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Asya Steele is on a mission to make skincare for all skin
Running a business

Asya Steele is on a mission to make skincare for all skin

In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re celebrating the stories of the amazing women in small business that are conquering male-dominated industries and working to #breakthebias.

Name: Asya Steele

Location: Los Angeles, California

Business: Back To Me Skin Care, LLC

Back To Me Skin Care, LLC

What does your business do?

Back To Me Skin Care is a clean beauty and wellness brand that creates skincare designed to heal and restore your skin back to its naturally beautiful and healthy state. 

Why did you decide to start your own business? How did you get started? 

During the height of the pandemic in 2020, I struggled with a series of anxiety, depression, and gut issues that led to more breakouts on my face. On top of that, my access to routine facials and beauty stores was limited. So, I started my holistic healing journey in hopes of getting back to myself inside and out… which birthed Back To Me Skin Care. 

What is the biggest lesson you learned in the first year? 

My spirit of independence is one of my core strengths. During the first year of running my business, I quickly learned the importance of outsourcing my weaknesses. I can get by and do it all of myself or I can build a serious brand with a team. Working smart creates space for creativity and innovation.

What was the most surprising thing about becoming a business owner? 

I’ve always been an overachiever and hard worker. In November 2021, I decided to resign from my engineering career of seven years due to burnout and focus solely on Back To Me Skin Care. To my surprise, that was the best decision. No matter how tired I get from juggling my many roles as a small business owner, I’m always fulfilled when I go to sleep at night. This confirmed that my business is in alignment with my passions.

What is an aspect of running a business that you needed to learn more about when you started? How did you learn about it?

When I graduated college with a mechanical engineering degree and launched into my aerospace career, I learned what core systems are needed for a business to run properly. But I had a gap in knowledge of the beauty industry culture and successful marketing strategies. So I spent a lot of days and nights researching, asking professionals questions, and signing myself up for courses and workshops to learn more.

How does running your own business make you feel?

Running my own business makes me feel free. I’ve had some incredible life experiences and sat at some really important tables. But, as a black woman, I’ve never felt fully seen, respected, or regarded in some of those spaces. Building my own table has empowered me to authentically lead through my strengths and establish a culture built on valuing and championing the voices of those who look like me.

What are some of the challenges you’ve overcome or are working to overcome as a business owner? 

Funding is one of the biggest challenges that we are working through. Operating costs have been a bit higher due to the effects of the pandemic, so we’re executing a few strategies to improve our profits. 

What are your proudest moments? 

My proudest moment is getting Back To Me Skin Care’s first retail placement within the first year of business. This was a huge win for us.

What are the next big plans you have for your business?

New product innovation and continued focus on building our Back To Me Skin Care community through social engagement and pop-up shops. 

What are three things that you feel have contributed to your success as a business owner? 

  1. Creating systems to automate tedious tasks 
  2. Asking for feedback from professionals or customers
  3. Always leading with kindness and keeping a positive mindset

What challenges do you feel are unique to female small business owners? 

Capital is usually an indicator of how well a company is able to sustain itself while innovating ways to stay relevant. Female small business owners, particularly black women, struggle the most with getting funding compared to other competitors. 

Is there anything you want other women to know about working in your industry?

It’s so refreshing to see that consumers have challenged the beauty and wellness industry to embrace diversity in skin tone, skin types, and skin conditions. Our mission is to create products for everyone.

What advice would you give to other women starting their own business? 

Do it scared! You already have the next step, you just have to do it. 

When you’re having a tough day, who or what inspires you to keep going? 

I have a strong family and friend community around me. When I’m having a tough day, talking with my mom or my youngest brother always reminds me of who I am and why I do what I do. Also, praying on my tough days reminds me of where my help comes from.

How can female business owners support one another and their community? 

I am surrounded by dynamic female business owners. We support each other by actually buying and using each other's products or services, sharing tips and resources, and simply just encouraging each other. 

What’s your “power song” and why? 

“Double Up” by the late great Nipsey Hussle is my power song. It inspires me to keep going and to be reminded that all of my hard work will pay off.

To learn more about Back To Me Skin Care and to support the business, visit their website or check them out on Instagram.

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