Client Spotlight: Marjorie Lee

WomenVenture client, Marjorie Lee is the owner of Starjé Beauty.

From Generation to Generation: These Women Mean Business

With inspiring role models of Madame C.J. Walker and her entrepreneurial mother, Marjorie is healing communities with her holistic beauty products.

Marjorie Lee, owner of Starjé Beauty and mother of five, has humble roots: she can trace the beginning of her business to her kitchen, where she developed her first product for her daughter. Her youngest daughter experienced early childhood hair loss. Her delicate hair would only grow a few inches before falling out due to harsh chemicals present in common haircare products. Marjorie, a determined and devoted mother, worked on creams, butters, and oils derived from her mother's Jamaican and father's Choctaw Native American roots to promote healthy hair growth. Marjorie expanded her knowledge with voracious reading and research, and over the heat of her stove, she created her handmade, organic, chemical-free Enriched Hair Food. After years of hair loss, her youngest daughter's hair was finally growing! Dazzled by her own determination, she sought remedies to her family's ailments. Dark spots, dry skin, acne, dandruff, and eczema were no match for the love, passion, and research Marjorie poured into her products. Her handmade goods caused herself, her children, and her mother to experience healthy, strong skin and hair, thus, Marjorie felt it was her duty to market these life-changing products.

Marjorie's successful beauty products were created by more than determination in and out of her kitchen. Her beauty products stem from a recipe of equal parts passion and compassion about women's beauty, stewed at an early age. Marjorie would walk around her community when she was twelve years old, checking in with the girls who did not have their hair styled. She knew the girls in her neighborhood were unable to get their hair styled because their families were struggling for money, or even struggling for time between jobs, school, and other commitments.  Marjorie tenderly groomed the hair of the girls who needed it most in her community, even though she didn’t obtain their parents' permission! Marjorie wasn't afraid of being chastised; she possessed wisdom beyond her years to know that styling hair was integral of promoting "strength from within". She wanted her community to look beautiful, feel strong, and radiate health and healing. And, instead of a parent's scorn, she was offered money for doing such an excellent job on their child’s hair!

Marjorie learned skills imperative to running a business at the impressionable age of thirteen, when she began working at her mother's restaurant. Her mother, Maxine Williamson, received WomenVenture's support in the 1980s, and subsequently opened a restaurant and a food truck called Jamaican Delight Royalty. After school was dismissed, Marjorie would immediately report to her mother's restaurant and assist with anything necessary to the business: dishes, serving, and even bookkeeping! Marjorie has been putting in long hours since she was thirteen years old. Although some aspects of entrepreneurship have been difficult, her biggest fear was taking a leap of faith and launching Starjé Beauty. Now, after almost a year in business and promoting healthy beauty from within to her clients, which she affectionately calls her "support family", she is selling her holistic products in the Women Mean Business Gala Marketplace on October 15th.

Healing her community when she was young, healing her children as a mother, and offering healing and strength for her "supportive family" is not enough for ambitious and compassionate Marjorie. She will add more healing products to her line, including her grandmother's "Healing Ointment" remedy, passed down through generations. Marjorie has a vision of healthy hair and skin, beauty and strength from within, and the generational healing of communities. Marjorie envisions creating workshops for young girls to teach them how to take care of their skin and hair in a holistic way. She radiates love in her mission for her company: Starjé Beauty will go beyond beauty products and teach children, and their families, how to be their strongest, and most beautiful, from a young age.

Marjorie is currently in WomenVenture's Small Business Essentials course. After she completes this course, she will have a robust business plan and pitch she requires to seek funding to finance her vision of a more beautiful and healthy way of living for all communities. She hopes to become a household name but will stay humble: she will never be "big enough" to stop personally handwriting letters to her "supportive family" to thank them and tell them they are truly beautiful, inside and out.

Heal and feel beautiful with Starjé Beauty at Women Mean Business Gala on October 15 and receive $10 off when you spend $50 or more on her products. Be sure to follow her at - Website: https://starjebeauty.com IG: https://instagram.com/starjebeauty  FB:  https://www.facebook.com/starjebeauty

About the author: Lily Griffin is WomenVenture's Event Coordinator.