Scott, who has five employees and offices in Sandy Springs, can’t say how her pitch went and who (if anybody) was willing to invest in her company. But her company would certainly fall within Grede’s realm of interest. Scott also hoped to catch the attention of regular Shark Lori Geary, who has supported many women-run businesses in the past.
Nonetheless, seeing Grede on the Shark panel was comforting because she knew exactly the hurdles Scott has faced in building her company, she said.
“It was like the ultimate pitch for me,” Scott said. “I’ve been pitching for years raising money at grant competitions. I love pitching. I love speaking. This is like the master level in video games.”
UPDATE: On the show, she brought her cousin Myisha Fantroy to support her. Her very aggressive asking price: $150,000 for a mere 6% of the company. Good news: the Sharks liked their presentation and their product differentiation. Grede and Geary came together to give them an offer: $150,000 but for 20%. “What you’ve done is really good,” Grede said. She said she can help them expand into retail, which is super challenging. They countered with $200,000 to 20% but the Sharks didn’t budge. In the end, Scott said yes. In a text Monday, Scott said the deal is still under due diligence and has not yet been finalized. She said by Monday morning, she had received more than 1,700 orders.
Scott grew up in Brooklyn and always imagined being her own boss. “I was going to walk down the street in my own clothing,” she said. “I knew I’d own something.”
She graduated from Virginia Tech specializing in fashion merchandising and design. She worked in fashion for a few years and noticed that Black models often brought their own makeup to runway shows because they had to use specialty products. She saw a 2017 study that many of the makeup products for Black women had more toxins than those geared to white women.
She moved to Atlanta in 2014, finding the city more supportive to Black entrepreneurs, and created a product line that was anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and gentle on the skin. She said more than a third of Black women suffer from acne, significantly more than other races.
She spent years in 9-to-5 jobs, including overseeing diversity and inclusion efforts at an IT staffing firm. She decided to leave at the end of 2019 to focus on Range Beauty full-time.
Range Beauty, she said, generated $367,000 in 2020 but the pandemic caused supply-chain problems and she saw a revenue regression in 2021. She hopes the “Shark Tank” appearance and expertise and money from a Shark or two will propel her business to new heights.
“I have to pinch myself,” Scott said. “I was an avid ‘Shark Tank’ watcher for years. I didn’t see a lot of makeup brands pitched. It’s an incredible feeling to hit this moment in my life at this point in my journey in my business. This is a huge milestone.”
She is also starting a Range Beauty Impact Fund to help women of color access dermatologists, several of whom have already volunteered to do pro bono work on her behalf for customers in need.
WHERE TO WATCH
“Shark Tank,” 8 p.m. Fridays on ABC, available the next day on Hulu