The Owner & The Brand: Meet Bri Smith, Owner of The B Spot Beauty
Skincare is a Black thing, too.
I’ve been saying it for ages. But, right now, mainstream beauty has coined terms like “J-Beauty” and “K-Beauty” … There’s “A-Beauty” and an emerging “C-Beauty,” all used to describe the popular beauty products created in Japan, Korea, Australia, and China, respectively, that have found success internationally. Even still, in conversation with all of these products and lines made specific to their cultural origins should be some way to coin the many skincare brands and lines and ingredients specifically formulated for melanin-rich skin.
Skincare for Black women deserves its spot in the sun—skincare for Black women matters too.
So, The B Spot is special. As a growing brand based out of Los Angeles, CA, its owner Briauna “Bri” Smith is a naturalista focused on not only creating her products to target the issues prone to melanin-rich skin, but the overall wellbeing of the body. It’s exciting to be able to write this article about her and The B Spot, because there’s such an emphasis on health and personalization. Not only does she hand-make and use everything she creates, she attempts to tailor the products to the skin sensitivities of her customers.
“This isn’t just a regular skin care line,” she says. “I actually care about its effectiveness and quality, as well as price. And I use the products every day just like each and every customer would.”
I was really excited to have this conversation with Bri, because not only is she one of my closest friends, but she’s a testament to purpose. She has always been adamant about not only the things we’re putting on and into our bodies, but also finding time to get in-tune with all areas of ourselves. Her line is a direct reflection of her holistic views and her own lifestyle.
To witness the growth and evolution of The B Spot and its success has been my pleasure, and I am grateful to have been along for part of this ride. Over the course of the past month, we’ve gone back and forth playing phone-tag, accommodating busy schedules so that I may shed some light on this incredible skincare line and the life of its boss lady!
I mean, twenty-three with a growing skincare line?
Q. Would you mind providing a bit about your background? i.e.) Where are you from? How old are you? What college did you go to?
A. I’m from Inglewood, CA. Our family house has been here for about 50 years and it’s where I was raised for most of my life. I’m currently 23 years old. I went to SDSU where I received a BA in Journalism and Media Studies (I know, a totally different area from where I ended up. This is what happens when you’re forced onto a path before you’re sure of what actually speaks to you).
Q. What was your career path prior to starting your own business?
A. If I’m being completely honest, I wasn’t exactly sure. I’ve always been an organized thinker; I chose my major housed under the School of Journalism because I knew I liked to write. However, I wasn’t necessarily interested in being a journalist nor did I want to be an English Major, but I wanted to do something that allowed me to be fun and creative. I also knew that the internet and social media were on the rise and I figured career wise, it’d be in my best interest to stick with something in that area.
Q. When did you know you wanted to work in skincare?
A. I am a do-it-yourselfer, always have been, so it was only right. I was already well on my way to forming The B Spot while providing natural nail services and art, which I started during my sophomore year of college. Now, I don’t remember the exact date, but I remember how it hit me. I was standing in the skincare section in Target trying to find something to assist with my dark spots and I remember pulling out my phone to look at the reviews for a product I picked up. As I was scrolling through the reviews, (no shade here but…) I noticed that most of them were written by women that did not identify as black. Ever so calmly, I stopped, put the product back on the shelf, and literally said out loud, “Fuck this, I’m going to do it myself.”
Q. Okay, so can we talk about how much I love this? Because I really love it. When you decided to DIY, where did you start? What was your first product?
A. Well that kind of starts in two places I would definitely say my first DIY project as it relates to The B Spot was my nails. I was actually in like, middle school. And you know girls would have super cute nails that were fake? My mom would not let me get them, so I started doing my own nails and I started playing with the designs and stuff like that…and then that kind of got put on pause. But, [later] when I went to college, I just couldn’t really find a good nail shop—they either were high-priced or they just weren’t good quality and again, you know I said I’ll do it myself and that’s I what I did.
Q. When you set out to promote The B Spot, how did you begin growing your clientele?
A. So, really it was just word-of-mouth and to this day it’s still kind of word-of-mouth, because even if I find someone via Instagram or if they find me via Instagram, it’s because they saw me on somebody else’s page, or their friend told them to follow me. I find like, even still in this era of technology, word-of-mouth is still like the number one way for me.
Q. How does The B Spot differ from other skincare lines?
A. One of the largest ways The B Spot differs from other lines (most of the major ones especially) is that it was formulated with people of color’s skin in mind, black skin specifically. Another major thing that sets it apart is the ingredient. The B Spot really focuses on health and wellness as a whole, and I made it my mission to only use natural ingredients. It’s also competitive price-wise because, here’s the thing, great skin care doesn’t have to be expensive!
Q. What advice do you have for young men and women interested in starting their own skincare lines?
A. Just go for it! If skin care is your purpose, don’t worry about your competition so much to the point where you talk yourself out of it because “so many other people are doing it.” Also, you don’t have to think of it as competition, we all bring a unique aspect to the table. I have friends and acquaintances who also do skincare and I can say we’re all different; there is enough room for all of us to prosper.
Q. What was the best piece of advice you have received regarding your career?
A. Full transparency here, I see a therapist consistently. While discussing an area of my business that I needed to release but was working endlessly working on, she insisted that I not wait until it was “perfect.” In fact, her exact words were “You are a creative, in essence this will never be complete because you are consistently creating and expanding so just get started! Release what’s available and add as you go.”
Best advice ever because there’s really no “right time” in this sense, and you’ll hold yourself back by waiting for it.
Q. How has your work been (positively or negatively) impacted by COVID-19?
A. COVID-19 has actually positively impacted my business because as people have been forced to stay at home, they are focusing more on their lifestyle, making changes as they see fit. Fortunately, not just for me but for them too, they are wanting to better themselves, paying attention to what goes in and on their body and a lot more people see the value and importance of natural products.
Q. Now, what’s your favorite product out of your line?
A. The sensitive skin butter—It’s so diverse, [and] “diverse” as in it’s good for a lot of different things, like burns, scars, tattoo healing, hyperpigmentation, minimal sun protection, etc.
Q. What is your morning routine? How do you prepare for work?
A. Every day I wake up, I meditate, I need the time to clear my mind. I talk to God and say my affirmations. Then I have 16 oz of water and get the day started! I try my very best to make sure that I have something for breakfast, our bodies need that energy.
It’s important to get in-tune with all areas of oneself. Our mental and physical health are directly connected. One big way to keep healthy and happy, or to begin to heal is to make sure you’re exercising, both physically and mentally. Get up and out every day (if you can), even if it’s just to go for a walk. In that same breath, make sure you reserve some quiet time too. Get into meditation or any activity that allows your mind to relax!
The impacts of COVID-19 have been crucial to small businesses, and one of the incredible things about The B Spot is its affordability and, like I mentioned before, personalization. Not too long ago, I came to Bri about needing something oil-based (because something about essential oils just works for my skin—more on that later), but all top-rated serums I found at Sephora averaged a cool $60. But, in response, Bri created a nighttime serum for me that’s worked wonders on hyperpigmentation and dark spots—because you know those are my two target areas. Bri not only communicates with customers about skin concerns, but recommends products and takes open requests to tailor her lines to you. Like, where else will you find that?
The B Spot’s new Glow Serum is now available for purchase, and you can use the code "TAHIRAHSGLOW" for a nice little surprise discount.
You’re very welcome.