Clear skin. Big hair. Bright smile. Welcoming spirit. Those are a few things you could use to describe the powerhouse that is Mariee (@parmoonx on Instagram) the founder of MoonXCosmetics. Mariee and I (along with her gracious boyfriend) met up at the aesthetically pleasing, Upbeet restaurant to discuss Mariee’s well deserved “overnight success.” I say “overnight success” because she has been working, diligently, on her skincare brand for months.
Similar to most successful entrepreneurs in the age of Instagram, Mariee and her brand experienced a huge influx of new followers turned customers after an image of her products impressive results went viral. Pictured above is Mariee’s face before she began using her handcrafted “Rose Galore.”
As we sat and ate our organic and Instagram worthy salads, I asked Mariee how growing up in Seoul, South Korea (for 7 and a half years) influenced her when it came to skincare and beauty products. To my surprise, Mariee admitted that during her time in Korea she didn’t take skincare as seriously and she wished she had.
Mariee’s skin only became acne prone and scarred during her senior year of high school when she was preparing to leave Korea. She did try Korean skincare products but unfortunately, it made her skin worse. Thankfully for all of us, Mariee is developing her own version of a 10 step Korean skincare routine for American women.
What initially drew me to Mariee and her products is how simple the ingredients are and knowing that she makes all of the products by hand and tests them on herself before releasing them to the public. If it doesn’t work on her she will not sell it. This amazing #girlboss is making her mark in the world of skincare and beauty as a young black woman redefining what natural skincare looks like. She’s not pretentious in her approach and she doesn’t dare claim to know all there is about skin care, as she creates products she walks her customers through the process on her Instagram (@moonxcosmeticsllc) so she remains as transparent as possible---at times she is learning with her customers which I feel makes her brand appeal to more than the average pop up Instagram shop.
I asked Mariee what motivated her to start her brand and she responded with she wanted to be her “own Black boss.” We discussed how women and more specifically black women aren’t taken seriously in the world of business, no matter the sector.
As her own Black boss, Mariee plans to help motivate and help other black women begin their own businesses. As a living embodiment of paying it forward, Mariee plans to use some of the profit from her products to help other black women be their own Black boss as well.
I was impressed with how far into the future Mariee was looking when it came to MoonXCosmetics. She envisions moving beyond a team of herself, boyfriend, friends and family and grow to a team of motivated, dedicated, and eager to advance employees. Mariee expressed that she has had difficulty hiring outside help because she is such a perfectionist and feels that if her products haven’t been touched and packaged by her hands they have not be made or shipped correctly. This speaks to how much care is put into each product.
Early into our conversation Mariee stated that she wants to be the face of her own brand at all times and that goes beyond the marketing, she wants to touch every product before it is put into a shipping box, she wants to (and she does) handwrite all thank you notes for purchases made and wants every customer to feel that their products were made not only with love but with a concern for their success in their skincare journey.
It has only been a year since she has started this company and the only advice she has for those looking up to her and wanting to do the same is “just start.” We both laughed when she said this but it is the truth, best said by Mariee “the hardest and easiest thing to do when it comes to starting a business is starting it.” Mariee has not only started a business but she is spearheading a movement of women reclaiming their beauty, their skin, and claiming autonomy in their lives. We can all be our own Black boss if we just start. Mariee is surely shaping up to not only be one of the best Black boss’ this generation will see but as she openly shares “this is not easy” and with that she gets on Instagram every day to show her consumers just how difficult it is but that the reward of being your own Black boss is worth every obstacle you may face in the early stages of building an Empire; which is nothing short of what Mariee is building with MoonXCosmetics.