Skip to main content
Home » Diversity in Business » BeautyStat Founder Ron Robinson Reveals the Secret Ingredient to His Business Success
Diversity in Business

BeautyStat Founder Ron Robinson Reveals the Secret Ingredient to His Business Success

Photo: Courtesy of Ron Robinson

We talked to the founder of BeautyStat, Ron Robinson, about his career working for big name brands, such as Avon and L’Oréal, before starting his own business. He discusses how he started BeautyStat, as well as what it’s like to be a Black business owner and the value of hard work.

What was it like getting your business off the ground? 

Before I launched my own beauty brand, BeautyStat launched as a social media agency 11 years ago. After spending over 15 years working for brands like Clinique, Estée Lauder, Revlon, Avon, and L’Oréal, I saw a new trend emerging: social media. In [the] mid-2000s, I saw the fast rise in social media (Facebook and Twitter emerged) and I felt there needed to be an online community where consumers can connect with beauty experts in order to learn more about which beauty products worked and didn’t — so I created BeautyStat. The mission was to publish expert beauty content and product reviews so that consumers could learn more from insiders. This would help them make better-educated beauty purchase decisions, and would give them the opportunity to share their beauty experiences with other beauty fans.  

The BeautyStat blog and community of over 150K beauty consumers became my source for crowd-sourcing and gaining consumer insights. I was running BeautyStat for nearly 11 years. During that time, many friends and colleagues would ask me, “Ron, why don’t you start your own beauty brand?” My answer was always the world does not need another beauty product. Until I started researching a new vitamin C skincare technology. We found a way to stabilize pure vitamin C (a holy grail in skincare). Concurrently, we tested the concept of us launching a brand (with a vitamin C serum) with our own consumer database (over 1,000 surveys) that showed our brand concept was very strong, with high purchase interest and relevancy. Then, after I got back the independent clinical testing results — which turned out to be amazing — I immediately said, “this is a break-through, we need to launch this under BeautyStat Cosmetics. Right there, the brand and product was born.

Can you share some characteristics you look for in your employees or business partners? What work qualities do you promote in your business?

I just interviewed a candidate today. What I liked about this candidate is that they live in Europe and Asia for many years, multilingual and has strong experience in international expansion. I look for employees and partners that are strong in areas that I’m weak and who have different experiences. 

Do you think there are certain responsibilities and expectations that come along with being a Black business owner? Do you think these responsibilities and expectations are fair? 

Given the Black Lives Matter movement, I personally feel more responsible for being a role model to other entrepreneurs of color. So I have made the time to mentor and coach a few beauty entrepreneurs as a way of giving back.  

How do you feel your product stands up to mainstream standards while also being inclusive of the Black community? 

Our products have the word “universal” in their name. That was intentional as our line is formulated for all skin types and tones, globally. And on our social channels, we showcase our diverse customer base by posting photos of them along with their reviews.

Does it feel like the Black community isn’t considered in mainstream standards? What advice do you have for someone looking to start a business that feels like they have to choose between one or the other?

My advice is to test your concept. Make sure there is a big enough market and that they find your concept compelling. If you focus on that, don’t worry about having to choose.

What are some business myths you believed prior to your current work that were dispelled once you started working in your business? 

Myth: Hard work pays off. Fact: Smart work pays off. You can tell the difference if you have metrics in place that show you are moving forward. Did you gain new customers? Gain more revenue? Expand retail doors? Gain more email address leads? Gain more social followers? Carefully track these key performance indicators to make sure you are working smart, not just hard. 

How has the most recent push of the Black Lives Matter movement changed your business? What are your feelings on this new push and appreciation for Black business?

At first, I was a rollercoaster of emotions. We benefitted by getting a lot of media attention for being one of the best Black-owned beauty businesses. This resulted in an increase in sales as well as our expansion into more retailers. This has helped our company, but at the same time, it was the result of terrible injustices. Like many other Black-owned brands, we have great products and a great team and I’m happy that we are being taken seriously.

Next article