Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Elissa Dunston, Owner of Remove Cosmetics, located in North Hollywood, CA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Remove Cosmetics provides cruelty-free, high-quality, accessibly-priced products in the form of  makeup removers, cleansers, toners, treatment masks, eye serums, and lip care. Our customers are women, men, and non-binary who value skincare and beauty products.

We meet the needs of our customers by providing products that remove dirt, makeup, and debris from the face. These products also moisturize, hydrate, tone, brighten, and protect the skin.

Tell us about yourself

I am a licensed Esthetician who has lived and breathed all things skincare since I was 10. When I was in the 5th grade, I was given a book report to do on Madame CJ Walker. Reading and learning about her opened my eyes to African American women entrepreneurs and changed my life!

Cosmetic companies today aren't focused on their customers' self-esteem and self-care; they just want to turn a profit. Remove Cosmetics is more than just skincare products; it has a social impact mission to "Remove It All Away," which is also the tagline.

The goal of R.I.A.A. is to empower our consumers (People of Color, Non-Binary, LGBTQ+) to take a stand against societal norms that have been placed upon our culture. Instead, "Love the Skin You’re In" is emphasized along with providing products that cleanse, tone, moisturize, treat, and protect the skin.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I am proud of what I have accomplished thus far with Remove Cosmetics - creating a safe space in skincare for all ethnicities, genders, and under-acknowledged communities. Empowering those to be more informed when it comes to taking care of their skin, loving the skin they're in, and knowing that they are valued.

My biggest accomplishment to date is that Remove Cosmetics has been able to withstand the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and remain fully operational.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

I would have to say the most nerve-wracking things about being a business owner is dealing with the unknowns. Every day, there are new challenges and obstacles to deal with. Business is never predictable, no matter how prepared you are.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

The top 3 tips I'd give to anyone looking to start, run, and grow a business today are:

  1. Define your vision and the goals you want to achieve for your business.
  2. Your health comes first no matter what; (never put off a doctor's appointment and find ways to incorporate some form of self-care into your schedule.
  3. Networking with other business owners in the same industry is essential, as is learning from others.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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