Welcome to the second installment of “Awesome Black entrepreneurs you should know and support” series. As you know in the United States, the Black dollar circulates only once in the Black community while in the Asian, White and Jewish American communities their dollar circulates 17-21 times. This series aims to end that disparity by letting you know about the great people and their Black owned businesses we can support today. As you know, Black businesses hire Black people and Black jobs create Black wealth. Today we are focusing on actress, entrepreneur and legend Vera Moore of Vera Moore Cosmetics. She was featured on our list of over 70 Black owned hair and cosmetics companies you should support.
BBG: Tell us about yourself.
Vera Moore: My name is Vera Moore. I grew up in a very poor family, but we were rich in spirit, and loved each other. We were always taught to treat people how we would want to be treated (The Golden Rule). I have five brothers and one sister. (Smile) I miss them terribly. Four have passed. There is my only sister and one brother left. We were always thinking of others, staying humble and sharing no matter what. That’s how we made it through the challenges. We stuck together as a family. We loved each other.
BBG: Who or what inspires and what is your life purpose?
Vera Moore: My mother, father aunts, uncles and my elders. What inspires me? This has nothing to do with cosmetics. It was embedded in me to not only continue to better myself, but to remember to take someone along with me. We were taught a mindset that mediocrity was not good enough. Be the best at what you do and then purposely reach back and take someone else along with you. Success is nothing if it dies with you. I was taught that as a child from my parents.
My mom was a domestic worker and my dad was a porter. We were rich in what mattered; family and extended family. I came from a rough neighborhood, but all of us were loved and respected. My parents were “warriors” that would and could pray you through. Some of you won’t understand this, but those were the days when people shared, laughed, cried and prayed together. That’s my foundation. My roots. My purpose.
BBG: That is incredible. Whew! Tell us about Vera Moore Cosmetics and what inspired you to start Vera Moore Cosmetics?
Vera Moore: I had no idea I was going to be an entrepreneur. My background was theater. I was on the soap opera “Another World” on NBC portraying Linda Metcalf the nurse and on the Broadway Stage and in commercials. When I eventually landed my first major contract role on NBC’s “Another World” there was a void for women and Black women for quality makeup. Here I was portraying Linda Metcalf, a nurse, one of the first Black families on Another World, wearing makeup that didn’t match my complexion and rubbed all off on my clothes and everything else at the mere touch. (Remember, I portrayed a nurse in a white uniform.) There was a tremendous void that had to be addressed. I also saw a window of opportunity and I took advantage of it.
BBG: Thank you so much for filling a huge void. We know many other makeup companies ignore Black women. Vera Moore Cosmetics is different because your company reaffirms Black beauty. Please explain to our readers how does Vera Moore Cosmetics address the needs of Black women?
Vera Moore: First, I am proud to be a Black woman. So ignoring Black women would be totally disrespecting who I am and my beautiful sisters. My mission has always been to empower Black women inside and out. I can remember many times when Black women would come to the Vera Moore Counter in Green Acres Mall, (our first store in a major mall in Long Island) that were of a darker hue and asked, “Vera do you have a color for me? I’m dark, or my lips are too big. I can’t wear that color.” That blew me away and honestly it really hurt me. The major companies were not catering to us and did not care. They would say, “I went to…” and the sales person would say, “we don’t have color for you.” The customers that the major chains were not interested in servicing at that time found their way to VMC. It was their loss and my gain! Vera Moore Cosmetics was and still is an affordable premium brand. We address your needs with quality, variety and price.
BBG: What are your goals for Vera Moore Cosmetics?
Vera Moore: My husband and I have worked tirelessly to create VMC. We mortgaged our home, for seed money. Not many people are going to do that. It was a great risk that is paying off. We pray that God continues to direct our paths as we continue to grow the Vera Moore Cosmetics brand nationally and globally. Our desire is to pass it on to our daughter Consuella. Consuella is a graduate of Howard University’s School of Business and a licensed esthetician where she is a graduate of Christine Valmy. She is the National Educator for Vera Moore Cosmetics.
BBG: What advice would you give other Black women entrepreneurs who want to start a business?
Vera Moore: If you really want to be an entrepreneur, you can. Stay laser focused. Hone your skills and educate yourself. Study in the field you want to go into. Get a mentor in your field. Volunteer! Yes volunteer! Be a Sponge. You can do it. But remember entrepreneurship is not like a cold. You can’t catch it. You have to desperately want this. It hurts a lot. If I am scaring you. GOOD! It’s not for the faint of heart. There are major challenges and sacrifice, but you can do this. I did! GO FOR IT! You will regret that you didn’t try.
BBG: Mrs. Moore, where can we buy Vera Moore Cosmetics?
Vera Moore: Vera Moore Cosmetics & Skincare is currently located in the new upscale designation of beauty in select Walgreens/Duane Reade Stores in a section called “LOOKboutique.” We are currently in 57 stores (see our website for locations). However, if there are no “LOOKboutique” in the Walgreens/Duane Reade in your area, you can order online www.veramoorecosmetics.com or just give us a call at 516- 367-6538. We’re anxiously looking forward to hearing from you.
Thank you so much Mrs. Moore.
You can also watch her interview with People Magazine here.
Vera Moore was featured on our list of Over 70 Black owned Hair and Cosmetics Companies You Should Buy From. This interview was an absolute privilege. It really was. I hope her example and life has inspired you as she has inspired me. Learn from her wisdom. You can buy Vera Moore Cosmetics at www.veramoorecosmetics.com. Shop there now! Buy Black and love being Black. The only limit you have is the one you have placed on yourself. Think and be limitless.