Women In Business: Lynn Smith of Che’ Beautiful

December 3, 2020

From cosmetology to business management, Lynn Smith does it all. She began her career in the beauty industry when she was still in high school; after a brief stint as a licensed cosmetologist and hair stylist, she earned a degree in business and transitioned into the corporate world. Today, Lynn works as a Buncombe County Government business manager, and manages a business of her own as well. She launched Che’ Beautiful launched in 2015 to create organic skincare solutions specifically tailored to Black men and women. We sat down with her to learn more about Che’ Beautiful and her journey with entrepreneurship.

Tell us about Che’ Beautiful and and the role you play in it.

 Che’ Beautiful is a company that was created to provide organic skincare solutions for issues common among Black men and women. I am the owner of Che’ Beautiful; I own it 100%. We offer treatments for hair growth stimulation, acne, acne scaring, uneven skin tone, and products that reduce the signs of aging. We work to create products that increase ones confidence, by creating beautiful skin. We launched officially on August 1, 2015.

I have been a licensed cosmetologist over 30 years, studied herbs for over 10 years and I’ve used my knowledge to formulate each of our organic treatments.

What’s a little known fact or piece of trivia about Che’ Beautiful?

Although we are still a small company, we’ve been ranked number 7 among some of the top Black owned skincare brands in the U.S.! 

Where did your career find its start?

I entered into the beauty industry while in high school. I had a cousin suggest that I take cosmetology classes – he saw that I had a gift for doing hair. I took his advice and at the end of the 1st year, my cosmetology teacher at the time (Ms. Trexler) said I would do well in this industry. When I graduated high school, I went back as an intern that summer and got all of my hours required for the cosmetic exam. I became licensed in 1988. I had a short career as a hairstylist, then began entering the corporate world.

In 2007, I was in school and had a high stressful job. I kept getting horrible breakouts on my forehead and on my jaw line. Then I heard a guy on the radio (Michael Baisden), talking about how these cosmetics contained such harmful chemicals, and that was the spark that ignited within me to create my own skincare products for me. I saw huge changes in my skin, no more breakouts, and my products worked. In 2015;  I was nearing completing my Master’s degree and in June, I started working towards the launch of Che’ Beautiful!

What was the biggest hurdle you had to overcome?

Fear and getting out of my comfort zone were the two biggest hurdles I had to overcome.

Was there ever a time you felt like you had to completely start over?

There have been a few times that I wanted to start over. Entrepreneurship can be very rewarding, but it’s a lot of work. There were times that I didn’t want to be responsible for the brand, and all that business ownership meant. I wanted to have fun and not work so much. I have thought of a business name that would also let men know we have products for them. I thought of hiding behind my brand, but that didn’t fit into who I am and what I’ve created. I went into business because I believed in what I’d created, and there were times that’s all I had to stand on, and there was no one that could better speak to what I’d created than me!

How has your business adapted to COVID-19? What have you learned?

I have a Master of Science degree in business; I always stress the importance of being able to pivot in business as well as being able to foresee changes in the consumers buying habits and make necessary adjustments.

When COVID-19 hit, a lot of our customer base began working from home, and really fearful about the future. We were still processing orders, but in April we saw a drop in sales. Skincare wasn’t high on the priority list of people who weren’t likely going into work. I had a thought one day, to begin making facemasks. I hadn’t done this before, but I had a sewing machine. Very quickly I was able to gather the items needed to make filtered face masks. This provide a very useful product to our customer base, and I shared the integrity in how our facemasks were made with our customers. This pivot helped us continue being able to work through the pandemic, while being able to provide a product that was in high demand and very difficult (at the time) to obtain.

What else would you like to share?

Entrepreneurship is a very rewarding gamble on oneself and the product or service they’ve created. It’s not a race, but a marathon. Planning for success and being prepared for unforeseen failures or setbacks.  Even then true Entrepreneurs learn; they never really lose. Being willing to step out into the abyss and create something that the world needs is really at the core of every business owner.

Shop Che’ Beautiful on their website.