The news is out and melanated makeup enthusiasts are elated! The global beauty brand Black Opal was bought this week by Cheryl Mayberry McKissack and Desiree Rogers, making it officially a Black-owned beauty brand. Some may be surprised to know that this longstanding and very notable name in cosmetics was not always African American owned.
Founded in 1994 by a chemist named Niko Mouyiaris, Black Opal was one of the first makeup lines to successfully represent and cater to women of color. This was mostly due to his wife Carol, who like most black women at the time, found the cosmetic market lacking in foundation options for Black women. His colaboration with Black board-certified dermatologist Dr. Cheryl Burgess was ground breaking and gave birth to a wide range of beauty products under the Black Opal label.
In 2017 Black Opal launched a new brand identity with a modern logo and new packaging to give itself a fresh look and feel. Their quality products and affordable price point that they’ve always been known for has remained. This year marks Black Opal’s 25th anniversary, and part of their celebration was marked by the launching of their Beauties Behind the Brand project, where we get introduced to the employees behind the TRUE COLOR foundation shade lineup.
With Mayberry McKissack and Rogers as president and CEO, Black Opal now joins the list of Black women-owned beauty brands in today’s beauty industry. They now fall in line with brands like Fenty Beauty, MFMG, and Juvia’s Place. These are all labels that bodly answer to the need and the significance of cosmetics designed lovingly for women of color, by women of color. So what does this mean? According to these two new makeup mavens, it means quite a bit.
“When we acquired Black Opal our goal was to stay true to the founders’ passion,” said President, Cheryl Mayberry McKissack. “As we continue to grow the company and bring high quality products to the market, we also plan to focus on creating a positive impact in our communities.”
Brace yourself. If these women’s previous accomplishments are any indication of what to expect from this acquisition, Black Opal will surely exceed expectations. When it comes to success, they are not novices. Rogers excelled as chairman of the Chicago tourism agency, was CEO of Johnson Publishing Company, Social Secretary of the White House and worked along side the President under Barack Obama’s administration.
Adding McKissack’s history of being the former CEO of Ebony media operations, and as the founder and CEO of Nia Enterprises, which boasts to be one of the largest online market insights businesses, it seems very likely that big-tings-a-gwan at Black Opal. Together, these mavens bring more than 50 years of proven strategic and business proficiency to the table. This company’s legacy is in good hands.
“Both Cheryl and I love beauty and use the products every day. For over 25 years, Black Opal has consistently created products specifically for women of color and our plan is to bring the newest trends to the brand… Together Cheryl and I are looking forward to creating even more innovative products and continuing to grow the brand globally.”