Angie Parham, the founder of SteeleDivine Cosmetics Angie Parham, the founder of SteeleDivine Cosmetics
Starter Stories

Angie Parham // SteeleDivine Cosmetics

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, entrepreneur Angie Parham harnessed her creativity to pivot her hair and cosmetics skills into a new business, SteeleDivine Cosmetics.

Angie Parham is the owner and founder of SteeleDivine Cosmetics, in Memphis, Tennessee. Her business is supported by CO.STARTERS partner Epicenter Memphis.

“What am I going to do for money?” Angie Parham wondered.

The COVID-19 pandemic had thrown a wrench in her salon business, which she’d had to shut down due to social distancing. 

She noticed people’s creativity on social media though, with lots of businesses adapting to product pickups, patio eating, and at-home work. 

Angie decided to draw on her passion for cosmetics to develop a line of lipsticks—and they sold out in twenty-four hours. 

That was the confirmation she needed to keep developing her cosmetics line. She moved from lipstick to foundation to blush and beyond, and the demand kept up.

Angie joined one of Epicenter Memphis’s first post-pandemic CO.STARTERS cohorts in March of 2023.

“Epicenter has been with me every step of the way,” she explained.”They helped me think hard about what I wanted from my business and what my customers would want.”

Going through Epicenter’s CO.STARTERS cohort helped Angie creatively adapt and problem solve as she grew her business.

“CO.STARTERS helped me measure and account for the blood, sweat, and branding I was putting into my business. As a result, I raised my prices. Being in the cohort also gave me the chance to hear and solve other people’s business problems before they became my problems.”

“You have to go into it understanding the industry, and you have to find ways of pivoting around the business you’re in to offer your unique, creative spin on it. You have to be ready to be a risk taker.”

Her proudest moment at Epicenter was their pitch night—she knew that if she could present her business, answer any questions thrown her way, and leave it all on the floor, she’d prove to herself that ready to launch SteeleDivine Cosmetics.

SteeleDivine Cosmetics opened in April of 2023 and has two connected spaces. The main space is a cosmetics area where customers can get their makeup done, buy products from Angie’s makeup line, and buy “ear candy” earrings. Next door is a hair salon spot where customers can have their hair expertly cut and styled. Additionally, Angie offers bridal and special event makeup services and has even done makeup for wedding magazines. 

“I’m a Black girl making cosmetics for everyone,” she said. “It’s a Black brand that’s made an impact and has something for everyone.”

Her creativity and willingness to adapt and pivot in unexpected circumstances has made Angie a better entrepreneur, and SteeleDivine Cosmetics a better brand. 

“You have to go into it understanding the industry, and you have to find ways of pivoting around the business you’re in to offer your unique, creative spin on it. You have to be ready to be a risk taker.”

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