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Meet Trailblazer Tahirah Francis

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tahirah Francis.

Tahirah, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I’m a busy mom, wife & I love a good bath. I didn’t know how much until I got married and went from balancing one quiet child to a whole family and an Executive level career. Baths became my time of solitude, meditation, and peace. When I couldn’t find bath items that felt high quality, were soothing and felt good on my skin, I started creating my own and Vivian Rose Body & Bath was born.

Vivian Rose is named after two of the most influential women in my life, my great-grandmother and grandmother. Nana Vivian, my great-grandma, was a hardworking, kind, vibrant woman. She cleaned houses for wealthy residents of Long Island, New York’s Sag Harbor area and touched everyone she met. My Grandma, Catherine Vivian, has always been a tremendous force in my life. She was a bridge over troubled waters for me and thousands of other people in her community.

The “Rose” in Vivian Rose is a tribute to all women and a reminder that we need to take good care of ourselves. Roses flourish when they’re taken care of, and I believe women do too.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The biggest challenge thus far has been balancing home and growing business. The best piece of advice that I can give any woman starting a business who finds themselves struggling with this is, Don’t be afraid to delegate and give yourself grace. Also, pull from the examples around you. I come from a long line of women who we’re regularly working hard to build something, be it a better community or a life for their families, so I draw on their strength. If they can get through it, so can I.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Vivian Rose Body & Bath – what should we know?
I’m proud of the way women of color respond to our products. It’s hard to find excellent products that are effective for the needs of our skin in big box stores, and I would love to change that.

I think the thing that sets Vivian Rose apart from others is the fact that the product is great, and I focus a lot on the experience. I draw a lot from my personal life as a woman. When I’m creating, I’m considering does she want to take a bath, but only has time for a shower? If she is taking a shower, she may only have 5 minutes to herself, but I wanted that 5 minutes to feel divine. That’s why the lather from all our soaps feel marvelous. If she does have time for a bath, I wanted that feel fabulous! Producing products with the customer in mind gives them a more authentic experience that they won’t forget.

We’re interested to hear your thoughts on female leadership – in particular, what do you feel are the biggest barriers or obstacles?
I love the beauty industry. I don’t believe there are many barriers for women in general, as its a female-dominated area. There are some challenges for women of color, but even that is changing. Women of color were previously underserved by the beauty industry. I think now that companies see the necessity to create products that work for us, the demand for leaders who understand those needs is important.

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Tahirah Francis

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