Bossy Cosmetics ensured her launch campaign showcased beauty diversity in every way
What was the production process like for you as a woman of color? Did you have moments of courage, doubt, confusion? How did you push through those moments?
"My biggest WOW moments weren’t actually in the production process, they were in the launch process itself. I remember telling people that I was starting a lipstick company and most people were like “Why?” No one quite understood why someone who had been a finance executive for over twenty years would want to do this. It was almost comical for me that people didn’t understand that the global cosmetics industry is over $60 billion in size and growing pretty fast. Another thing that I found odd was that everyone assumed that I was only catering to women of color or specifically black women since I am black. The question almost always came from white people that I spoke with and I found it irksome, to be honest. It just made me feel as though they couldn’t see that I, a black woman, could try to speak to working women in a general capacity and focus on why we need to be aspirational and how our careers can have a positive impact on our various communities. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely want to speak to women of color because if you look at the facts and figures, we are earning a fraction of men in our communities but I do think it’s interesting that this assumption is made when I speak with people about the business.
What are a few key ingredients infused within your products?
"I’ve been very excited that our customers share with us that they love the scent of our products! Our lipsticks and glosses have a lovely orange and sugar cookie scent, which people tend to love. Our lip liners are infused with shea butter which is really hydrating and nourishing."
Bossy Cosmetics lip liners come in 13 shades and only cost $14
What are the top-selling lipstick/shades so far?
"Our lipsticks overall are pretty well loved! Sugar Beet, Ruby and Naked are the top three sellers so far. Our top three gloss sellers have been Champagne, Blush and Café but Midnight is starting to fly too! By far our most popular liner is Lush. It’s reminiscent of Mac’s Chestnut and women love it and use it with our glosses and lipsticks too. Boysenberry is also a liner that is starting to gain real traction. Roseate and Lady have been mainstay liners from day one!
Bossy Cosmetics lip glosses in Champagne, Blush, and Café
What's the summer-must have lip color you want all women to rock this season?
"We have three Summer Lip Glitters, which are the BOMB! They are great to be used alone and even more amazing when you use them over any lipstick! They add dimension and pizzazz to any lip with their iridescent shimmer!"
This combination of Bossy Cosmetics Summer Lip Glitter, Peach Muscat, and gloss, Shiraz
What's next for Bossy cosmetics?
"We are definitely coming out with another line of lipsticks (in a stick) and we want to start working on other cosmetic categories like blush, eye shadow and eyeliners. We want to really focus on working women so we are thinking about "how-to" videos that show you how to do quick looks using our products for your work needs."
Here at HOLA!, we believe in highlighting those breaking boundaries and creating change in the beauty industry. History shows Latinas that we were and still are pioneers when it comes to the business of belleza, which is why we’re spotlighting them with our weekly segment of #HOLAGlamGetters. They’re born beauty entrepreneurs, unapologetic and fabulous. They’ve used their passion for beauty to fuel their journey to success. But, ever wonder how they got there? In a world where one’s highlight reel is on replay only showcasing the glitz and glam of creating a business, we’re keeping it real with our glam-star.