Reflecting on her childhood, Joyce “JoJo” Arias recalled her love for makeup. “From a very young age, I’ve always been obsessed with makeup,” said Arias. “My biggest inspiration was my mom, and I was always in her makeup. We would try on every single color. Fast forwarding after I graduated from college and earning my Master’s degree, I
really, really wanted to create my own business. My friends and I would go out, and they were always asking me about makeup. I was the go-to person for make-up.”
She added, “They wanted to know things like what they should buy and encouraged me to start my own business. I particularly liked lipstick, thought about it, and decided I needed to learn how to make make-up. I went into a rabbit hole and did my research. Once I researched the industry and our buying power, it really fueled me.”
Arias is the is the C.E.O and founder of SOLSIS Beauty. The company sells Vegan & cruelty free cosmetics aimed at empowering women by making them feel more physically attractive while building their confidence and overall sense of well-being through make-up and cosmetics.
“Doing the research angered me because in a sense, I realized that Hispanic, Latino, and African American women hold so much purchasing power in the beauty and cosmetics industry,” said Arias. “It was really upsetting realizing there were not a lot of us who were owners in this industry. So, I made it a point to start a beauty line focusing on the things I wanted to see represented in the beauty industry.”
She added, “I posted my lipstick on social media, and have a big presence there. I asked people would they buy my lipstick. They said, ‘yes.’ I got so much feedback. That’s how I started.”
SOLSIS products include lipstick; matte liquid lipstick; lip gloss; highlighter; lipliner; lipstick kits; and highlighter sets. The company is growing a Baltimore-based, Latinx-owned beauty brand that started with their signature red shade called “Mamacita.” “SOLSIS is basically like a Soul Sister, and I combined the two,” said Arias, whose parents are from El Salvador. I’m a firm believer in connecting community.”
The 30-year-old entrepreneur said the company also gives back to underserved communities through its support of nonprofits and disaster aid.
“The reaction to our products has been great,” she said. “Honestly, I always tell people I would be happy if two people bought my products. I’m an overachiever, but at the same time a very realistic person. People tell their friends about the products, and they tell their friends. A lot of our business has come through word of mouth.”
Arias talked about the company offering Vegan & cruelty free cosmetics. “I am big on helping our earth in any and every way,” she said. “I’m very conscientious of that along with the products we use, especially when it comes to people with sensitive skin. It’s always interesting to buy something and read the ingredients and find out there are things in them you didn’t know. I wanted our ingredients to be ecofriendly, and to make people aware that there are alternatives to products with animal-derived products or ingredients.”
She added, “That’s why I really wanted to have this type of beauty brand. It’s all about being kinder to ourselves, to our skin, and to the earth.” SOLSIS also sells handmade accessories.
“The jewelry is under the SOLSIS umbrella,” said Arias. “I carry collections from different parts of the world. In two weeks, I will be offering a collection curated from my family’s country of El Salvador. I also have pieces from Ghana. My best friend lived there. A percentage of the proceeds always goes back to that community. It goes back to the concept of empowering people and letting them know their money and life goes a long way, and to be more conscious of the brands they buy and supporting causes that are important to them.”
Arias was raised in Montgomery County and moved to Baltimore for college, where she has remained. She is also a lifestyle blogger and the co-host of Talk that Talk Uncensored, a podcast aimed to provide a safe space for listeners that want to gain new perspectives on life and culture. The business owner shared this advice for aspiring entrepreneurs who are looking to “make-up” their minds about starting their own ventures.
“Don’t let perfection. hold you back,” she said. “What changed for me was basically going from idea to actually making it happen. I had to keep reminding myself it’s progress over perfection. Work hard and keep moving forward. Just go for it.”
To purchase products or for more information about SOLSIS Beauty visit https://solsisbeauty.com/