Résumé Rundown: Jamika Martin

The ROSEN Skincare founder is spearheading the next generation of clean beauty products

When she witnessed the lack of effective yet clean skin care for Black women in the late 2010s, Jamika Martin decided to develop a brand to fill that gap. Today, ROSEN Skincare addresses skin concerns of all generations. We met with Martin to discuss how she distinguishes her brand in a saturated market and what it takes to be a beauty founder.

Read ‘Revamp Your Makeup Routine With These Products’

GU: What was your very first job, and what were the skills you learned that have guided you through your career?

Jamika Martin: I started at concessions and eventually became a “cabana girl” server at a local water park. Working there I developed dedication, timeliness and listening skills, all of which helped me understand how far I can go if I work hard.

GU: How did you begin to formulate your products, seemingly without prior knowledge of chemistry?

Martin: In 2016, I would do a lot of DIY formulas from Pinterest and by researching the ingredients I wanted to home in on. When it came to formulating products, a lot was self-taught through online courses like Cosmetic Chemistry.

GU: How does ROSEN Skincare fill the void within the acne and hyperpigmentation space, despite an influx of brands and products on the market?

Martin: When I started ROSEN, there weren’t a lot of products focused on dark spots and hyperpigmentation. The positioning of the brand—what I do and who I do it for—has remained the same: It’s for Black women. There’s still a lack of innovation and brand connection with Black women within the skin care space generally, whereas they’re the focus of every formula we make.

GU: In 2021, you raised an investment fund of $2 million, bringing ROSEN Skincare to mega-retailers. What were some of the challenges you faced during this process, and how did you navigate them?

Martin: I spent a long time building relationships while bootstrapping. My saying “Here’s what’s going on with ROSEN” or “I’m having trouble with this marketing campaign—what do you think?” allowed people to see the growth in the work that I was doing, which convinced them to say, “This is something that we believe in and that we’re willing to invest in.” After we got all the capital, understanding how to plan out cash flow and spend it effectively was trickier.

GU: What advice would you give to prospective founders who aim to break into the beauty business?

Martin: Customers need help understanding why they should shop your brand instead of what they’re already shopping for. Consider your competition, and make that point of differentiation more transparent for your customers.

Glow Like Jamika

Level up your beauty routine with Jamika’s cosmetic staples.

ROSEN Skincare Earth Cleanser, $18

ROSEN Skincare Break-Out Spot Treatment, $12

Black Girl Sunscreen Kids SPF 50 Sunscreen, $10

DedCool Fragrance 03 “Blonde,” $90

The Honey Pot Company Sensitive Wash, $11

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