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Victorialand Beauty Inclusive Skincare Line

Image is described in the body of the post.

ABBY’S CORNER | AUDIO INTERVIEW

Editor’s Note

Hi Everyone, yesteday I tried so hard to publish this amazing interview with the brilliant Victoria Watts of Victorialand Beauty. However sometimes content is more important timelines and you’ll see what I mean when you meet Victoria. You won’t want to miss this one! Below the interview is a transcript for your reading pleasure. Enjoy! ~Abby

Abby:

Hey guys, happy Friday to you. It’s me, Abby from Bold Blind Beauty. So excited to see you guys, hope you’re having a great start to your weekend. I’m hanging out with my good friend, Victoria Watts, from Victorialand Beauty. Victoria, how are you today?

Victoria Watts:

I’m doing wonderful. How are you?

Abby:

I’m doing so good. I got to tell you, girl, we have so much to cover and I know that the skincare line that you have is amazing.

Victoria Watts:

Thank you, I knew you’d love it.

Abby:

I know, can you kind of tell me how you created it because I know you told me the story about how you were literally in your kitchen cooking it, but tell me that whole background story.

Victoria Watts:

Well, for years, I’ve used various products to address my skin conditions I had at the time, and I couldn’t find anything that really delivered the results I was looking for so I decided to take matters into my own hand and find my own solution. I began mixing and blending natural ingredients to find a formula that actually worked and helped to improve the skin conditions I had.

Abby:

That is awesome. I’m hearing you are a natural born entrepreneur.

Victoria Watts:

It appears so.

Abby:

Love it, love it. We’re all about power here at Bold Blind Beauty, and that is so powerful.

Victoria Watts:

Thank you.

Abby:

I mentioned in my little bit about the inclusion. Do you want to talk about a little bit more about what about it, about your products, really love? Because I love the fact that your animal cruelty free and what else?

Victoria Watts:

We are animal cruelty free, vegan, we are all natural, very important to have the all natural ingredients. Much better for your health and your skin. And also I felt it was very important to be inclusive of all consumers, and that meant the products needed to be accessible to all consumers, including the visually impaired consumer. My son Cyrus was born blind back in 2016, as a result and just seeing him and the way he navigates his world, it really got me thinking about accessibility in a way that I’ve never thought about it before. It was very important for me and for my skincare line to be able to raise awareness for this importance, and also to adopt the accessibility into my packaging so that all consumers could use these products.

Abby:

That is so awesome. And I want to talk just like a blind user of your product, what I found to be so great about them. When first of all, when you sent them to me, the packaging is gorgeous. And you guys, she uses QR codes and they’re raised so I knew exactly [inaudible 00:02:33]. I know we all struggle with that. I know a lot of you that are hearing me are bobbing their heads like, “Yeah girl, I’m here with you on that.” Victoria, I just loved the experience of when I could take my phone and then swipe it across the QR code, and I was able to hear every single ingredient, everything I needed to know about the product, everything basically a sighted user gets to see when they’re in the throws of wanting to buy a product.

Victoria Watts:

Exactly, and I’m so glad to hear you say that because that is also important. It was not only did the products need to be accessible and identifiable by a touch through the raised symbol system that I created for these products, but also the information needed to be accessible. The power of the QR code and being able to utilize it, and merge the tactile symbols with technology really, we were able to really deliver the idea of accessibility through all aspects of the product.

Abby:

I especially loved it because I’m definitely a braille user, but I when I was listening to that, I know that that would have been so very difficult for you to get all of the information that’s loaded onto packaging. That would have been pretty difficult, I assume.

Victoria Watts:

Yes, very difficult. Which is why once I determined that that was not really the best option for what I was trying to do for this inclusive piece, that’s when I decided to create a symbol system for these products.

Abby:

Awesome. I, first of all, cannot wait, and Cyrus sounds like such a cutie, and I can’t wait to meet him. I love it when we have open heart and open minds, what we can accomplish when we do things for others. The power of a mom is great, right?

Victoria Watts:

Oh, absolutely, no doubt.

Abby:

So tell me, when you were planning it, who did you work with to help you kind of come along with these symbols, and learn about this, because obviously you weren’t aware of blindness until then.

Victoria Watts:

Correct. And what I did was I worked with a gentleman at the Lighthouse Organization, here in Florida where I live, and my time with him was amazing. And it added so much value to this project because there were things that I didn’t even think of that he brought to my attention. And it was really, really helpful as I went down through this journey, to be able to work with them and really get feedback from someone that’s going to benefit from this system.

Abby:

When you did start to get into the blindness community, I mean, there’s a lot of things that I know took away from it, but what is that one thing that you took away from as far as… Because you’re talking about inclusion and the reality is that inclusion is a barrier that we’re really trying to break down. What is the one thing you came away with when you were dealing with people that are in the blind community?

Victoria Watts:

What I took away was that, just because a blind person cannot see their beauty, they still want to feel beautiful. And it is very important for us to recognize that we are all people, we all have differences. We have different skin types, we have different races, we have different abilities, different disabilities, and all of that should be considered amongst consumer packaged goods so that all of products are accessible to all consumers, because we are all the same, but we’re different in our own ways. But that doesn’t mean that we should be excluded.

Abby:

No, you’re totally right. And what I love about that too, Victoria, is that one thing, back to your skin line, is your skin line is inclusive in so many ways. It’s not just the packaging, but it is for all skin types.

Victoria Watts:

And genders. Yeah, I think it’s very important to raise awareness for this because it is such a need. It’s a growing need.

Abby:

It is. And I have a very good buddy of mine who is in love with the sleep mask, which is my favorite too but-

Victoria Watts:

Mine too.

Abby:

Let’s talk about the product, the symbols, because we haven’t hit that really yet.

Victoria Watts:

Sure. What was important was to come up with symbols that made sense for what the products are. Again, these are symbols that will be seen by the sighted consumer, but felt by the unsighted consumer. We came up with symbols that made sense for the products. For instance, the sleep mask, which is a nighttime treatment, is a crescent moon. The face oil is an oil drop, the moisturizer is a wavy line, which signifies moisture, and the eye and lip treatment is an upside down triangle.

Abby:

Let me tell you what I love about this, you guys. I was on vacation a couple of weeks ago and of course I don’t have the packaging on my products, but I have my [inaudible 00:06:45] bag full of all my staff, and I was telling Victoria, I loved it because these symbols are on the packaging, the actual product itself. While I’m sitting there and I’m like, “Wait a minute, is this my hair oil?” Well I get to my stuff for Victoria, and it’s like, “Boom, this is my face mask. Boom, this is my moisture.” And yes, of course, I’m also obsessed with the eye and around the lips cream as well. That one is another one of my faves. It was so easy to identify because they had the symbol. I get so sick and tired of sometimes like, “Hey, let me call somebody to see,” FaceTime someone and be like, “What is this? Or what is that?” So I love you did that.

Victoria Watts:

And I’m so happy to hear this, this is wonderful.

Abby:

And of course I had to share with all my girlfriends and be like, “Okay, you need to switch, you need to switch products. Straight up. And my guy friends too.

Victoria Watts:

Perfect.

Abby:

Is there anything else you want to share with us? Anything up and coming fun with you or?

Victoria Watts:

Well, we’re working on a new product right now that we plan to launch in 2021, so that’s very exciting. With of course the new symbol that will be released us so we’re very excited about that. And just want to say that, like we’ve said before, this is a need, this is something that is very important and I really would encourage other brands to start thinking about this, and thinking about being more inclusive of the consumer, the visually impaired consumer, because it’s a growing need. We need to start being more aware of this. And I really do encourage brands across the board to start thinking about this.

Abby:

I couldn’t agree more because there are over 25 million people that are blind in the United States alone, blind or vision impaired. And that affects not only us, but our families as your well demonstrating, yeah.

Victoria Watts:

Yeah, and not to mention 1.1 billion people worldwide, that has some form of visual impairment, me being one of them but I have contacts that can correct that. But without my contacts, I can’t see, really much of anything. It’s also beneficial to not just the blind community, but all consumers to some degree. So again, we need to start thinking about this as a society because it is very important

Abby:

Inclusion just isn’t inclusion, it’s innovation. And who isn’t out there wanting to innovative, especially in this world we’re living in right now, right?

Victoria Watts:

Absolutely.

Abby:

You guys, I just thank you so much, Victoria, for hanging with me today, I have had the best time. I also want to share that since I’ve started using your products, I was having some blemish issues that are completely gone. My skin feel like butter. And I just want you to start following Victoria and see what she’s doing. And hey Victoria, before we signed off, can you tell us where we can follow you or buy your product?

Victoria Watts:

Absolutely. You can follow us on Instagram it at @VictorialandBeauty, and you can browse our product selection and learn more about the Cyrus System at VictorialandBeauty.com.

Abby:

And you guys, I think she’s pretty open too if you have ideas. Right Victoria?

Victoria Watts:

Absolutely. I would love ideas, feedback, all is welcome.

Abby:

Well, you guys, thanks so much, Victoria. I’m sending you a huge virtual hug down in Florida, which I wish I was there with you on the beach right now but we’re going to make it happen soon.

Victoria Watts:

Yes.

Abby:

And hey guys, this is Abby with Bold Blind Beauty, keeping it real, keeping it natural, keeping it lovely,
one cane tap at a time!

Connecting With Victoria:

Image Description:

  • The header photo is of Victoria and her son Cyrus.
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The Power In The Journey Interview With Amy Bovaird

Kenya image description is in the body of the post.

ABBY’S CORNER | AUDIO INTERVIEW

Editor’s Note

Author Photo
Author Photo

I recently sat down to have a chat with Amy Bovaird a world traveler, teacher, author, and advocate. Amy has traveled to more countries than many of us will accomplish in our lifetimes and she did it while losing her eyesight and later her hearing. Her story is one of perseverance and faith intermingled with a great sense of humor. Below the audio interview is a transcript for your reading pleasure. Enjoy! ~Abby

Abby:

Hey everybody, it’s Abby. I hope everyone is enjoying their summer. It’s uber hot where I am right now. I’m getting the time to spend with Amy Bovaird today and I’m super excited about her story because you guys know I’m a traveler and I’ve been all over the place. And it’s so fun for me that I get to talk to her about travel in different aspects that we’re going to cover. So, Amy, thank you for hanging out with me today.

Amy Bovaird:

Yeah, I’m really happy too.

Abby:

I know. I want to talk about your travel experiences because they’re so amazing. And I wonder if I need to know just a little bit about you and all the places you’ve been. Where all have you been during your international travels?

Amy Bovaird:

Well, gosh, it seems like I counted up one time and it was 33 different countries.

Abby:

33? Golly.

Amy Bovaird:

I’ve lived in seven, so yeah, that’s a little bit less. Yeah.

Abby:

Oh my gosh. I definitely classify you as a mega world traveler. That’s awesome. So Amy, what I love about this whole story that you share with us is, when you were traveling, can you kind of talk to us about the time that you started to realize that you were losing sight and your hearing?

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Park Bench

Amy Bovaird:

Well, so when I first started kind of realizing that something was going on with my sight was when I was in the jungles of Ecuador, in the interior jungle, the Amazon. And I noticed that it was always dark and I was stumbling a lot and people just didn’t get why I was doing that and I didn’t get it and they didn’t want to go with me when we were checking out the caiman with the phosphorescent lights. And I was just like, “Why am I always tripping and falling?” And, “I guess I need stronger glasses.” So that was the first time I really noticed a marked change.

And I guess plus probably because in the interior jungle, it’s so dark. So I came home and I told the doctor I needed stronger glasses because at that time, I had a wonderful job opportunity in Indonesia. So I had a couple, two, three weeks between that. So I thought, “Okay, I’ll get these new glasses and I’ll go.” And it was a little bit more complicated than that. That’s when they had found out my condition, which is called retinitis pigmentosa. So anyway, I decided to continue with my teaching overseas and I would just do it no matter what. I was going to pursue my goals, and this was halfway across the world. I could learn another language or languages. So I just did, I didn’t know at that time if I was ever going to see my family’s faces again because they didn’t know at what rate this was going to happen to me.

So I just took my chances and it really paid off. I had such amazing experiences. But in the beginning, I noticed I was a lot more frightened. I had this opportunity to go in another island and we were exploring a cave. And so it’s super dark in a cave. And one guy, There were maybe six or seven of us, and he’s like, “Oh, you’re like my grandma, but 28 years old.” And he says, “Oh, you walk like my grandma.” [inaudible 00:03:50] I didn’t really tell anyone about my sight loss so it was just like, oh my gosh.

Abby:

Yeah no one wants to be told at 28 they’re like a grandma, but I mean, so you found this out, were you using a cane at the time?

Amy Bovaird:

I wasn’t at that time. I was just sort of feeling my way and I don’t think I needed a cane at that point, but it definitely was a decrease in my visual. Yeah so as I got on, as I continued to travel, my field narrowed more and more and more. So I had to, for example, I went to Scotland and I was climbing a mountain and I was afraid I was getting lost on the mountain. So the flashlight was the people ahead of me. They were wearing bright lights, bright-colored clothing. So I just fixed my eyes on them as it started to get dark so that I wouldn’t get lost.

Abby:

There’s so much here, Amy, that I know you and I talked earlier about your love for teaching and your passion for it, coupled with your need for travel. Was it just when you came back and you were told that you had RP which you weren’t expecting, because you’re thinking you’re just going to get your glasses and run to your opportunity, what was that passion that you felt that you were like, “I’m going to continue with this no matter what.” Because there’s a lot of fear there I’m sure.

Amy Bovaird:

There is.

Abby:

What propelled you?

Amy Bovaird:

Yeah. Well, it was actually a scripture in the Bible because there’s Abraham and he was the father of all the nations and God and told him to go to a place that he did not know. And he would show him. And so I felt, “Oh my gosh, he took care of Abram,” at the time it was Abram, then it turned into Abraham, “He can take care of me just as well. He’s not going to let me get hit by a car or,”

Abby:

Or get lost in the woods and climb a mountain and a cave, all the things we’ve talked about here already.

Amy Bovaird:

Yeah. I mean, there were a lot of instances, but I just wanted to do it so badly that I just said, “It’s okay, we’re going to adapt and we’re going to do that.” So I would take taxis so I didn’t have to drive and everything was doable.

Abby:

Amy, I really want to hit the point though of, I mean, all I’m hearing faith. Faith, like no other and just the confidence that you exude and not letting yourself be held back. But it wasn’t just that, you’re extremely innovative. I mean, you were on your feet thinking about, “Okay, this is what I want to do, and this is what I’m going to do to get it done.”

Amy Bovaird:

Yeah, yeah. That’s right. Yeah. And I didn’t tell people, because I thought that if they knew they would treat me differently. So I just kind of kept it to myself and if they thought that I was kind of an airhead, by maybe walking too closely to them or running into them or whatever, it was okay because I was living my life. So I just maximized what I could see. I used whatever I could and whatever transport I could. And I just continued. And it was easier sometimes overseas because you could take trains and you could take ships and so there were lots of ways to accommodate without really saying I’m accommodating. The hearing was a little bit more of a challenge.

Abby:

Yeah, can we talk about that?

Amy Bovaird:

Yeah. Well, so I’m a teacher and I’m teaching English as a second language. So you have to hear your students when they would read something out loud or they would give me an answer. I’d say, “Sorry, can you repeat that? Again?” Nobody couldn’t know I wasn’t hearing them, but I just thought, “Gosh, I’m going to have to stand closer to these people, to my students, I’m going to have to pay more attention to them, I’m not hearing them.” And then in the back of my mind, I had this idea. I remember reading when I found out about my RP, that there’s another part of it that goes along with it, which is hearing loss. And I was like, “I have that. I must have that.” And so I kind of kept that in the back of my mind, that that’s why it’s harder to hear over the telephone or in context reduced situations.

Street corner image is described in the body of the post.
Street Corner

Abby:

So how did you adapt with that?

Amy Bovaird:

Well, I just started walking around the room and standing next to my students when I asked them questions, and sometimes I was adapting in two things. I remember being in Taiwan and my teaching platform was like a theater. It looked kind of like a theater with three steps going down. And I walk a lot when I teach. So the steps weren’t steep, they were quite broad. And so I sometimes walk down a step without knowing, I stumble down the steps. And so I’m trying to listen to my students and I’m trying to catch, “Oops missed that one.” So I would just try to make jokes. So that’s how I handled it. And I just kept asking them to repeat themselves and making jokes that I didn’t hear them. They were pretty good about it.

Abby:

That is great. Even listening to you talking about this, I, myself, there are struggles that we all face and I remember a very similar story where I thought it’s okay if people think that I’m, oh, well, you know what I mean, I was without someone and I didn’t want to have my cane and when I didn’t get to this level of acceptance, this is a different story for me, but I think it rings true with a lot of us in this situation, that we think it’s okay for someone to think we’re a ditz or in my case, maybe this person just thinks I’m drunk. And we’d rather them think that about us than thinking they’re going to think less of us because we can’t see.

Amy Bovaird:

Yeah. Isn’t that strange? When you think about it, I think it just has to come from within ourselves that we develop that confidence to share that information.

Abby:

Yes it does. Yeah. When did you come to the point of where it came from within?

Amy Bovaird:

I think it was that year. It was 2008 when I had my mobility training. My trainer was completely blind and he was saying hello to people. And I’m like, “How can he see them?” And he kept telling people, “Oh I’m helping Amy to see better so she could be more independent.” And I’m like, “Why is he telling people?” And I think because being so open about it, I started to become open about it. And I did have a travel, on a cruise after with my cane, and I traveled with people that were not accustomed to being around someone with a cane.

And I remember reassuring them that it was okay. By that time it was two years, it was 2010. So I had gotten used to people seeing me with a cane. So they were telling me, “Oh, they’re wondering about you with your cane.” And I had completely forgotten it by that time. So I had come so far in such a short time and I just realized that it’s okay to have that. And it was my job to make people feel comfortable about it instead of everybody feeling uncomfortable, what do I say? What do I do? How do I show her? And I think that coming, I was more approachable, it made everything so much easier for everyone.

Abby:

Yes. And I bet you your world opened up more.

Amy Bovaird:

Yes, it did. It absolutely did. And it made me very courageous to travel. I mean, I felt like I had the best of two worlds. I was able to have special accommodation. I was able to do it, to go. I remember there was a really interesting thing, my friend was in the water and she was really good at paddling, I don’t know what it was, paddling something, kind of a boat. And they’re all talking about how beautiful these fish were, and it was in the Caribbean, and I couldn’t see any of the fish. And when we went to get me on this canoe or whatever it was, they were like, “Be careful with her, be careful with her.” I’m like, “It’s okay. It’s okay.” And I started being afraid because they were afraid. But then when I was in the water and I couldn’t see any fish, and I was kind of putting my hands in the water. I go, “I’m wet. I’m getting wet. I’m going back to my travels.” And it was such a marvelous moment.

It was like complete joy because these people were enjoying themselves so much and I was part of it and I wasn’t being held back. I was still living my life with my cane. So it was a kind of eye opening moment. It was a moment where I realized that this was going to be my future. It wasn’t going to impact me.

Abby:

Amy that is the most beautiful story, I am speechless, which is hard for me to be. And I love that you shared that with us and wanted to share with me the power that just comes from that. There’s too many times that we in our lives hold our own and you realize that the end of the day, it’s holding yourself back when you don’t accept the things that are challenges. But knowing that when you do, and the minute the light hits in your heart, that you can be what you want to be, and you continued your travel. What are you doing now? Because you’re doing a lot I mean, you’ve written books, what do you do now? I feel like advocacy is totally in your heart and can you talk to us a little bit about what you’re doing now?

Amy Bovaird:

Well, mostly I’m writing and I’m kind of advocating for sight loss, but I’ve got some plans in my mind about where I want to travel overseas. I want to take my brother and show him some of these places. One of the places I want to go is Mexico. And just to really let my brother have that opportunity, my older brother, have that opportunity to just see what he hasn’t been able to see. So together, we will help each other. So that’s one of my goals and just a kind of a closer one, and instead of being in Africa or something, but I just wanted to start small and just help my brother to see what I’m so passionate about.

Abby:

Oh, that is beautiful. Because we all need to be sharing what it is that we’re passionate about. I mean, that is so critical. Don’t you think? Because it inspires other people to do it.

Amy Bovaird:

Yes. I think so.

Abby:

No matter our circumstances. Oh my gosh, can you tell us a little bit about the books that you’ve written? Maybe one piece or what it means to you to share, to write?

Amy Bovaird:

Okay. So really, the book that emerged first was the story of my white cane, because that is what gave me the freedom. And so it was that idea of what, I remember there was a moment where I was dropped off in the middle of nowhere and I had to find my way to the Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services and only ask three questions, and I would pass go and collect $200 or whatever.

Can I ask this? Is there a person? Can I ask them? And my trainer said, because I would just go, I was really abrupt. I’d say, “Okay, what street are we on?” When I got to the Bureau of Blindness, I made my way there, a little bit late, but I made my way there, and I was so excited. I asked for my caseworker and I told her, “I made it, I made it, I found them.” And then turned around and walked into the wall. I thought that was really humbling. We are always small, not too big for our britches. And I think when we realized that and we’re able to laugh at ourselves and just see that we are all so imperfect in all of our strivings, then we’re going to enjoy our life.

Abby:

I agree wholeheartedly. If anybody wants to read your books, Amy, where could they find them?

Amy Bovaird:

On Amazon dot com, I have my audiobooks on Amazon, iTunes, and Audible. My website is Amy Bovaird dot com, they’re there. All of my books are in large print and Kindle, eBook, and they are regular print. I have a couple of recent eBooks that just went out about my diagnosis and I have some other issues and so the other ones are overcoming and finding joy in little things, family, and how God kind of gives us surprises. Stuff like that. I’m working on a book right now called Second Sight, which goes through some of my early travels and it goes through now what I’m coping with, like going to the wrong seat of the car, the backseat, thinking I’m in the front. All those kinds of things and looking at it from a perspective of acceptance.

So it’s called Second Sight because it’s like looking in the mirror. And instead of looking out of a situation of continually adapting, it’s more inside us. Instead of before, it was mostly outside, like the physical, we tried to get to [crosstalk 00:19:58] using a cane and now it’s more working on my perspective and how to change a negative into a positive and looking for the blessings and things, looking for the good things that arise out of my situation. There’s always something to be thankful for.

Abby:

Yes, there is. Amy, I could just sit here and talk with you for hours and hours. And I just want to thank you so much for your time with us today and sharing just pieces of priceless ways that we can live our lives and realizing vulnerability and realizing that we are human and accepting every bit of who we are and looking for those moments of joy. And, gosh, wow I’m super excited to be here with you today and thank you so incredibly much. You guys, I just want to hug you. I can’t wait until we can do that. So thank you so much for being here with me today and sharing your story and we’re going to definitely look you up and I’m going to get to reading your books, stat. So I can’t wait.

Amy Bovaird:

Oh thank you, that’s great.

Abby:

I hate to go, this was so wonderful. We’re going to go grab some lunch or something soon. It’s going to be awesome. You guys, this is Abby. Thank you for joining Amy and I today. And remember, just stay strong, stay natural, stay lovely, stay beautiful, one cane tap at a time, and we can do this together. Guys, take care and have a great one.

Connecting With Amy:

Image Descriptions:

  • Header photo from Amy’s visit to a small village in Kenya where she sponsored a child, Betty Mueni, through Child International. These are the villagers in her area. Amy is in the center. Sweet memory.
  • Amy’s official author photo with her white cane.
  • Park Bench – Amy is seated on a park bench smiling and happy in a park.
  • When she lived in Indonesia. Here Amy is carrying a backpack and pointing to the street name Jalan Salam with another teacher from her school. 
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Melody Goodspeed The Connoisseur Of Audio Description

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ABBY’S CORNER | AUDIO INTERVIEW

“It’s not our eyes that make us see, it’s our minds and our hearts, that’s what we see with.”

~Melody Goodspeed

An Interview With TheADNA.org

Bold Blind Beauty is thrilled to share a podcast interview featuring Melody Goodspeed compliments of The Audio Description Narrators Of America (TheADNA). Melody, a.k.a. the voice of Abby is a passionate advocate and a very good friend. Take a listen as Hollywood voiceover artist, Roy Samuelson talks with Melody about how much audio description means to her.

Know Your Narrator Series BONUS: Melody Goodspeed

Connecting With TheADNA:

Image Description:

A photo of a sign that says “Podcast” surround by a succulent plant, cup of coffee, tablet, and headphones.

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Seeing Beauty Through A New Spktrm

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ABBY’S CORNER | AUDIO INTERVIEW

Intro:

Hey, everybody. It’s Abby. I hope everyone’s doing great. I don’t know what the weather is like in your all’s area, but boy is it hot in my area today, but it’s even hotter because I get to hang out with Jasmine Glass, the creator and founder of innovative makeup, Spktrm Beauty. Jasmine, it is so fun hanging out with you today.

Seeing Beauty Through a New Spktrm (Abby interviews Jasmine Glass)

Jasmine:

I’m so glad to be here. Thanks for having me, Abby.

Abby:

We were chatting before this. You know my obsession with lipstick and I was talking to Steph, our creator of BBB and me, and she’s telling me all about your lipstick and, oh my gosh, can you please share with everybody?

Jasmine:

Absolutely. We’re about to launch our second product, which is an inclusive range of nude, true nude lipsticks. There’s been a lot of progress made with foundation shade ranges expanding over the past few years, but still very few brands that are offering a true nude match for people with varied skin tones. That’s one aspect of the product and we also have been working with Bold Blind Beauty as consultants because we have decided to incorporate braille into all of our packaging moving forward to be of service to the visually impaired community as well. We’re very excited about this launch for those reasons.

Abby:

I have never myself been able to find a good match for a nude lipstick. It always makes me look kind of pale or it’s not, so I love this. I want to talk about that for one second and then of course we’re going to get into the braille because, oh my gosh, I’m shaking with excitement. I want to talk with a nude lipstick, I just feel like it can really bring out my own natural beauty. Are you all about that?

Jasmine:

I love a good nude and I feel like it’s a good daytime look, a little more subtle and I just think it’s important that we make available all products that all different communities are looking for. That’s really the goal here is to draw attention to the fact that there is still a limited amount of these shades available. I’ve had conversations with our beauty consultant, Julissa, who is a black woman, and she’s talked to me about the fact that black women are still using eyebrow and eyeliner pencils on their lips at this point or having to blend colors together or just using other products that aren’t lipstick to create that look. This is a step in the right direction and we hope other brands will follow suit.

Abby:

You’re a leader, a real leader, and it’s awesome. I like a good day too. It’s awesome and I just feels delicate. I just feel like I’m featuring my own beauty that I have within. Tell us all about the braille. What inspired that?

Jasmine:

Gosh, it’s been such an inspiring journey all around. My whole team has been educating ourselves through several different resources, including working with Bold Blind Beauty along this process. I was not even aware when we started this journey how many people there are in the world that are either totally blind or visually impaired. I believe it’s around 400,000*. We started thinking about the experience of a visually impaired person going into a major beauty department store, having not a single brand that is offering braille on their products and it’s really an area of the many areas of the beauty industry is lacking still at this point, despite a lot of progress that has been made. It’s something that we wanted to address because I think it will make a lot of people think in new ways, put themselves in the shoes of somebody who has a different human experience than they do and really just to continue to expand our mission to be inclusive of people from all walks of life and to be able to provide what they need to have a positive experience with beauty.

Abby:

Can you tell us where you’re going to put the braille on the packaging and what it states?

Jasmine:

Sure. We have our brand name in braille on the lipstick tube itself, and we also have the shade distinctions. We are associating them with skin tones to make it easier for people who have never seen color to understand. Our shades go from deepest to fairest and in each category, there’s a one, two, three, so you can get an idea of the shade range within that category of deep or tan. We’re also going to add some additional information on our website in the coming weeks. We plan to create a YouTube video to explain the functionality further, so we really encourage people to go check that out too. Then on the box we’re going to have a QR code so that you can just scan that and easily get to our website to find that additional information.

Abby:

Can you tell us about your product? I read that it’s animal and cruelty free, which is such a plus for me because I am all about natural and bringing wonderful beauty to life nature. Can you talk to us about that?

Jasmine:

Our products are currently cruelty-free and actually we’re really excited that we are now going to be expanding into being fully clean as well by Credo Beauty and Sephora’s clean standards. I believe there is a list of 50 chemicals that you have to keep out of your product and I recently added somebody to my team, Julia, whose family’s been in beauty manufacturing for 50 years. She’s just a powerhouse of knowledge in this area, so with these additional resources on the Spktrm team now, we’re able to make strides in these areas. We really want to be mindful of every aspect of the brand and to be approaching it from an ethical perspective. This’ll be exciting progress for us as well.

Abby:

I cannot wait to give this a try. I really cannot. I just love what you’re doing and your passion behind it. This is just thrilling to me. If people wanted to find out more about your product and when it’s going to be introduced and where to purchase it and all that fun stuff, where could they go?

Jasmine:

I would encourage people to go to our Instagram first because that is the place that we’ll be announcing our launch. We’re working on some website updates right now related to compliance for visually impaired individuals, so that’s still in process, but if you follow us on Instagram at spktrm.beauty, you’ll be the first to know when our lipstick and rebrand launch happens.

Abby:

I’m already following you, but I’m just going to go spread the word even more. I cannot wait about this. I am jumping for joy. I am so excited about it. It’s going to be so much fun. Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?

Jasmine:

That’s it for now, but we’ll be making a lot of updates on our Instagram, so definitely keep your eyes peeled there.

Abby:

Oh, I totally will, and I cannot wait for this. You guys, this is Jasmine Glass of Spktrm Beauty. I’m [inaudible 00:07:25] keeping it real, keeping it natural, keeping it lovely one cane tap at a time. This is Abby with Bold Blind Beauty and thanks so much for tuning in with me and my friend. Oh, this is so fun. I have a good one guys.

Globally the number of people of all ages visually impaired is estimated to be 285 million, of whom 39 million are blind. ~Word Health Organization

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