Vanessa Howard Grissom and Felicia Michelle are the owners of NessFeli Natural Skincare LLC. The products and services provided include wellness, skincare, apparel, accessories, and more.
Can you tell everyone who is Vanessa Howard Grissom and Felicia Michelle?
Felicia — I was born and raised in Stamford CT. Initially started my professional career in the corporate sector as a CPA recruiter. When the market crashed in 2008, I seized the opportunity to pursue my true love for styling hair. With 10 years+ of experience in the beauty industry and the most reliable business partner — I am now Co-Owner of Nessfeli Natural Skincare and owner of Felicia Michelle Hair Products.
Vanessa- I am a married mom of 4. Co-Owner of Nessfeli Skincare and a Managing Director of a Healthcare Staffing firm. I am also a wellness coach and sometimes run fitness challenges and groups. I was born and raised in Harlem, but I currently reside in Orange County, NY. I am a student of life, constantly looking to learn and grow in new ways.
Had either of you always wanted to become an entrepreneur?
Felicia — The moment I realized I could have complete control over how I spend my time and energy on what makes me happy is when I realized I wanted to become an entrepreneur.
Vanessa- Honestly, I didn’t always have the dream of being an entrepreneur. Growing up it was always instilled in me to find a good job with good benefits and a pension. It seemed like a far-off dream to actually own your own business. Even when I had ideas of businesses, I wanted to start the fear of failure seemed to always hold me back.
When did you know you wanted to start this company and become Black Women Business Partners/Owners for it?
Vanessa- It became very clear to me that I would not be able to build a legacy, or generational wealth for my family by working only a corporate 9–5. I’m only helping the owners build that for their families. I want to change the narrative, create something that can be passed down for generations to come. When COVID hit, with me getting sick and seeing so much loss happening in the world I totally knew it was now or never. It felt like the world was changing and now is the time!
Felicia- Having a foot in the beauty industry as a hairstylist, paired with my observation that there is a limited representation of women of color owning and operating a luxury skincare line; strongly reassured me that this was a perfect time and opportunity to make our mark in this European dominated industry.
Can you tell everyone, what is NessFeli Natural Skincare LLC.?
We are a black women-owned natural skincare company. We’ve created products that can be used with all skin types. We use Natural & Organic Plant derived Oils and Butters; our products are free of animal-derived ingredients (Vegan) and Parabens. We have a Preference for Wildcrafted & Fair-Trade Ingredients sourced from ethical suppliers.
What are some of the products and services NessFeli Natural Skincare LLC. offers?
We have a full skincare line for all skin types which include-Cleansers, Toners, Serums, Eye Care, Masks and Exfoliate. Organic Wellness Tea, Apparel, and skincare accessories.
What was the motivation to launch your skincare line, opposed to just purchasing another brand?
We really wanted to have creative control over creating a line that was clean but effective. Some of the chemicals used in skincare can have long-term effects on your skin so we wanted to be mindful of that.
Is NessFeli Natural Skincare LLC. considered hypoallergic?
We haven’t completed the testing needed to use the claim of it being hypoallergenic, but our products are less likely to irritate sensitive skin because it is vegan, natural, plant-based, and use botanical ingredients, ‘Green’, natural source Emulsifiers, Surfactants & Thickeners, Mineral & natural source Colorants, it is paraben and cruelty-free and made employing eco-friendly clean manufacturing practices.
What is your go-to product within NessFeli Natural Skincare LLC.?
Felicia- My favorite products would have to be our Acai Creme Cleaner and Vitamin C Serum due to the extremely dry weather in the Metropolitan area, these two products are to keep my dry skin moisturized.
Vanessa- Vitamin C Serum, Phytonutrient Eye Gel. The Serum helps with hyperpigmentation and also prevention of fine line wrinkles. I’m all about anti-aging products. I love the eye gel for the dark area under my eyes. It is effective without being too harsh.
Where would you like to see NessFeli Natural Skincare LLC. in the next 5 to 10 years?
We would love to see our products in Spas nationwide as well as open up a spa and offer all types of wellness and skincare treatments.
What advice can you provide to women, especially Black women, that would like to start a small business, women-owned business?
Don’t give up, believe in yourself and your passion! Do your research and network, network, network? Work at your own pace and be realistic with your own expectations of yourself. In this social media-driven era it is easy to look at and analyze what other entrepreneurs have done in a short period of time. However, everyone’s road to success is not identical to yours.
What would you like our views to gain from this interview?
We would love for everyone to get a better understanding of our mission and products and get to know the owners a little better.
How can people connect with you to learn more, as well as continue to follow NessFeli Natural Skincare LLC?
Photo Credits: Mabel Peralta @bellamabella