Marla of Marla Renee Skincare
Here at BLK + GRN, we are committed to elevating innovative Black artisans. Each week, we will share the stories of the BLK + GRN artisans behind your favorite products.
Learn more about how they're bringing their mission and commitment of creating high-quality, non-toxic products to the world!
This week we're talking to MARLA WHO's mother's battle with cancer made her take a closer look at skincare ingredients and LEd her to create a beauty company without compromise.
BLKGRN: What’s your favorite black-owned brand on BLK + GRN?
MARLA: Natural Mixologist's Donica Johns is an amazing, down to earth, unselfish artisan. I love her passion and dedication to formulating green and sharing her knowledge and experience with others.
BLKGRN: Why do you think it is important to Buy Black?
MARLA: Aside from the importance of strengthening the economy in the black community, there is an unfortunate misconception that black-owned businesses lack customer service and deliver subpar products and services at inflated prices. Each time we buy black and share positive experiences, we chip away at these misnomers and empower our people to see value in our own skills and abilities.
BLKGRN: What’s your self-care routine?
MARLA: As entrepreneurs, we spend much of our time dedicated to developing products to help our customers with better self-care. Ironically, in that process, we tend to neglect ourselves. I often must catch myself and make a conscientious effort to do the things that are most important, like eat and get ample rest. Of course, I take care of my skin and I make sure to take some downtime, relax outside, unplug and soak up some much-needed natural vitamin D.
BLKGRN: What's on your vanity and what’s in your purse?
MARLA: With as large of a purse I carry, there wouldn’t be enough space to truly share what’s going on in there. A few must-haves between my vanity and purse are our Honey Cleanser, Lumi Facial Oil, Blueberry Cranberry Oxygen Mask, Koils by Nature and Naturalicious hair care products, MAC bronzer and lippie and Brian Moran’s “The 12 week year”.
BLKGRN: Anything else coming soon?
MARLA: Sometimes I feel like my formulating notebook is as large as a set of encyclopedias. I’m always studying beauty trends and testing formulas. I guess you’ll have to stay connected to see what’s coming down the pipe. Just know, I’m always looking for ways to improve how our brand positively affects your quality of life.
BLKGRN: Why do you do what you do?
MARLA: I’m a mom, wife, and lover of just about all things DIY. I do what I do to empower women to take control of their health and well-being by enabling them to make skin care choices that will help them achieve their personal vision of beauty without sacrificing their inner being.
BLKGRN: What was your "Aha Moment" and when did your vision start to manifest?
MARLA: I was drawn to creating a natural skincare solution for women of color, after caring for my mother who passed away from complications due to cancer. While caring for her, I was forced to take notice of the ingredients in the products she was using. At that time, I had no idea that the knowledge I was gaining would birth Marla Rene Skincare. I needed an outlet during my grieving process and dove into making my own products. Through trial and error and years of research, the brand was born out of passion, diligence and love.
BLKGRN: How is your brand green? Why was this important to you?
MARLA: We deliver uncompromising results naturally through wild-crafted, Eco-conscious, cruelty-free ingredients. With a laser focus on purity and efficacy, we provide beauty without compromise and the use of petroleum, parabens, silicones, DEA, PEGS, TEA, sulfates and other harmful carcinogenic ingredients. Once you know better it’s important to do better. Research has proven that many ailments that we experience can be attributed, in part, to long-term exposure and absorption of harmful toxic ingredients found in our skincare. By creating non-toxic effective skincare, I’m able to contribute to improving quality of life.
BLKGRN: What need do you currently see being unmet that you address?
On a broader spectrum, caring for skin is universally the same based on skin type and not dependent on skin color. However, there are several concerns that melanin skin experience that doesn’t allow for a cookie-cutter approach to developing solutions. We have worked diligently and have developed an extensive assessment to help uncover the needs of each individual beauty which allows us to then customize a regimen specific to their unique concerns.