SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – A Louisiana “mompreneur” launched a business that intersects school spirit and a love of beauty products and accessories.
Chante Powell, Admired Creations CEO, was born in New Orleans. Her Marine stepfather moved the family to different duty stations, which briefly landed the family in Shreveport and other places. Powell returned to New Orleans permanently as she entered high school.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Powell said she noticed two things consistently; the collegiate spirit was at an all-time high, and Zoom video conference calls forced everyone to put their best face forward. Those overlapping themes struck a chord with Powell, who figured there had to be a way to merge the two into a business idea she was crafting.
After thinking long and hard about pairing school pride with the $40 billion per year cosmetic industry, Powell said the idea for Admired Creations came together.
“I know that there’s different cosmetic companies that offer great products. But there wasn’t one that exclusively catered to college students and alumni,” Powell said. “So I wanted to combine that industry, the cosmetic industry, and the college experience together.”
Powell said she scrubbed her alma mater, Florida A&M University‘s website, looking for inspiration to marry college life and cosmetics.
The idea sparked by that deep dive into the school’s curation of student life – makeup pallets shaped as university logos.
“I was able to find a manufacturer and bring the idea to fruition,” Powell said.
Not only are Admired Creations eyeshadow palettes encased in the schools’ unique logo designs, but the colors are based on individual schools’ colors – with some other base colors that every Instagram influencer tells you are a “must-have.” The pallets are named for women’s dorms and other landmarks reminiscent of campus life at a particular university.
Powell’s Admired Creations currently offers licensed products for 15 colleges and universities.
Powell said attending FAMU, an HBCU, after completing her bachelor’s degree at the University of New Orleans highlighted the lack of funding and resources available to HBCUs and added philanthropy to her business model.
“I know that as I have this license with these schools, a percentage of the sale goes back to the college or institution, so that’s a great channel and a way to funnel more funding back to the schools,” Powell said. “So the more product I sell, the more money I generate for the schools.”
According to Powell, the company she secured her licensing through conducted a study that showed the college alumni consumer base generates $4.6 billion of revenue from collegiate merchandise purchases. This keeps Powell hopeful that giving back will be a win for Admired Creations and the universities.
“I felt if I can put myself out there, put my company out there and generate a sense of pride through the cosmetic industry, then maybe I can grow it and be able to funnel more money back into the schools.”
Powell’s company is one of the 12.3 million female business owners in the United States, according to Fundera by Nerd Wallet, which means she must master the balance of home life and her growing business.
“Sometimes it can be a challenge. I had my first child when I was 16. So I’ve had to overcome a lot just to get where I am now, and I just try to push so they can see if my mom can do it. I know I can,” Powell said.
Powell suggests separating work from home, putting family first, and taking time for self-care and to gather her thoughts and center her mental state, sharing the adage, “you can’t pour from an empty cup.”
When asked what advice she has for those who want to take the entrepreneurial route, Powell said, “Go for it. You never know what your idea may become. It can be impactful and change lives. Sometimes it’s not all about the money. Sometimes it’s about changing the world around us, and if you can do that in a positive manner and your idea can make a change in a positive way, always go for it.”
In addition to licensing with 13 HBCUs, Admired Creations also has licenses with Auburn University and Louisiana State University, with plans to add more.
- Prairie View A&M
- Southern University
- Grambling State University
- Louisiana State University
- Auburn University
- Tennessee State University
- Alcorn State University
- Jackson State University
- Florida A&M University
- Howard University
- Bethune Cookman University
- Alabama State University
- Spelman College
- North Caroline A&T
- Tuskegee University
The entire line of products is available by visiting admiredcreations.com.