Recently I met up with Roff at Ben’s Cookies in New York to talk about being bullied as a teen, maturing into a business owner, single motherhood and her life as a southern belle.
The highly-sought after aesthetician and skin care expert has designed a new line of skin care products for every skin tone and celebrates ethnic diversity. Model and actress Eva Marcille is the beautiful face of Urban Skin RX line.
Going through your awkward phase in California, the land of beauty, stars, and glamour, can be tough for a young girl. For Rachel Roff, the owner and founder of Urban Skin Solutions™ and the developer of Urban Skin Rx her early years were especially tough.
As Roff describes her life and career, she was obsessed with her physical flaws and became an aesthetician to try to help others feel better about themselves. After moving from Cali to Charlotte, North Carolina, Roff’s customers changed and more of her clients came from diverse backgrounds and were women of color. Roff realized that this was an underserved consumer group. She said, “I went from a customer base that was 10% ethnic to nearly 50% and saw that women didn’t have high-quality skin care products designed for their specific skin tones.”
Laying down roots in a new city wasn’t easy. Roff never envisioned creating her own skin care line and was more focused on her “med spa” business and their beauty treatments. Slowly but surely, Roff built her skin care line from the ground up, one barber shop at a time. Roff decided rather than sell someone else’s products, she went private label with her initial collection and grew her brand organically through social media and her website. “I had a couple of really good employees who were loyal to the [Urban Skin Rx Solutions] brand and made sure the website was up and product deliveries were efficient.” But building a brand does have a huge price. As a single mother, Roff laments not having more time with her daughter and letting her to watch too much television, But, she feels it’s better being there for her daughter than hiring a nanny. What has suffered most is her dating life, she simply does have time for it right now.
What Makes Urban Rx Special
Roff’s goal for Urban Skin Rx is to make sure high-quality clinical treatments for skin care are available for every community of women. She wanted to bring her med spa experience to a product line that would be convenient for everyone. As she delved deeper into creating the line, she noticed that many men and women with darker skin tones had unique skin concerns that the average skin care line was not effectively addressing. “I was surprised that my customers were not concerned with aging. Ethnic women generally are more concerned with hyper pigmentation, oily skin, break outs that lead to hyper pigmentation and ingrown hairs.”
Her advice for women of color is that the goal of looking your best it all starts with clear skin. Its the main reason why she recommends her Clear Skin and Even Tone Cleansing Bars as entry points to her line of skin care products.
Ultimately, Roff wants her products to help women appreciate their natural beauty. When she reflects on her youth and the bullying she faced from classmates, she knows how difficult that can be. It’s one of the reasons she is so active with two charities that are near and dear to her heart. Proceeds from the sales of Urban Skin RX go to the Girl Talk Foundation. The organization strives to create an open and honest communication about low confidence and low self-esteem among young girls. Girl Talk focuses on just that – teaching girls ages 11-16 how to be confident, smart, proud and powerful through facilitated dialogue with their peers.
Plus, Roff has also started an initiative called No Shade, but my Shade is…. Her goal is discourage the culture of women expressing hate towards each other and being overly critical of their appearance and actions. In essence, Roff would like women to stop ‘throwing shade’ at each other.
What did we learn
Roff acknowledges that her company has not reached its current level of success without a lot of help. Celebrities including Fantasia Barrino, Eva Marcille, Jennifer Williams, The Real Housewives of Atlanta’s Phaedra Parks and Portia Williams, have sampled the line and posted their experiences on social media about it. Roff has also been fortunate enough to work with R&B Singer Teyana Taylor.
Her advice for women thinking about starting a new business or reaching that next level of success is to “go hard.” She would love to be less manic about her brand, but she understands that sacrifices will need to be made. Thanks Rachel for being a great example of a modern woman, entrepreneur and mother.
Urban Skin RX products can be purchased online at www.urbanskinrx.com and at her med spa in Charlotte, North Carolina. Roff plans to open other locations in the near future and is working on securing national distribution for clinical skin-care line. More information about Rachel Roff and Urban Skin Rx can be found on the company’s social media channels, Facebook, Twitter, andInstagram, as well as Roff’s ownInstagrampage.