Could this be the Sephora for Brown Women?

Let me introduce you to Vivrant Beauty. A fabulous, chic Harlem based beauty boutique that not only houses major makeup and hair brands that cater to women of color, but, is also owned by a chic Black woman. Desiree Verjedo, founder and owner of the online site and brick-and-mortar store, was a lawyer who recently decided to leap off of the corporate ladder and jump into the entrepreneur world of business. Her lifelong obsession with beauty led her to open her new, remarkable (and much needed) boutique, Vivrant Beauty.

Desiree Verjedo, Founder and Owner

Last night, I got a first-hand look at the all white, mesmerizing space, off of 121st and Saint Nicholas ave. The introduction to the store was breathtaking to say the least. With an easy-to-navigate setup and helpful staff on site, you’ll be sure to get your personal questions answered about your hair, nails, and skin. Brown women from all of the NYC boroughs sipped champagne, snacked on grilled shrimp and pineapples and breezed through the space with enamored eyes. Some even sat down with Bed of Nails salon owner Candice Idehan to get mini-manicures, laced with Brown owned polish line Mischo Beauty.

But, in the midst of all of the awe and amazement, I did wonder how Desiree would really stand out from the over-saturated market that is the beauty industry. She’s obviously not worried, as she noted below:

“Our plan for separating ourselves from the other beauty retail options is to, first and foremost, create an atmosphere where our customer feels catered to. As a brown girl and a beauty product lover, I’ve certainly shopped in many premium shops where I’ve realized that I’m not the woman that they are catering to because, for example, they don’t have any or perhaps only carry one brand geared towards my kinky curly hair type.

On the other hand, I know that there are at least a dozen beauty supply stores in my Harlem neighborhood. Until Vivrant Beauty opened, though, there was no place where someone could go in and ask the questions we receive every day: “how do I care for my daughters curly hair?”, “do I really need a toner?”, “what’s a hair milk?,” “is this product all natural?”.¬†

There’s a huge difference between being sold to and being catered to and our goal is for our customers to feel that difference.”

Girl, listen: I live in Bushwick, Brooklyn, okay? It took me 45-minutes and two train transfers to get to Harlem to purchase some of the exact products from Vivrant Beauty I usually get from other mainstream retailers. But, the trip was worth it. I did it last night and I’ll sure as hell do it again.

If you can’t make that trip, offer up your clicks and head on over to