Ode to Self’s Kimberlee Alexandria-Day Talks Self-Care

Ode to Self's Kimberlee Alexandria-Day Talks Self-Care

Too usually, one of the best magnificence tales go Untold, solely primarily based on an individual’s pores and skin colour, faith, gender expression, incapacity, or socioeconomic standing. Right here, we’re passing the mic to among the most bold and proficient voices within the trade, to allow them to share, in their very own phrases, the exceptional story of how they got here to be — and the way they’re utilizing magnificence to alter the world for the higher. Up subsequent: Kimberlee Alexandria-Day, founding father of wellness and skin-care model Ode to Self.

The earliest reminiscence I’ve with magnificence is from after I was 4 years outdated. I keep in mind enjoying with my aunt with this little make-up equipment that I had. There is a image of me utilizing it and I had make-up throughout my face — I seemed like a clown. I even have a whole lot of reminiscences from rising up watching my grandmother prepare for church on Sunday mornings — watching her placed on make-up, reapplying all through the day, touching up her face as wanted.

I all the time had a ardour for wanting to assist individuals and convey out one of the best in them.

However one thing I did not discover till I bought older was using skin-lightening merchandise among the many ladies in my household. I slowly started to know and acknowledge how they weren’t actually comfy in their very own pores and skin. I feel that was a giant factor for the Black group again then, particularly Black ladies, as a result of there have been images of girls plastered all over the place that basically did not seem like them — it was all the time a lighter-skinned girl or fair-skinned girl. They thought, “Hey, I’ve to be lighter to be lovely.” And that was one thing that I sort of handled too as a child. On my dad’s facet, they’re all biracial and have particularly reasonable complexions and I all the time felt like I wanted to slot in — like I used to be an excessive amount of darker than them. That is after I grew to become concerned with skin-lightening lotions too however I used to be like, “You understand what? That is simply flawed. I do not assume anyone ought to use that.”

I all the time had a ardour for wanting to assist individuals and convey out one of the best in them. After I was in highschool I attempted to begin a nonprofit known as the Sweetheart Basis to assist ladies who have been 7 to 16 years outdated acquire self-confidence, self-discipline, and simply actually be comfy with themselves. However I did not know find out how to begin a nonprofit. I used to be solely 17 years outdated and it wasn’t totally inspired. It wasn’t a norm within the south and particularly in my household. It was sort of look over like, “Ah Kim, that is cute, however it’s good to go to school, it’s good to get an actual job.” And I used to be all the time like, “No, I do not wish to do this.” I wasn’t taken critically, sadly. That half hurts a little bit bit.

I went to school mainly out of concern of everybody else. I believed, That is the trail that you just do. You go to highschool, you go to school, you graduate, you get a very good job. I majored in enterprise administration, like my mother, however then I switched my main as a result of it required too many math programs. I attempted communication as a result of I used to be like, “Okay, nicely I may most likely be like a PR individual and I can work in like PR workplaces, assist individuals out.” However then I spotted I needed to do one thing inventive and that saved consuming away at me. It made me actually sad.

Ode to Self's Kimberlee Alexandria-Day Talks Self-Care

I began to seek out issues that truly made me completely happy and understanding find out how to love myself extra. I nonetheless had this slight curiosity in make-up. I ended up quitting my first 12 months of faculty to attend Aveda Institute. I used to be like, “You understand what? I am simply going to be a make-up artist after which I get to make individuals really feel lovely.”

It wasn’t till I attended Aveda within the beautiology program that I truly discovered I beloved the science side behind magnificence extra. I discovered about skincare and the holistic method to attaining wholesome pores and skin. A lightweight bulb sparked for me. I used to be like, “That is the way you obtain one of the best pores and skin of your life, in addition to psychological readability and only a more healthy total wellbeing.” I had the concept to begin a skin-care line centered round wellness so in 2017, after I was 20 years outdated, I graduated from Aveda and I began engaged on my model.

My dream, which has been my dream since 15 years outdated, is to assist individuals. Particularly individuals who do not know find out how to present up for themselves.

However what I discovered was it was extremely in depth. You need to pay near a thousand {dollars} only for 4 hours in a lab simply in order that they will benchmark and check the product that you just assume that you really want. I did not assume I may make it occur so I let go of that dream for some time.

Concurrently I used to be going by way of a breakup (with the person who’s now my fiancé) and I used to be simply devastated. It made me understand, That is your alternative, Kim, to handle your self. To actually get again to you and put your self first for a little bit bit.

Throughout this time my pores and skin was breaking out badly. I had these darkish spots throughout my face and a bunch of pimples. Virtually each product that I attempted wasn’t working for me. I began considering, what may I do? What can I make? What’s on the market that prioritizes the wants of Black pores and skin?

Ode to Self's Kimberlee Alexandria-Day Talks Self-Care

I used to be 23 years outdated and dealing a full-time job when it hit me — I needed to attempt making my very own skin-care model once more. I opened up Ode to Self as an eCommerce store first to hold different individuals’s merchandise in June 2018 however rapidly realized I did not really feel related to any of the manufacturers. Regardless that they have been lovely merchandise, they simply nonetheless weren’t working for somebody of my complexion and pores and skin tone.

By that point, my boyfriend and I had gotten again collectively and he requested me what I needed for Christmas that 12 months and I used to be like, “All I actually need proper now might be $300 to begin so I can determine find out how to formulate and purchase the substances that I would like.” And so I used that Christmas cash to first begin testing the formulation of De Palma, the best-selling facial oil that we have now now.

That was December 2018, and I examined the product out for some time. I actually needed to make it possible for it labored, and that it gave individuals the chance to decelerate and deal with themselves. We lastly relaunched Ode to Self as a direct-to-consumer model in June 2019.

On the time, there weren’t a whole lot of manufacturers that took into consideration the wants of Black ladies or Black males and our pores and skin. All the things was marketed in the direction of different individuals. Seeing how detrimental these magnificence requirements have been to my grandmother and mom, and seeing them wrestle to really feel comfy with who they have been and handle themselves was one thing that influenced the model I needed to create.

Ode to Self's Kimberlee Alexandria-Day Talks Self-Care

My major objective is to cut back any stress that comes with skincare so as to give extra time again to your self. From the scent to the feel, every part is meticulously structured to make your routine actually pleasurable and that will help you admire the second. I needed it to attainable luxurious. Lots of people cannot observe a 12-step routine — that prices cash. I needed to make it possible for the road was real looking in a manner that somebody on a really tight price range may use it.

What I actually wish to do with Ode to Self is flip it right into a legacy model and have it’s a sanctuary for individuals.

When Nordstrom initially reached out final 12 months, I used to be like, “Wait, this is not actual — that is loopy.” It took me a second to appreciate, “OK, we’re truly going to be in Nordstrom.” Now, we’re additionally carried at HeyDay. It is exhilarating nevertheless it’s additionally a frenzy as a result of I am nonetheless the one individual doing every part. I write all of the formulation myself, check all of the merchandise, do all of the product analysis growth, design the labels, fill the bottles, field them, pack them, and ship them out.

Making individuals completely happy and seeing that individuals truly love the product is essentially the most rewarding half — particularly as a result of I second guess myself each single day. My dream, which has been my dream since 15 years outdated, is to assist individuals. Particularly individuals who do not know find out how to present up for themselves.

What I actually wish to do with Ode to Self is flip it right into a legacy model and have it’s a sanctuary for individuals. I wish to have a wellness middle that is not your typical wellness middle — one thing that’ll truly function a group middle for individuals of colour to obtain psychological well being providers, perceive their our bodies, and obtain diet providers. It could be a spot the place individuals can hang around, calm down, and really feel like they’re being heard.

Picture Supply: Courtesy of Kimberlee Alexandria-Day


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