Think Outside the Box! Meet the Creators of Boss+Bae


Name: Kim Blackwell, Kent King
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Occupation: Creators of Boss+Bae, Mommies
Instagram: @bossandbaebox
Fun Fact: “I am a popcorn fanatic, so I can tell you the best movie theaters to get the best popcorn in LA.” – Kim  “I am a total Star Wars nerd.” – Kent 

As the beauty and lifestyle industry is still trying to figure out how to reach out to a more diverse and inclusive audience in the retail-wellness market, we still have a long way for us to feel represented. Luckily, two great minds came together and started a monthly subscription box that not only created a business that’s for women of color but for boss babes, beauty junkies, and self-care lovers. We chatted up with these two queens, Kim Blackwell and Kent King, on how they met, how they came up with the idea, and how they created one of the most needed beauty business product for women of color, Boss+Bae. Read below our exclusive interview with these strong, business-minded ladies.
MN: So how did you ladies meet? What were your jobs before you started your own business? 
KK: It was my husband’s great-aunt birthday and Kim’s family were friends. One of Kim’s family members been telling me for a while that you know there’s someone I want you to meet. I just have a feeling that you guys will hit it off and that you’ll click. Sometimes people say that and it doesn’t work out but we met at her birthday party and we totally did. So that’s where we met and we became friends and we were friends from then.
KB: My job before Boss+Bae was Mommy. My daughter is seven, so I’ve been home with her just working a little bit here and there just freelancing. I mean my main job has been Mom for the past 6 years.
KK: So, I’ve been an actress my whole life. I started I think when I was like 12; so most of my life, I’ve had jobs here and there. I’ve also worked behind the scenes like casting, and producing and working in production and just wearing different hats. Then also before Boss+Bae, I was co-owner of a visual effects company that was open for several years. I did a lot of great work with them, with that company and also like Kim, I have a 5-year-old so I’ve been in this interesting place of transition.
You know I’ve been acting my whole life but I’ve been wanting to work more and more sort of behind the scenes and creating content and telling stories. It’s funny because on the side before starting this business, I’ve also really been interested in design and like products and just on my own I’ve been doing a lot of research. I’ve been changing all kinds of things about different products and my design and building websites and marketing and all those different things have also been an interest of mine. So, it’s kind of cool that it led to this because it’s like a marriage of all those things.
MN:  What inspired you, for you ladies to come together to create Boss+Bae. How did the name come about?
KB: I actually had the idea before Kent and I officially started the company. I wanted the name really to accomplish what the box was and also who it was for. So, without it being too much like a black girl box, I wanted the name to indicate like it’s not just about beauty but it’s also being a boss which to me means ownership of your mental health, physical and feminine health, and sexual health; all those things together. Not just beauty products, we really wanted it to be more of a lifestyle boss and be open to a lot more different kinds of products. So, Boss+Bae is just like really telling the story I think people know right away and the feel they get when you hear Boss+Bae.
KK: We went to see [the movie] “Get Out” together and we went for lunch after the movie. Super inspired and just talking about where we were in our lives. Girl chat, catching up and all of that. Literally like maybe the last 5 minutes Kim brought up Boss+Bae and what she was working on. It resonated with me as far as what Boss+Bae was about. Who it would be serving, how we could sort of bring ourselves to it what we wanted to be doing at this point in our lives. We just started meeting and talking and it was a fit.
MN: What is the most exciting thing about you guys creating your business?
KB: The most exciting thing is I think we get to wear a lot of hats. So literally outside of the logo, we’ve done pretty much everything. Kent designs the website, I do the writing for the most part. We come up with the taglines. We’re managing our own social media accounts. So, it’s being just able to create and push ourselves because we were both sort of interested in photography and dabbled in it but now it’s like OK we’re actually doing it!
KK: I agree. I love all of that aspect of what we get to do, but I also think there’s one other thing I love about this. I that there’s so much LOVE in it. If you find something that works or something that makes your life easier or something that speaks to our health, our beauty, inside out all of it, we just in our own personal way are the kind of people who share with the people we love. So it’s this beautiful marriage of our skill sets and also this intention that feels like we can share this with our larger community and it’s very satisfying in a way to get to the purpose behind it.  To be able to connect with women of color and give our favorite things, it’s so dope!
KB: Yeah. We’re like Oprah our favorite things episodes. Like we get to do our favorite things episode every month LOL.

“I want to share this with other people so it’s just important to have people who know what works for us and what we need. And it’s also to get out really good information to our community that this comes from a deeper place for me too as far as wellness and health.”

MN: What is it like being business partners? Do you guys have certain strengths or weaknesses that compensate for each other?
KB: Yes! Absolutely, we complement each other very well! So, when I saw the vision for the company, I wasn’t planning on having a partner, but I say every day I am so glad I do! I would still be working on that launch page. Kent is just much better at the tech stuff. We both have a similar aesthetic. We like a very clean design and we can communicate very easily with each other like what we want visually but as far as like making it happen, Kent can do it. She’s amazing!
KK: This girl’s brain…she’s a brilliant writer. I can write but my god I don’t love to do it and the things that she comes up with and the voice of Boss+Bae is very much Kim. I’m always telling her like ‘dang, you so dope.’ I just love it, so it’s perfect because we in many ways we’re very similar in what we like what our taste. Like we can really kind of carve out certain things and delegate and give our notes on it, but like she can write her butt off!
KB: Yes, and Kent will give me that hurdle because she’ll say yes, I like it, but you need more to communicate this and so we do have open-minded communication. I tend to be more like let’s just do it! And she’s like ‘Ok, hold on let’s make sure we know we’re clear about what we want to say’. So, it works out really well.
KK: And thank goodness because it’s like a marriage, right? It doesn’t necessarily mean that it’ll work and I’ve been through different partnerships and so you go from friends to business partners but still in another way you’re like ok well how’s this going to go and every step along the way she’s been like yes, yes, yes! We’re on the same page which is so good.
MN: Why you do feel like this type of business is so important to women of color?
KK: It comes from different places. There’s a lot of conversation about this about representation and us seeing ourselves in media and represented in products and things that speak to our skin and our needs and our experiences. Being an actress, growing up being on sets and photo shoots, it was always scary for me like what somebody was gone have in their [makeup] kit and I really had to learn to become my own advocate. I would find the makeup artist and hair stylists that I would trust and I would go to them for classes and tutorials. Definitely did not want to be doing this but I got good at bringing my bag and knowing how to do my face and having myself covered.
I want to share this with other people so it’s just important to have people who know what works for us and what we need. And it’s also to get out really good information to our community that this comes from a deeper place for me too as far as wellness and health. I’ve had family members and we all go through things from health like cancer and mental health to stressed out living and not putting yourself first and feeling last of the list and then the days when you’re feeling yourself and you’re just like oh yes, I am the boss!
MN: What advice would you give young women of color who want to start their own business?
KB: Do it! It’s just an exciting time because there are so many ways that you can be helped. There are so many ways to start a new business and to get it out there. Years ago, we didn’t have Instagram and Facebook and all these platforms where you can really reach out have people help like Facebook groups on other entrepreneurs who have really given us such invaluable tips and advice and resources.
There’s a group for anything! There’s literally subscription [box] school if you want to start a subscription box. There’s a subscription Facebook group and people exchange information. It’s a great time even if you want to make a movie. You can make a movie on your iPhone now. There’s just so much availability to young women who want to get out there and just start something.
MN: Where do you see your business in the next year or the next five years?
KB: I think right now we’re just building on what we’ve started and just want to for the first year just continue growing and scaling and fill in the community and getting more reach out there and getting our business out to more women. Five years from now, just continuing to expand on that and collaborating with other creatives and get more. We just want to bring in our other creative hats and storytelling and weave it even more all together.
KK: We definitely want to get into more content creation, so in the next five years that might be a podcast maybe Boss+Bae TV. We’re all collaborating with other storytellers so bringing in our background definitely as creative kids graduated from film school so we do want to just incorporate all those skills and be able to tell stories in different ways.
KB:  Yeah and relate to black women.
MN: Describe your company in 3 words.
KB: Beauty. Inside. Out.

Check out more of Boss+Bae and their latest products and subscription box, check out their website and follow their Instagram @bossandbaebox

Melanation logo

Popular in Feel Inspired- Sisterhood