Meet Ms. Kalauna Carter, the owner of Kolors By K. She’s a mogul in the making and set to take the beauty industry by storm with her ALL NATURAL and VEGAN Nail Polish line, Kolors by K. Her line is 10 free and she has the bombest colors ever! I noticed Kalauna because she has a black owned VEGAN cosmetic business. That’s RARE. I love seeing black women do big things, but I LOVE when they make an effort to provide products that are safe and chemical free! Not only is she making our environment better, but she’s also contributing to having a healthy black community. Why else would I NOT want to tell her story! Kalauna is ALSO one of the most patient and INSPIRING people I’ve had the chance to talk to! When you finish reading, you will WANT to shop.
Sydney : Tell me the back story of KolorsbyK and why you chose to start this business!
Kalauna: Founded in July of 2016, KolorsbyK was inspired by the lack of representation of women of color in the beauty industry. We see the products, we see the models, but how many of them are truly wearing products made BY women of color? Not many. I saw a space that needed to be filled and if I might add, I love nail polish so this was a perfect fit for me. I came home one day from purchasing some nail polish and I thought to myself, “I could save so much money if I learned how to safely make this for myself. I started looking up the chemical components and saw how dangerous some of them of were EVEN when used in small doses on just our hands and feet. I said to myself “if I can figure this out without all THESE chemicals I could be on to something” and that’s when KolorsbyK was born. The more research I did the more information I came across regarding the chemicals causing cancer in nail polish and that shook me to the core. With the advice of a cousin of mine whom I look up to dearly I went to work.
Why You NEED to be shopping with Kalauna:
- Female Owned
- Black Owned
- Founded to aid in bettering women’s overall health
- First EVER Ten Free Nail Polish Company owned by a Woman of Color
- Leaping Bunny Certified!
I got a chance to do an interview with her and she provided the details about her business! Here’s the deets:
Sydney (S): You are one of the few people I see doing custom nail colors for your customers. What sparked you to do this? Most companies just make generic colors and go from there, but Kolors by K does more.
Kalauna (K): Yes, we loooovvveee to make Kustom Kolors for our customers! For example, I recently completed an order of over 50 bottles for a young woman’s bridal party! She wanted all of the women in the wedding to wear a shade of purple. Kustom Kolors are perfect for gifts and even companies whom have beauty boxes.
S: What was your favorite collection to make? Why?
K: Oooo! This is a good question.. I seriously love all my collections! I really can’t decide on a favorite one! Each collection that I make pulls something new out of me and allows me to stretch creatively.
S: Do you have a go-to nail color? What is it?
K: To be honest it really just depends on how I AM feeling! What I love most about what I do for KolorsbyK is I CAN literally make ANY Kolor depending on my mood. It’s one of the many perks of hand making my own polish!
S: They say every woman needs a mini black dress in her closet. What color does she need in her nail polish collection?
K: Yessss honey! There are no lies with that statement! There are six Kolors every woman needs to have! Army green, pure white, pastel pink, nude, (natural kolor), true red, and a nice”grey”. With any and every occasion these Kolors are sure to pair perfectly.
Check out these dope polish colors that Kalauna made! Vegan, 10 Free and GORGEOUS.
S: Why is having 10free and Vegan nail polish a plus in the nail industry? What can women expect to gain or avoid from using your polish (or polishes like this)?
K: Having 10 Free nail and vegan polish is a super important in regards to women’s health. Most polishes sold in stores are between three and five free, usually, but not always containing toluene, Dibutyl Phthalate and/or formaldehyde or formaldehyde resins. KolorsbyK nail polishes are 10 free meaning it is made without the chemical composition of Camphor, Toluene, Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resins, and Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), xylene, ethyl tosylamide, parabens, phthalates and fragrances. All of which are non-environmentally friendly and often linked to cancers found in women ranging from ovarian to breast.
KolorsbyK is also vegan! No animals nor animal byproducts are used in the making of and most importantly never tested on animals. With our polishes being vegan and animal cruelty free KolorsbyK was able to gain national certification by becoming Leaping Bunny Certified. Leaping bunny is the only internationally-recognized certification for cosmetic’s, personal care and household product brands which are not tested on animals. They audit companies entire supply-chain monitoring system to check companies are following guidelines and are meeting Leaping Bunny’s strict criteria.
S: It is not often that you hear of African American women starting nail polish lines, especially not one that is considered organic. What were your thoughts when you first started out? Were there any risks or fears you had?
K: I get asked this all the time and honestly when I started my business I had no fears. I had a clear plan and was ready to execute. I was ready for the world, but I wasn’t sure if it was ready for me. As women, not all, but most of us love a good eyebrow wax, some laid edges and a nice paint job on our hands and feet. While all of it is nice, how awesome would be if you knew what were you putting on your nails would work towards to your health and not against it all the while empowering you and making you look and most importantly feel beautiful. I really can’t think of anything better than that! I will say sometimes it can be overwhelming. I have created my own lane, to my knowledge I am the ONLY black woman with a 10 free nail polish company that is FDA Approved, Leaping Bunny Certified and Vegan. I aspire to be a role model for other African American women, EVERYWHERE and until they have all worn KolorsbyK my job will remain unfinished.
S: What advice do you have to other women who are trying to be successful in areas Black women have not always been in?
K: STICK WITH IT and DO NOT GIVE UP. Even when things don’t seem to be going right or even how you think they should remember as cliché as It sounds(it still holds great weight) “Rome wasn’t built in a day” you WILL get there. When one door shuts always remember another will open and if the door is closed, KNOCK it down! Take risks and don’t allow fear to hold you back from your dreams. There is someone somewhere counting on you to complete the passions God has placed on your heart. Also, be sure to seek mentorship and place yourself around those who are working in your field of interests.
Fun Facts about Kalauna!
Birthplace: Portland, Oregon
Siblings: One sister, One Brother
Favorite Color: Green
Favorite Food: Guacamole
Favorite Book: Silent Seasons by Heather Lindsey
Favorite Podcast: Blessed and Bossed Up by Tatum Temia
Alma Mater: Attended Tuskegee University for Undergraduate and Graduate School
Currently: Attending Nail Technology school upon completion of Master’s Degree
Fun Story about Kalauna!
I’ll share one story in particular, when I first started KolorsbyK I had to the opportunity to send some polish to a very important person and her two beautiful daughters. The FLOTUS Mrs. Michelle Obama and her two daughters Malia and Sasha. It was quite the experience from sending them directly to her and communicating with her and her assistant. If ANNNNNY of you ladies reading this own Champagne, Hawaiian PUNCH, Prancer or Kandy consider yourself lucky and one of a kind to own the same Kolors as them!
Tips for finding out what your nail polish contains:
Check the backs of polishes to see what chemicals they are free of the more the betterJ
Especially formaldehyde which can cause YELLOWING of the nails if kept on too long!
Nail Maintenance every two weeks is Ideal!
Oil those CUTICLES!
Staying Connected with Kalauna: