Today we’d like to introduce you to Antwameisha McGee.
Hi Antwameisha, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
Melanin Control LLC actually started off as a hobby. I started soap making in August of 2019. It was for therapeutic purposes. I was in phase of anger, anxiety, self-doubt, and impatience. The scents, the herbs, the mixing, and creating my very own something helped me mentally. Creating helped me with patience and anxiety. Sometimes the soap wouldn’t come out right or I would spill or waste ingredients. I wouldn’t get frustrated, discouraged, or sad. I would become innovative and find a way to somehow use what I thought was a waste. Doing that drove me more and more into this craft. I felt like an artist, like a Picasso of soap lol.
One day I was mixing and making my soap and my Fiancee came in asked me, “how much are your soap bars?”. I thought he was joking per his usual. He was using my soaps since I started and he loved the way his skin felt and the scents from the essential oils(peppermint, lavender). He then stated, “How much would you sell your soaps for”. I just blurted out, “I don’t know, $5.00”. He then said, “okay bet” and then begin putting my soap bars into plastic ziplock bags. He had like 5 or 6 bars in his hands. He left for about 30 minutes. He came back with money and gave it to me. He said, “babe, your soaps are great, I watched you learn this and put your all into it. You should be getting paid for what you love to do”. After that I begin to sell my products. No labels, no fancy packaging, no website, just social media and word of mouth. The support started to come and it came heavy. I couldn’t believe that people are actually buying my craft. Family, friends, old co-workers, new co-workers, and complete strangers were supporting. I felt on top of the world. Since then Melanin Control continues to sell natural soap bars, we’ve expanded to other natural body products such as body scrubs, face scrub, serums, toners, beard products, feminine care products.
After almost a year of selling through social media and physically delivering product, we launched our website in November of 2020. Everything has been great, we receive so much love from our Melanators (customers). Even though the pandemic the support is continuous and we are growing more as our clientele continues to grow. Melanin Control is literally everything it is today because of the support. We’ve made it to our first store. We are in a black-owned hair store called Onyx Beauty in Tallahassee, FL. The sky is really the limit and whatever you want for yourself will be. You just have to match the faith with the work. Being a business owner is not easy, but to me it’s worth it. I’m going to continue to build on my brand and Melanin Control will be in more stores, including my very own.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It’s truly a roller coaster, smooth sailing and then that big dip comes out of no where. Some of the struggles for me was balancing my actual 9-5 work life and my business life. Contributing eight or more hours of my time to my job and then having the energy to give to my own business.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I create natural soap bars and body care products by using herbs, oils, carrier oils, shea, spices, sugars, and salts. Each product has a purpose for each part of the body. I’m proud of myself for sticking by my brand through these crazy times and not giving up. I feel like I was born different, even my name is different lol. Of course, I relate to others, but I have gifts like no other. When I say gifts, I’m not speaking physically. I feel like I was born to lead and not follow. I think outside, inside, and all around the box.
Networking and finding a mentor can have such a positive impact on one’s life and career. Any advice?
Networking with other entrepreneurs/business owners is easier than many think it is. Attend pop-up shops, seminars, local community events, social media groups. There is so much free knowledge out there and some successful individuals who aren’t afraid to bless others with the gems.