Updated: Jul 16
Emeka Anyanwu is an attorney and entrepreneur. She is the Founder of Aˈme-kə (https://ame-ke.com/), an online retail space for inclusive makeup, beauty, and grooming brands founded by Black entrepreneurs. She is the 2019 recipient of the National Black MBA Association – DFW Chapter’s Empowering Visionaries Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Emeka is a graduate of Stanford University, and she also received her J.D. from The University of Texas School of Law and her M.B.A. and M.S. in Healthcare Leadership and Management from The University of Texas at Dallas.
How are you impacting your community?
Providing opportunities and resources for the Black community and Black-owned businesses has and will always be part of our foundation and mission. Our mission is not only to provide awareness of and access to beauty brands founded by Black entrepreneurs, but to also create “a platform for building a self-affirming community for those invested in seeing each other thrive and flourish in beauty, business, and life!” As a one-stop-shop for those looking to specifically support and shop beauty brands founded by Black entrepreneurs, we provide an opportunity for consumers to easily shop and support multiple Black-owned businesses at once and keep the Black dollar in the Black community for a longer period of time. Meaning funding and revenue that we receive continues to go towards supporting other Black-owned businesses, whether towards events like the #MelaninMonday Mastermind meetings or to Black-owned beauty brands when we purchase additional inventory. Ultimately, we hope to be a meaningful part of the success journey of many Black entrepreneurs, doing our part in the creation of Black generational wealth.
What advice would you give to someone looking to follow your path in the industry?
I am still in the beginning stages of this journey, but I would advise being open to learning and growing. Be receptive to constructive criticism and advice, using it as an opportunity to improve your business. Take it upon yourself to continually learn about your industry and running a business. Take advantage of mentorship opportunities, whether a small 30-minute chat or an ongoing relationship. See failure and challenges as opportunities to learn and grow.
What separates you from your competitors?
What sets us apart in the beauty space, is the fact that we as a beauty retailer primarily focus on cosmetics and skincare, while also exclusively selling inclusive brands founded by Black entrepreneurs, and include in our mission the creation of a community and platform to uplift the lives and businesses in the Black community. We offer product selection and services that meet the needs of everyone, with especial attention to creating positive shopping experiences for Black consumers. We strive to close the gap between the amount of money Black consumers spend in the beauty industry and the often subpar product selection and customer service we receive when shopping in mainstream beauty stores. Additionally, we provide an opportunity for consumers to support multiple Black-owned businesses at once, including our business as the retailer and the brands we carry, and keep the Black dollar in the Black community for a longer period of time. We aspire to broaden the conversation about increased inclusion of and opportunities for Black entrepreneurs in the beauty space, the importance of all consumers having an expectation that every consumer should have a positive shopping experience when shopping in the industry (meaning we should all find it unacceptable for a segment of the population to routinely have poor shopping experiences in any retail store that we frequent, and in turn should support those retailers that intentionally ensure every customer has a positive experience), and increased awareness of the inclusivity and non-toxic proclivity of Black-owned brands in this space (changing the assumptions that Black-owned brands are exclusively for Black consumers and increasing awareness of how many Black-owned brands are in the clean beauty space). We aspire to lead with purpose by serving as an example of how to do those things, as well as by playing an active role in the education needed to have those conversations and pursue the needed change within the industry.