An interview with Kayla of Foxie Cosmetics
I remember when I first saw Kayla mention she was starting Foxie Cosmetics, I laughed to myself- ‘what can’t this woman do?’ was my main thought. At this point she’d already sold me as an all-star: from fronting the unapologetic hardcore/punk band Bleed the Pigs, to writing heartbreakingly honest and timely words in global publications like Vice, to generally being a source of knowledge, comfort and inspiration amongst the black woman I followed online. It was clear to me that we were watching a very special person.
Fast forward a year and Kayla is selling out product left and right in a time where the beauty market couldn’t be any more crazed. The secret? Like everything the 24-year old is involved with, it’s the genuine and authentic vision mixed with a good eye and some serious integrity that has Foxie Cosmetics holding its own. "Everything in the store is a reflection of myself, things I love, and what I want for my own body – all while getting to create and share art.” she shares on her website, and it couldn’t be anymore obvious.
Can you walk me through how Foxie Bombs came to be? Was starting your own business something you’ve always wanted to do?
I've always wanted my own businesses. I'm a leader, like hands on work and just the overall idea of putting my creations out there for other people to enjoy it be entertained by. With past jobs, it got to a point where I was giving away all my ideas and not being credited for them, and it just wasn't satisfying. After being stuck in a depression hole and fining that tiny piece of motivation, I ran with it and haven't stopped creating since. It's amazing how one moment truly can determine where you go.
All of the products are made by you, yourself, which is so incredible. Can you explain the actual process of creating cosmetics from scratch? From getting the desired colors, scents, benefits, etc?
Yeah! My brain is running ALL the time coming up with new products and recipes. The notebook in my phone is filled with weird notes and reminders only I can probably decipher. Research is important. I'll research something for hours, especially given the state of DIY skincare misinformation out there. I've been creating none stop, so oftentimes I'm able to know exactly what type of oil, extract or herb is best. When it comes to scents, I feel like maybe I have a super nose! I'm all about creating memorable or theatrical scents. I definitely work like an artist. It's all art and theater, all while pampering yourself.
What do you see as the number one differentiator between Foxie Bombs and other natural, vegan cosmetics?
Authenticity. Sometimes things geared towards "lifestyle" aren't real. They aren't things everyone is actually able to do everyday. They're like rose colored glasses that aren't going to be made again. You end up feeling bad about yourself, trying to figure out what you don't have this Instagram perfect life. My stuff is here to enhance what you've got, and get you to the best you.
I think a lot of young people feel the pressure to commit to one thing and only run with that thing- can you talk a bit about the duality of being a touring musician while also being in running a small business? How do the two support and/or take away from each other?
Stability isn't all it's cracked up to be. On the surface, of course, but when you get down to it, stability comes in more forms than we've originally thought. If you have the means to do some of the stuff you're passionate about, go for it! They don't have to be perfect at first, but you'll get there and you'll find you're more stable doing them. Being in a touring band and running a business - they both require psychical work from me. Thankfully we've got apps for everything these days, because I'm able to do just about all my office work in the tour van. I've even responded to customer emails before playing sets, and I've worked on the site at practice. It's a rush for me and makes me feel real, I think. I even sold some stuff at a show once and it doesn't get any better than talking music and skincare all at once. They don't really take too much from each other, and actually work together. A lot of my products are inspired by things I've seen on the road, by the people I get to meet, and the music I play. Most products are actually named after songs!
I know you often write and interact with your customers regarding their experience with the products. How important do you think that interaction is to both the success of the business and your insight as the owner and creator?
Incredibly. As the store grows, I try to make it known that I always want to be treated basically like a friend who just so happens to know all this stuff about skin and who can make a mean bath bomb. They get to skip the middle man and come straight to the source. We all get to be honest with each other. I don't pay for reviews or anything, and with my name being on everything, I truly want to put out only the best.
Even just as an online shop you’ve created such an experience for the customer but we’re all dying to know- is a physical store in the future of Foxie Bombs?
Yes!! I've been working on a storefront all year to be in my hometown, Austin, TX, and hope to have it up and running this year. I said before that music and treating yourself go hand in hand here, so look forward to my dream space!
And finally, name your top five favorite products in the shop right now.
Softer, Softest Face Moisturizer, Green With Envy Face Cleanser, Pantone 1785 Shower Icing, Chai + Vanilla Salve, and the Born Dead skull bath bomb.
TANISHA is a semi-adult living in Brooklyn, New York. Currently working as a Fashion Assistant at Vanity Fair, she hopes of becoming an editor sooner than later. When she’s not at work she likes to spend an equal amount of time between watching bad TV in bed and hogging bar photo booths on the Lower East Side. A big fan of brunch, Solange Knowles’ Instagram account, and watching black girls succeed. Instagram // Tumblr