Juvia’s Place was born from necessity that sparked an idea that’s taking the beauty industry by storm. Unsatisfied with sitting around feeling frustrated about exclusive Western beauty culture, Chichi Eburu channeled that energy into building a beloved beauty brand.
Necessity Meets Inspiration
Juvia’s Place founder, Chichi Eburu, could never find makeup designed to enhance her rich skin tone. She only found products in muted tones that hid her true beauty.
She searched every drugstore, online store, and boutique. She bought high-end brands and beauty basics. But nothing worked.
Chichi Eburu was on a personal mission to find makeup that wanted to work with rather than against the darkness of her skin. She didn’t want anything that made her look gray or washed out. But nothing lived up to the needs of a diverse group.
Pride from Within
Even when growing up in Nigeria, advertisements never showed women with skin tones like hers as examples of beauty. As a child, Chichi felt that she wasn’t beautiful because she didn’t look like the ladies in those ads.
But as she grew, she learned more about her heritage and community. She had an epiphany. “How can I feel beautiful when the beauty industry tells me ‘this isn’t beauty.’ They don’t design products to enhance my kind of beauty”. They try to hide it.
There was nothing wrong with her. Something was very wrong with how big companies were spreading exclusive messages about what beauty is.
She now felt pride in who she was and realized she could be the change.
Makeup Tools Offer a Way In
Big beauty companies dominated the market, and she knew this had led to exclusion. But taking these brands head-on was a well-known mistake for startup beauty companies like hers. And she didn’t have a lot of money to invest.
Chichi Eburu started making beauty tools to sell and raise money to launch her cosmetic brand.
She created a vision board for Juvia’s Place, including imagery of Queens Nefertiti and Cleopatra, rulers and rebels, and great leaders of Africa. She would never lose sight of what she wanted to accomplish.
With just $2000 and a 2-bedroom apartment, she got to work while her son and daughter slept in rooms on either side of her.
Juvia’s Place Is Born
Her first launch was an eyeshadow palette, The Nubian. It was inspired by the images of queen Nefertiti on her vision board. She features her likeness on the packaging. It went viral.
Chichi Eburu leveraged this virility to launch several new makeup products designed for darker-skinned women. But not wanting to repeat the exclusiveness she saw in the beauty industry, she created product lines suited for all colors, light to dark.
And a world-renowned and beloved Black-owned brand was born.
Chichi Eburu said of her story, “We are a colorful people. Our makeup should reflect the richness of our culture, our beauty, and our history.”