CINCINNATI — The printer at Nia Bauke’s East Side home studio is going nonstop these days, printing shipping labels and order requests for her booming natural skincare line, Flora Lee Naturals.
In March, Urban Outfitters picked up Flora Lee Naturals as a premiere beauty brand. Now Baucke’s products are being sold nationwide through the online retailer.
“I actually had Urban Outfitters in mind as one of the retailers I would love to be in,” she said. “So, when they reached out, I was like, 'Yes, it's working!' The photography, the colors, it’s resonating with them.”
The name Flora Lee Naturals came from her grandmother, Flora Lee Bell. Baucke said the company pays homage to the women in her family.
“My mother and grandmother were very focused on natural ingredients as opposed to chemicals,” said Baucke.
Baucke said as a teen she struggled with breakouts and noticed the product recommendations in popular magazines were filled with chemicals.
“By the time I got to college, I was like, you know what, maybe I should pay attention to what Mom and Grandma are doing, because they seem to have pretty clear and healthy skin,” she said.
So she created Flora Lee Naturals. The line can be used by anyone but Baucke made her products with women in mind who were looking for a solution for aging skin.
“We started with three signature products,” said Baucke. “We have our instant glow cleanser and mask. It's this pillowy soft mask that you sit on your skin for 15 minutes and it helps to just clarify everything without drying it out.
“We have our beauty oil — that’s this really nourishing oil with a grapeseed base and that helps to brighten the skin,” she added. “And then we have this hydrating and balancing toner that has lavender floral water in it. It's really good, especially now that we are moving from spring to summer.”
Her advice to women looking to start a similar business journey is be intentional.
“My genuine hope is that young Black women see a version of themselves in me as my business continues to grow and they realize that they can do this,” she said.
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