Celebrating Black leaders in fragrance and design

Celebrating Black leaders in fragrance and design for Black History Month

Each February we celebrate the accomplishments of Black Americans throughout history. Black History Month shines a light on those whose achievements may be overlooked. Unsung Black innovators have produced revolutionary achievements throughout history, and to this day are making marks in every industry. This article recognizes Black leaders who inspire — not just our Scentsy team, but many people around the globe.

Madam C.J. Walker

In our Black History Month blog in 2021, we highlighted Madam C.J. Walker. Walker was an entrepreneur and activist whose cosmetics and hair care products empowered her, along with thousands of other Black women, to become financially independent. She created opportunities for herself and countless other women where there were basically none and built an empire from the ground up. 

We at Scentsy owe Walker a huge amount of gratitude for pioneering inclusivity, and for showing the power of direct sales through the training of her “Walker Agents.”

Chavalia Dunlap-Mwamba

At Scentsy, we know fragrance makes life better. From cold fall days warmed by the smell of Baked Apple Pie to warm summer nights scented with Around the Campfire, these Scentsy fragrances were crafted to spark the memories that make you smile. And it’s memories that drive Chavalia Dunlap-Mwamba to innovate her fragrances, too. Dunlap-Mwamba is the founder and perfumer at Pink MahogHany, an independent fragrance brand out of Texas.

Dunlap-Mwamba started her brand in 2005, selling fragrances at Texas flea markets before turning to Etsy and then finally, her own online store. Her brand continues to grow to this day, as does her work with The Fragrance Foundation, where she fights to give back to aspiring Black perfumers and hopes to one day create more internships in an industry that has historically avoided outsiders.

Malene Barnett

Malene Barnett is a multidisciplinary artist and designer out of New York City who uses her art to “define the Black narrative while raising awareness about racial inequality in America.” In 2018, Barnett saw a lack of Black representation at the New York Design Center’s annual “What’s New, What’s Next” symposium. In response, Barnett founded the Black Artists + Designers Guild (BADG), which works to create spaces to celebrate Black creativity and culture and cultivate Black leaders in creative industries.

For more than 10 years, Barnett has been the creative force behind Malene B, an art and design studio that specializes in fine art, clay objects and bespoke carpets. As an artist and activist, Barnett centers her own creative practice on the modern Black experience.

What did you learn from these inspiring Black creatives? How will you work to inspire others? Let us know in the comments!

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