When Kitiya Mischo King was pregnant, she wanted to treat herself to a manicure. But with no toxin-free nail polishes available, she left her hands unpainted.
Seeing a gap in the market, the chemist and licensed cosmetologist began developing all-natural polishes for fashionable, health-conscious customers like her. And in 2013, she launched a business — Mischo Beauty — to sell the finished product.
Her company has grown slowly since starting up, but customers for her 10 boldly colored, non-toxic, vegan and cruelty-free polishes are loyal. And Mischo Beauty has won the attention of Vogue, Essence, Refinery29 and other beauty publications.
Now, she’s looking to expand beyond polishes into other nail products, and is crowdfunding to bring them to market.
King, who is African-American, turned to iFundWomen after learning about the difficulties other black women have faced in pursuing funding from more traditional sources. “Many hurdles have challenged me to think differently — more creatively — about the route and methods necessary to achieve my goals and uphold my vision,” she says.
She’ll use the money she raises to fund research and development into nail polish removers as well as base and top coats, so she can offer a full range of products for the chemical-hating, manicure-loving public. After all, she says in her campaign, “you shouldn’t have to choose between health and beauty — you can love both.”
The Money: With the money raised through her iFundWomen campaign, King will design and manufacture her new products, and pay for marketing efforts to spread the word. She has until Sept. 30 to reach or exceed her goal of $50,000.