Golden Krust became known for revolutionizing Jamaican food offerings in the US.
Now, the family behind the food empire is taking on the beauty industry.
LLHOMD Beauty Care, which launched in January, is a skin and haircare brand created specifically for Black women.
Lorna Hawthorne was used to making her own beauty products in her kitchen when she couldn’t find what she was looking for stocked on store shelves or by online retailers.
“I love skincare,” Hawthorne told Insider. “I’m always pouring oils, different scents, and one day I was pouring my oils when I came up with the idea for a company. We’re beautiful inside, and I wanted to create products that could help people feel beautiful on the outside.”
Hawthorne is a seasoned entrepreneur, having helped build Golden Krust — a million-dollar food company touted for providing authentic Jamaican food. But skincare was a completely new area of business for her. So she enlisted the help of her sons, Haywood, Omar, and Daren to start the company.
Golden Krust was once known for revolutionizing Jamaican food offerings in the US. Lorna’s husband, Lowell, had pooled together money from relatives to open his first Golden Krust restaurant after the bank refused him a loan. That one New York restaurant has since expanded to a chain of more than 100 restaurants in numerous states.
In 2017, however, Lowell died by suicide, and the family has spent the past few years grieving his death.
Now the family behind the Golden Krust empire is launching a new endeavor: a beauty brand that caters to Black women. The brand, called LLHOMD Beauty Care, honors Lowell in its name, as each letter reflects a different family member’s initial: Lowell, Lorna, Haywood, Omar, Monique, and Daren.
“We have Golden Krust, which is separate and its own thing and is part of a wider family involvement,” Daren Hawthorne told Insider. “But this brand is really about us as an immediate family and about filling gaps in the beauty industry.”
In the beauty industry, Black women are still underserved.
Black women have been vastly underserved by the beauty industry, with many speaking of their experiences struggling to find products that match their skin tone. In recent years, the beauty industry has become more inclusive, with the rise of companies like Rihanna’s billion-dollar Fenty enterprise, which has been lauded for its diversity of products. Yet Black women and other women of color still have limited options when it comes to beauty products that are directed specifically toward them.
LLHOMD Beauty Care is trying to shift that by centering its offerings on Black women. Led by Lorna Hawthorne, the brand is informed by the matriarch’s business savvy and lived experiences.
“Black women are underrepresented in a lot of spaces in America and I think the last couple of years have changed the perception of consumers, businesses, and corporations,” Omar Hawthorne told Insider. “We have a very strong Black woman in Miss Lorna with a track record of success, so who better to be part of engendering that change of what entrepreneurs look like in this country?”
LLHOMD Beauty Care, which launched in January, is primarily a skin and hair care brand, offering what the family describes as “luxury and affordable multicultural beauty products,” like body butters, shampoos, and hair oils.
“We wanted to become a one-stop shop,” Omar Hawthorne added. “If you go across the spectrum and look at these different beauty brands that are directed towards Black women, they might offer hair or skin products or cosmetics. It’s rare to see a place where you can get everything you need.”
Yet trying to launch a business during the pandemic has brought challenges, particularly in regards to getting the supply of ingredients and products they need.
“The world supply chain crunch certainly added to the timeline, with the ingredients taking longer to arrive, so we actually winded up air-freighting some of the products because we were committed to the launch,” Haywood Hawthorne said.
The legacy of Lowell Hawthorne lives on through the LLHOMD brand.
Although Lowell Hawthorne died before the creation of LLHOMD, his entrepreneurial spirit and belief in the power of education is embedded in the beauty brand, the Hawthorne family says.
While the brand’s top priority is providing beauty products for Black women who haven’t been given sufficient options and choice, it is also concerned with cultivating space for Black entrepreneurs to launch businesses.
A portion of the proceeds from LLHOMD Beauty Care sales are donated to the Lowell F. Hawthorne Foundation, an organization that provides funds to high school and college students in the US and the Caribbean, many of whom are looking to pursue business or entrepreneurial studies.
“We want to use this business to do good, to help continue to put Black entrepreneurs on the map,” Daren Hawthorne said. “A lot of folks look at Miss Lorna as an inspiration, because folks that look like her tend to not be in her position, so it all ties back to that.”
Read the original article on Insider